In 2017 we are pleased to announce three awards available to travel and tourism companies and individuals, the:

1.      Legacies in Travel Philanthropy award, given to a company that has demonstrated a commitment to giving back and to excellence for more than 15 years. 

2.      New Innovators in Travel Philanthropy award: recognizing relative newcomers to travel CSR with a 3-6 year track record, whose businesses and social strategies show promising results.

3.      Philanthropic Champion of Travel, designated by the Board of Directors and given to an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding personal commitment to giving back.

 The purpose of the awards is to recognize and share models of travel corporate social change, so that others may find inspiration for starting or improving their own efforts. 


The awards are focused on corporate charitable giving and/or volunteering: how a company uses its own resources – financial, talent and otherwise – to give back to the community.  It does not primarily involve other aspects of corporate social responsibility such as environmental or supply chain practices, though those are a factor if also linked to a charitable program of the company.  Qualifying and selection criteria for the awards include:

  • Status as a for-profit corporation actively involved in the commercial travel, hospitality and tourism industry; sister nonprofits directly affiliated with such entities will be considered.
  •   A strong track record of strategic charitable giving or investments, volunteering or other social change efforts related to supporting the community.

o   A >15-year track record is required for the Legacy award, and 3-6 years for the New Innovators award.

o   The program can support any charitable cause, and can take place anywhere, at home, in destinations, or elsewhere.

  • A commitment to impact and measuring results: whether a relative newcomer or veteran, nominees should demonstrate measurable results of their activities.
  • A commitment to partnering with the communities where the nominee has a presence:  to what extent does a nominee involve local communities in their social activities.
  • Secondary criteria includes:

o   A commitment to integrating social responsibility into the business, which could be supply chain decisions, engaging travelers/guests, employee involvement and HR policies, etc. (i.e. successful nominees do more than just distribute money.)

o   A commitment to spreading the word: while how a company does or does not talk about its philanthropic activities is not a deciding factor, nominees need to be willing to share their stories and best practices with the industry!

The Selection Committee

Reviewers for the awards include industry leaders and experts in the field of travel philanthropy and sustainability.

  • Kristen Lamoureux
  • Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly
  • Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg, Valerie Wilson Travel
  • Melissa Wisniewski, Key 360 Advisors
  • Dien Yuen, Kordant Philanthropy Advisor
  • Paul Eisenberg, Micato Safaris (2015 honoree)

 Awardee Value, Recognition and Celebration

We honor, celebrate winners and their causes in several ways, for the industry and the traveling public:

  • Appreciation at the annual Tourism Cares awards reception, preceding the Reader’s Choice Awards, for 200+ guests.
  •  Announcement to the 1,000+ industry leaders attending the annual Travel Weekly Reader’s Choice Awards, where an awardee representative will be Tourism Cares’ guest.
  • Press release and earned media activity in trade publications and mainstream.
  • A January 2018 industry advertising campaign including donated space from Travel Weekly, Agent@Home, Group Travel Leader, NTA Courier and others.
  • Sharing awardee briefs online and in all communications channels, at trade shows, etc.

Nominate your company or another company today

 It’s easy to nominate your own company or one you admire!  We want to hear your ideas and initiating a nomination should take no more than 15-30 minutes, with detailed information gathered later as candidates proceed through the process.

Step 1, the Nomination Stage -- nominate a company today!  Just fill out this form (for either award) to the best of your ability, for your own company or for one you would like considered

Nominations for the 2017 Hearts of Travel Awards closed on September 8.

 Step 2, The Review Stage: all submissions will be reviewed, and additional questions will be asked directly of all nominees.  Then 2-3 finalists will be chosen for extra information gathering, which may include site visits.

 Step 3, Selection:  one winner will be selected from the finalists by October 28, at which time the in-depth awardee brief will be prepared for release.

 Step 4, Celebration! The honorees will be announced December 14!

 For questions, please contact Chelas Poirier (