It is our privilege to honor companies and individuals committed to giving back to travel

It takes vision, courage, and leadership to create opportunities that allow the voices and dreams of innovators working on behalf of communities to soar. We believe that change agents should be recognized and celebrated.

Thank you to all who attended the 2018 Hearts of Travel Awards in New York City!


CHAMPION OF CHANGE: an individual or organization that makes the work of change agents possible.

Brett Tollman, CEO, The Travel Corporation

The Tourism Cares board of directors chose Brett Tollman as a champion for his longtime dedication to investing in impactful solutions through the business of travel, and specifically for championing the work of Baraka in Jordan this past year as part of our Tourism Cares with Jordan program. 

AGENTS OF CHANGE: an individual or organization that is working on behalf of communities to create a deep transformative positive impact through travel.

Baraka is a social enterprise consulting firm based in Jordan who share a common vision and passion that sustainable tourism can stimulate economic growth while conserving and protecting cultural heritage and natural resources.  The team is working to create experiences that have a minimal impact on the environment, and maximum benefits to the local communities, all while creating exceptional traveller experiences. Baraka was instrumental in the success of our Tourism Cares with Jordan program in 2018.


World Central Kitchen is using the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies.  Through WCK’s Plow to Plate program, they are connecting small shareholder farmers to the tourism network, by providing technical training, education, job opportunities and developing social enterprises to connect them to the tourism market. WCK was a 2018 grant recipient of our Destination Disaster Recovery Fund.

INDUSTRY INNOVATOR: an organization whose work strongly demonstrates the power of leadership by example by using business as a powerful force for good.

Elevate Destinations designs custom travel experiences that celebrates and discovers shared humanity by gathering local non-profits, changemakers and doers, together. They assign a high value to the things that matter—including conservation, wildlife, and creating sustainable jobs for communities. Elevate Destinations is pioneering the buy-one-give-one model for experiences. Every trip organized through Elevate Destinations allows a group of local children to visit tourist sites in their own country. They partner with local nongovernmental organizations and in-country travel suppliers to create outings for youth groups that otherwise would have no way of seeing some of the sights that draw thousands of tourists to their country every year.


AltruVistas creates custom journeys that focus on experiential education, philanthropy, and social responsibility. They promote transformational experiences in the sustainable travel industry through three program areas: the Meso-Financing Program’s mission is to provide communities with the financial tools they need to improve their lives and benefit from the tourism sector; the Professional Fellowship Program matches community grantees with emerging or service-seeking tourism professionals in order to implement community development programs, support the capacity building of the community, and bridge cultural norms; and of course, their custom journeys.

Bodhi Surf + Yoga is a Certified B Corporation—meaning they have met “rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” Bodhi Surf + Yoga also strives to bridge the gap between the destination community and their guests. Bodhi Surf + Yoga is built on an ethos of social and environmental responsibility. The Bodhi Surf Travel’s Philanthropy Program gives each guest a $20 donation gift card as part of their stay which is redeemable as a contribution with three local nongovernmental organizations. Their Yoga for the Community Program provides free yoga instructions to members of the community, and the Service & Surf Program – held bimonthly– provides cleanup supplies, surf and recreation equipment and drinking water to community members to help clean up the beach in exchange for surf lessons.

GoPhilanthropic Travel is an innovative socially conscious travel company encouraging a deeper understanding and connection to the world through travel.  Their journeys involve learning about and engaging with a collection effective small grassroots non-profits, committed to long-term work within their communities. The GoPhilanthropic Foundation was borne out of a desire to redefine the traditional check-writing charity model to one that reflects a more active, engaged and collaborative philanthropy. GoPhilanthropic is made up of a “community” of partners, donors and grassroots organizations who believe that long-term, sustainable change happens at the grassroots level, yet with support and investment from all levels.

About the Awards

The Industry Innovator Award was selected by a judging committee made up of these industry leaders: Kristin Lamoureux, Virginia Tech; Melissa Snape Wisniewski, Key 360 Advisors; Keith Sproule, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy; Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg, Valerie Wilson Travel; Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly.

Both the “Champion of Change” and “Agents of Change” Awards are chosen by the Tourism Cares Board of Directors.

Special thanks to our 2018 Hearts of Travel Award Sponsors:

Allianz Partners I Collette I Enterprise Holdings, Inc. I MaCher I Marriott International I NYC & Company I Travel + Leisure I Trip Mate I Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc.