American Marketer


American Express’ Travel + Leisure hits sustainability stride with Global Vision Awards

October 24, 2011


NEW YORK – American Express Publishing’s Travel + Leisure magazine chose hotels, airlines and airports such as King Pacific Lodge, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Six Senses Resorts & Spas as winners of the publication’s 2011 Global Vision Awards for their notable sustainability efforts.

The 18 winners were chosen by a jury of experts and represent the best overall experience that enriches the destinations that consumers travel to while also maintaining a consistent eco-friendly attitude. The winners were awarded with a lunch last week at Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Luxury Collection hotel The Chatwal hotel in New York.

“I believe in the power of travel, of course,” said Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure, New York. “Corporate responsibility weighs on you sometimes, and I think that the impact travel can have on the world is extraordinary.

“Also, I’m very aware that travel can have a less positive impact on destinations, sometimes on important world heritage sites where one has to be careful not to bring too many people in, and keep the proper balance of antiquity heritage and nature,” she said.

“So the efforts of those that work on this and are conscious of the precious responsibility we have for preserving the world are the ones that we salute in our global vision awards, who work against vexing problems like climate change, environmental degredation, cultural erosion and economic inequality.

Ms. Novogrod

Visionary futures
The seventh annual Global Vision Awards recognized organizations that are working to preserve the world’s natural and man-made treasures.

The winners for sustainability include San Francisco International Airport, Terminal 2; Nature Air in Costa Rica; Lufthansa airlines; and King Pacific Lodge in British Columbia for sustainable design, eco travel, environmental innovation and green luxury, respectively.

For conservation, Manyara Ranch in Tanzania was lauded for land management, Inkaterra in Peru for environmental stewardship and Misool Eco Resort in Indonesia won for marine protection.

Manyara Ranch

Development winners were Rancho La Puerta Fitness Resort & Spa in Mexico, Austin Lehman Adventures and Journeys Within for community building, corporate innovation and local outreach, respectively.

Waan Aelõñ in Majel (WAM) in the Marshall Islands won the award for artisan revival, The Bangala in India won for heritage site, Arou Temple Project in Mali for historic restoration and Conservatorio SA in Panama City for urban renewal.

The winners in the leadership category were Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts for education initiative, Kimpton Hotels & Resorts for corporate greening, Six Senses Resorts & Spas for footprint reduction and Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic for Grassroots Outreach.

Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

In addition to a celebratory lunch, the winners were announced in the Travel + Leisure November issue which was on newsstands Oct. 21.

Green, not mean
Quite a few luxury publications use partnerships to reward other brands and ultimately connect with consumers.

For example, Swiss watchmaker Longines and Hearst’s Town&Country magazine partnered to seek out and award three women who make a difference in the lives of children around the world last month (see story).

Rewarding other luxury brands can ultimately raise the value of both the publication and whoever it is commending.

For instance, it is likely that at least one of the hotels will promote its award in multiple outlets such as online and at the property, drawing attention to both its laudable efforts and Travel + Leisure.

This is beneficial to everyone involved, especially because Travel + Leisure consumers are likely American Express cardmembers and can likely afford to stay at the luxury hotels that are Global Vision Leaders.

Winners at the event

“Many of you have found a way to work with this powerful engine of travel and manage it for positive effect, and it’s worth noting and celebrating,” Ms. Novogrod said.

“Our mission is to get people out into the world, and Global Vision Awards has been something that we enjoy promoting to show that the course and impact of travel is really a positive one,” she said.

Final Take

Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York