Virtuoso has received a 2019 World Tourism Award in recognition of the group’s commitment to sustainable tourism. Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch accepted the award November 4 at the World Travel Market London during a ceremony hosted by journalist Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor and travel expert.
Inaugurated in 1997, the World Tourism Awards were established to “recognize individuals, companies, organizations, destinations and attractions for outstanding initiatives related to the travel and tourism industry, and in fostering sustainable tourism and developing programs that give back to local communities.” WTM honored the organization in “recognition of Virtuoso’s commitment to sustainable tourism practices and its mission to make sustainability a greater factor in consumer choice when traveling – to preserve, protect and advance the local culture, environment and economies of the lands they visit and to increase success for those who are dedicated to travel as a force for good.”
Virtuoso’s vision for sustainability in travel and tourism has three pillars: to celebrate culture, support local economies, and protect the environment. The network views sustainability as a core value and highlights partners who are champions of sustainability, educates advisors on sustainable travel, and influences consumers to make sustainability a greater factor in their travel decisions.
The World Tourism Awards recognize individuals, companies, organizations, destinations and attractions for outstanding initiatives in travel and tourism. In addition to Upchurch, ME to WE, Asilia Africa and Nikoi Island/The Island Foundation were recognized.
The award itself, Caring for Our World, sponsored by VisitMalta, was specially designed and handcrafted on the Mediterranean island of Malta by Mdina Glass. It celebrates the qualities of leadership and vision that inspire others to care for all people around the globe, Virtuoso said.