These Gold Award honorees are finalists in the running for the top honor, a Platinum Award, to be awarded at the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on February 20 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award recognizes a person, company, or community for demonstrable leadership and innovation in preserving and communicating an authentic sense of place through a wisely managed tourism campaign. Nominees were judged by how their efforts preserve the environmental, cultural, and historic integrity of a destination, and how the program demonstrated leadership, innovation and accomplished its goals. Entries required details on project analysis, objectives and goals, creativity and innovation, communication, results, and leadership.

“The hospitality industry is really starting to get behind initiatives that partner with and empower local communities, make wise use of resources, and reduce our environmental footprint. We are proud of the top winners in our Adrian Awards Leader in Sustainable Tourism category with National Geographic Traveler and know their work has meaningful implications for everyone,” said Fran Brasseux, executive vice president of HSMAI. “This year’s Adrian Awards theme, ‘be a travel marketing superhero’ is particularly apt for the Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award finalists. These honorees have intentionally made sustainability an integral part of their value proposition—not an add-on or afterthought. The campaigns of these trailblazers inspire colleagues and inform best practices for the entire profession.”

The Gold Award winners of the HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler Leader in Sustainability Award are as follows:

Hostelling International USA strives to create a more tolerant world by building social responsibility into every experience for guests and local communities. The nonprofit’s “Pack Your Impact” campaign helps travelers be more sustainable while also maximizing social impact. These efforts led to a 375% increase in traffic to the sustainability section of the website. By 2020, 32 of HI USA’s 51 hostels will be LEED- and Green Globe-certified.

Intrepid Travel: Myanmar & MMGY Global, the first travel company to have a responsible tourism department offering community-based tourism (CBT) in Myanmar, engages young community members to empower their own villages and creates economic opportunities that benefit the community as a whole while creating minimal disruption to the local environment. For instance, Intrepid Travel helped raised funds to introduce electricity, running water, and an upgraded road.

Terranea Resort is dedicated to protecting the valuable coastal resources that define the Palos Verdes Peninsula. A dedicated team conducts internal monthly green meetings, holds monthly green challenges and campaigns, works with 27 associate volunteers and sustainability ambassadors, and partners with organizations to promote and organize educational outreach programs to improve the wildlife habitat, source locally, and enhance water quality. The resort was chosen to be part of the World Wildlife Fund Pilot Project on hotel food waste management.

Rosewood Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, a five-star luxury resort, helped build Centro Educativo K’iin Beh, an elementary and middle school serving 200+ children (roughly 15% are employees’ children and 85% are other children in the community). Rosewood Mayakoba also purchases environmentally friendly products, uses local and fair-trade services and goods, preserves native wildlife and landscaping, and protects local historic properties and sites.

The winner of the Platinum HSMAI and National Geographic Traveler Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award will be unveiled at HSMAI’s Adrian Awards Reception and Gala. The dinner reception, co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google and TravelClick offers hospitality professionals an opportunity to connect for an evening of celebration with nearly 1,000 attendees from their industry. The Adrian Awards honor creative brilliance and best practices, celebrate lifetime achievement recipients; award-winning strategies in advertising, digital marketing and public relations; and the teams behind each campaign that bring an idea to life. Winners of this year’s Libris Pioneer in Virtual Storytelling will also be announced.

For more information and to inquire about a media pass to the HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala, please contact Andrea Bomar at [email protected]. Tickets can be purchased at