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Rainforest Alliance Wins Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award

October 22, 2009

The Rainforest Alliance received a 2009 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Award for upping the ante for sustainability standards in the tourism industry. Now in its fifth year, the prestigious awards recognize the most outstanding efforts of individuals and organizations working to preserve the world's natural and manmade treasures.

The Rainforest Alliance was cited for the leadership role it has played in creating a global membership council set to launch early next year that promotes widespread understanding of sustainable tourism principles and will help travelers differentiate between the truly eco-friendly and the greenwashers.

"The Rainforest Alliance is changing the baseline definition for an entire industry standard -- a bold step in making sure the criteria for sustainable tourism is universal," explained judge Céline Simone Cousteau, contributor to PBS's Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures, spokeswoman for La Prairie, and ambassador to the Clean Up the World Campaign.


The Tourism Sustainability Council (TSC) is a coalition of over 50 members that aims to improve tourism's potential to be a driver of positive conservation and economic development for communities and businesses around the world and a tool for poverty alleviation by enabling businesses to improve their practices, increasing the transparency of sustainable tourism certification programs, and building demand for green travel.

"We are thrilled to be acknowledged by such a prominent organization for our efforts to make tourism an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable industry," said Ronald Sanabria, vice president of sustainable tourism at the Rainforest Alliance. "We share this award with our fellow TSC leadership -- the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations World Tourism Organization -- and all the other stakeholders that have made this achievement possible."

Other winners include Rainforest Alliance collaborator Ecoventura for charting a new sustainable course of travel to the Galápagos Islands, Element Hotels for its commitment to achieving LEED certification at all of its properties and Sassi di Matera Albergo Diffuso in Italy for transforming abandoned cave dwellings of a UNESCO World Heritage site into guest rooms. Profiles of all 17 winners along with insights from the jury are featured in Travel + Leisure's November issue, available on newsstands October 23, and online at now.

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