The Regenerative Travel Impact Awards 2023
The Regenerative Travel Impact Awards are back and we’re on the hunt for inspiring individuals and initiatives that are tackling some of our planet’s biggest challenges.
The Impact Awards celebrate people and projects that embody the spirit of regeneration—improving people’s lives, our communities, and the world around us. We are searching the globe for inspiring changemakers working to solve our biggest challenges and inspiring positive action, both inside and outside of travel.
Our judging panel was handpicked based on their exceptional expertise, achievements, and diverse backgrounds. With their collective knowledge in marine ecology, social entrepreneurship, travel journalism, sustainability, visual storytelling, tourism policy, hospitality, and impact investing, the judging panel is well equipped to identify innovative ideas that have the potential to advance regenerative travel.
Impact Award Categories
Hotel of the Year
A hotel that is a catalyst for change and innovating hospitality to promote positive social and environmental impact
Agency of the Year
A travel agency, DMC or tour operator catalyzing positive change in travel through regenerative practices and initiatives
Travel Initiative of the Year
An impactful initiative driving regenerative practices and inspiring positive change in travel
Storyteller of the Year
A passionate storyteller recognized for their contributions that bring about social and environmental change
Change Maker of the Year
A visionary individual driving systemic change for regenerative travel
Recognizing the public’s favorite regenerative travel project through collective voting on our short list
Celebrating the most innovative and impactful regenerative hotel design
Regenerative Travel Experience
A travel experience launched this past year that is creating regenerative impact
Health and Wellness
Initiatives featuring holistic and restorative approaches that promote well-being
Initiatives that promote equity and honour culture for vibrant, resilient communities.
Initiatives to restore and regenerate ecosystems, biodiversity, or critical species
Food and Agriculture
Initiatives that revolutionize our eating habits, and transform the way we source and cultivate our food
Projects that deepen or broaden education’s impact, promoting equity and understanding
Innovative ideas that bring greenhouse gas emissions to zero or uplift nature’s carbon cycle
Angelique is a Marine Ecologist who manages conservation and science programmes for Blue Finance’s MPAs. With 25 years of experience, she is an expert in coral reef science and integrated coastal management. Angelique led Barbados’ Marine Research Section for over a decade, developing coral reef research and managing reef systems within an ICZM framework. She has a PhD in Marine Biology from PSL Research University and is a PADI Instructor.
Kathleen is a freelance journalist and editor focused on travel, climate, and sustainability. For the last 17 years, Kathleen has worked in travel media across print, TV, and digital focusing on the positive impact travel can make. Formerly Newsweek’s travel editor she spearheaded the Future of Travel Awards, and she contributes to outlets such as AFAR, National Geographic, Outside, Time, CNN Travel, Hemispheres, Condé Nast Traveler, Scuba Diving, Travel + Leisure, and more.
Veronica is a sustainable fashion entrepreneur and impact investor, known for her contributions to the industry. She focuses on creating a circular economy by using upcycled and recycled fabrics, efficient production methods, and designing garments with versatility and longevity. Veronica is also committed to exploring new technologies and innovative materials, such as lab-grown leather, to reduce fashion’s environmental footprint. Her sustainable fashion efforts have been recognized by the industry, and she continues to drive positive change through her work.
Kelley is a travel entrepreneur and storyteller with a strong passion for sustainability. As the Head of Marketing at Fora, she leads a company that is transforming the travel advisor industry through modern, inclusive, and trendy practices. Kelley is also the founder of Impact Travel Alliance, the largest community worldwide for socially and environmentally aware travelers. She previously headed Elsewhere Agency, a creative agency catering to travel brands, and served as the Head of Marketing at ViaHero.
Sophia is a Chinese-American multimedia journalist, film director, and environmental advocate. She is a multi-hyphenate creative with a passion for storytelling. Her life’s work is to make talking about issues such as the climate and racial justice more accessible, more digestible, and more human. Harvard named Sophia one of the top climate communicators of 2022. Her journalistic reporting has appeared in CNN, Vice and the United Nations.
Mukul is an internationally published and exhibited photographer whose work lies in between documentary and fine art. Born of a migrant mother from Pakistan, Bhatia is the youngest of 7 children, born in 1989, just before India globalized itself. Bhatia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Delhi University, and further studied Photo Journalism and Visual Studies at the Mass Communication Research Centre at the Jamia Milia Islamia.
With a PhD that focused on tourism, conservation, and development issues in Nepal’s Sagarmatha National Park, Paul has been a tourism advisor to national and local governments and organizations for over 20 years. He has worked in more than 12 countries in South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and Australia, with a focus on policy and planning, and using tourism as a vehicle for development. As one of the largest and fastest-growing industries that provides 1 in every 10 jobs globally, Paul is dedicated to using tourism for positive change.
Harsha L’Acqua, Founder & CEO of Saira Hospitality, was inspired by her father’s philanthropic work with Mother Teresa from a young age. With years of experience working for top international hotel brands, Harsha developed the concept for Saira Hospitality while studying in Cornell University’s MMH graduate program. She realized the strong connection between hospitality and philanthropy, both driven by the gene of service: service to the guest and service to humanity. Saira Hospitality aims to provide high-quality hospitality training and job opportunities to underserved communities around the world.