The Regenerative Travel Impact Awards 2023 – Agency of the Year

Words Emi Vilas Bôas
Date

Welcome to the Regenerative Travel Impact Awards, where we celebrate the remarkable efforts of trailblazers in the travel industry who are leading the way towards a more sustainable and regenerative future. The impact of travel on our planet has never been more evident, the Agency of the Year award stand as a recognition for those who are not only redefining the way we explore the world, but also reshaping it for the better.

Amidst the bustling landscape of travel agencies, destination management companies (DMCs), and tour operators, there exists a group of visionary organizations that have risen above the norm. These are the entities that have understood the urgent need to move beyond the paradigms of traditional tourism and embrace regenerative practices and initiatives. They are the ones catalyzing positive change, weaving sustainability into the fabric of their operations, and igniting a movement that influences the way we engage with travel.

The Regenerative Travel Impact Awards are not just about acknowledging excellence; they are a celebration of the profound impact that can be achieved through a commitment to regeneration. As we navigate challenges that span from climate change to cultural preservation, these awards seek to spotlight the unsung heroes who are dedicated to creating a harmonious balance between exploration and conservation, between growth and preservation.

View the winner & finalists:

Winner

Futurismo – Portugal

Futurismo is a transformative initiative embodying regenerative tourism principles that have significantly impacted the Azores for over three decades. Rooted in a profound commitment to environmental and social betterment, Futurismo stands as more than a family-owned enterprise; it is a visionary force shaping the Azores’ tourism landscape. Futurismo’s journey begins with a resolute dedication to responsible tourism in the ecologically diverse Azores. Their regenerative ethos revolves around stewardship and preserving Açorianidade, the region’s heritage and culture, inspiring collective guardianship within the local community. This commitment fuels sustainable land use, ensuring the Azores’ longevity as a cherished destination.

Their distinctive commitment to scientific exploration and learning has resulted in an extensive database and significant advancements in cetacean research. Since 2008, they’ve diligently amassed over 15,000 records of cetacean sightings, accompanied by identification photos, forming comprehensive catalogs for 11 species. Complementing this, they’ve collected an additional 15,000 land-based observations, generously shared with global institutions, cultivating collaborative scientific initiatives in the Atlantic region. Their scientific dedication has yielded remarkable outcomes, influencing numerous theses and 11 comprehensive studies published in esteemed journals, spanning habitat, distribution, social dynamics, and rare occurrences of cetaceans. This impact extends to 30 scientific posters at national and international conferences, propelling scientific dialogue. 


Finalists

Landsby – Canada

Landsby, established by Jason Sarracini in May 2020, emerges as an innovative travel and tourism company with a deep commitment to promoting responsible exploration of Canada. The company’s founding during the Covid-19 pandemic showcases its visionary approach to reigniting local appreciation for Canada’s cultural richness, landscapes, and communities. Jason Sarracini’s insight into harnessing a network of immersive local suppliers has reshaped travel by infusing it with purpose, especially during a period of restricted international travel. Landsby’s mission to transform Canada’s tourism sector into a regenerative model, while spotlighting lesser-known regions, was thus actualized within a unique and timely context. The cornerstone of Landsby’s strategy lies in nurturing collaboration and partnerships with local entities.

Through this cooperative framework, the company crafts travel experiences that empower small tourism businesses and Indigenous-owned enterprises. These partners take the lead in shaping the tourist experience in ways that resonate with their community values. By curating enriching journeys that bridge the gap between travelers and host communities, Landsby fosters a sense of collective responsibility and care that extends beyond individual realms. This vision is further amplified by Landsby’s unwavering commitment to the Indigenous Travel Association of Canada’s pledge, demonstrating its dedication to promoting Indigenous tourism and contributing to Truth and Reconciliation endeavors.

Authenteco Travel – USA

Authenteco Travel, a luxury travel concierge, specializes in curating meaningful experiences for individuals with hectic schedules, all while placing responsible and eco-friendly travel at the forefront. In a transformative move, the company is reshaping the travel industry by elevating ecotourism and responsible travel from mere options to becoming the norm. Dedicated to serving their discerning clients seeking the quintessential vacation, Authenteco Travel excels in providing meticulously planned, experientially rich, environmentally mindful, and community-engaged getaways.

Central to their approach, Authenteco Travel exclusively partners with boutique and locally-owned hotels that share their commitment to environmental preservation. The company arranges activities through local tour guides, facilitating direct payments that amplify the financial benefits to local communities. Committed to minimizing their carbon footprint, they offset emissions from flights and rental cars, collaborate with eco-conscious tour operators, and champion sustainable practices. They also emphasize dining at zero-kilometer or farm-to-table restaurants, and fully embrace remote work to reduce emissions. 

Rebecca Adventure Travel – Ecuador

Rebecca Adventure Travel, a prominent tour operator, focuses on responsible travel and sustainability, aiming to bridge cultures while minimizing environmental impact. Their strategies encompass environmental, economic, and social dimensions. Environmentally, they minimize paper use, utilize energy-efficient laptops, and embrace biodegradable products. Collaboration with eco-hotels, water conservation on tours, and waste separation highlight their eco-conscious ethos. Economically, local guides are exclusively engaged, nurturing local economies. Guest canvas bags and community volunteerism underline their commitment to social betterment. Amazon tours emphasize nature and culture conservation.

Quality control involves audits to ensure continuous improvement and responsible practices. In sum, Rebecca Adventure Travel stands as a beacon of responsible travel by cultivating cultural understanding, aiding local economies, and integrating sustainable actions across environmental, economic, and social spheres, exemplifying a holistic and positive model for the travel industry’s future.

Indagare – USA

In 2007, Melissa Biggs Bradley established Indagare with a profound aspiration: to catalyze transformative experiences through travel. Dissolving the distinction between travel content creation and trip planning, Indagare embarked on an innovative journey by fostering traveler connections through shared insights, information, and discoveries. Evolving from a humble team of three in an Upper East Side apartment to a vibrant workforce exceeding 90, their collective purpose remains unwavering. Indagare Impact epitomizes an integrated approach to cultivating a profoundly sustainable travel agency, extending its influence to travelers who might not initially prioritize their impact.

Indagare’s initiative is driven by four main strategies: allocating nearly 2% of annual revenue to philanthropic projects like fully funding the Long Shield Lion Guardians in Zimbabwe; achieving complete carbon neutrality by offsetting scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions through the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve; educating members about sustainable hotels through rigorous audits and sharing impact policies; and offering “Impact Journeys” that introduce travelers to crucial global initiatives, raising funds for causes like the Charles Darwin Foundation and encouraging ongoing engagement beyond their travel involvement with Indagare.

Vote to support your favorite nomination for our People’s Choice Award 2023 and view all of our shortlisted finalists.

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