Mission Hills Wins 2016 National Geographic World Legacy Award
The World Legacy Awards, Mission Hills latest accolade, are a partnership between National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, and ITB Berlin, the global travel industry's leading trade show. The awards showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organisations and destinations that are driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the travel industry based on National Geographic’s work of inspiring people to care about the planet.
Mission Hill were amongst the 100 entries from 51 countries across the world which were reviewed by an international panel of 23 judges coordinated by Costas Christ, editor-at-large for National Geographic Traveler magazine and chairman of the World Legacy Awards. 15 finalists also underwent a rigorous on-site inspection.
Christ said, "There are now more than one billion international travelers, up from 25 million in 1950, and we have more ways to reach more places on our planet than ever before. The goal of the World Legacy Awards is a simple one: Applaud, support and raise the bar for destinations and travel companies in the vanguard of sustainable tourism as a force to help alleviate poverty and safeguard the world's natural and cultural treasures."
The Earth Changers category won by Mission Hills recognizes cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon-emission reduction.
At the awards Mission Hills was described as a leader in advancing sustainable tourism and green operations, including establishing a high-tech field station for monitoring air quality and climate change impacts. It was among the first resort companies in China to ban shark fin, while also helping to educate Chinese travelers and the Chinese tourism industry on sustainable best practices.
Ken Chu, Chairman and CEO of Mission Hills said ‘At Mission Hills we focus on being the positive change in China that we believe is needed for tourism to deliver prosperity for our people and a greener future for the world. We set out to advance green operations at our resorts by embracing sustainable tourism practices. This includes building awareness among Chinese travelers, local authorities and travel businesses on how tourism, when planned properly, can help to protect the environment. Our Hainan resort becoming GEO Certified®, the most rigorous independent sustainability certification for golf in the world, was very important to us and to also be recognized by another world-renowned organization, National Geographic, shows we are on the right path and inspires our staff to do even more.’
Jonathan Smith, Chief Executive of GEO (the Golf Environment Organization) the not-for profit dedicated to supporting sustainability in golf and which administers GEO Certified® said “It is fantastic to see Mission Hills receive this prestigious award, amongst some very worthy competition. The resort’s commitment to deliver long term and continually improving net positive impacts is bound up in their GEO Certified® award and we are delighted to see this factor into the judges decision.”
Further information on Mission Hill’s Haikou’s sustainability programme, including the full independent GEO Certified® verification report can be found on www.golfenvironment.org. The full list of 2016 National Geographic Legacy Award Winners, including interviews with all 15 finalist can be found at www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/.