In 2011, Namibia’s Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector: Achieving Community Benefits at Scale won the first Platinum Award as the “Leader in Sustainable Tourism” in conjunction with National Geographic Traveler.
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.
"Sustainable tourism has been part of National Geographic Traveler's DNA for over 10 years," said Kimberly Connaghan, publisher of National Geographic Traveler magazine. "Our mission is 'to report on destinations of distinction and character, and we support efforts to keep them that way-believing that to enhance an authentic sense of place will benefit both travelers and the locations they visit.' We are excited to be partnering with HSMAI on the first ever Leader in Sustainable Tourism award to recognize the innovators in the tourism industry that are truly making a difference in their communities."