Heroes Travel Award | World Tourism Network

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The Tourism Heroes Award is open by nomination to recognize destintations, stakeholders, activities, personalities, or associations that have shown extraordinary leadership, innovation, and actions. Tourism Heroes go the extra step. Holders of the Heroes Travel Award make Travel and Tourism Better – every day.

Nomination and Heroes Awards are open for:

  1. One person or a group of people.
  2. An organization, destination, or entity.
  3. A specific activity or achievement.
  4. Nomination to the WTN Executive Board by WTN Members and also non-members.
  5. Granted directly by the Executive Board, Chairman, or President.
  6. HEROES awards are always FREE. There is no competition, there are no marketing fees.
  7. We welcome third-party sponsorships, but they do not influence award decisions.
  • Mona Naffa, Amman , Jordan
    We are Hotel and SPA owners and our livelihood is Tourism and sustaining the Sector. We provide the best value for the practical-minded traveler. Destination Jordan is a platform that bridges cultures from the East to the West and vice versa as the co-founder is a first-generation Arab American; raised … Read More
  • Annette Cardenas, Panama
    The 2024 SKAL International President Annette Cardenas brings a wealth of experience and a rich professional background to her role. Her theme for 2024, “Building Bridges in the New Era of Skål,” reflects her commitment to strengthening connections and promoting solidarity among Skål members globally. Driven individual with a focus … Read More
  • Gideon Thaler, TAL AVIATION, Israel
    Gideon Thaler started his career working in sales for TWA in Tel Aviv on 1st March 1965. He moved on to become the Manager of CP Air, later becoming the Manager of Canadian Airlines International in Israel. At the same time, he was also the GSA for Qantas, the Australian … Read More
  • Burkhard Herbote, Germany
    Burkhard Herbote, Editor World Tourism Directory, Founding Member International Chamber of Travel & Tourism, Advisor International Institute for Peace through Tourism, board member of the World Tourism Network, an expert in travel and tourism. Burkhard is behind dozens of initiatives that have formed world travel, and tourism is functioning today. … Read More
  • Max Haberstroh, Germany
    Tourism Hero Max Haberstroh lives in Germany. He has been involved in Travel and Tourism for over 30 years on long and short-term assignments, mostly for government and non-government organizations (GTZ, CIM, OTCA/ACTO, Conservation International, IFES), in Asia (Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East), Africa/Indian Ocean, the Balkans, Caucasus and … Read More
  • Czafiyhra Zaycev, “Irish” , Manila, Philippines
    Irish is the new face of Medical Tourism in the Philippines, according to World Tourism Network President Juergen Steinmetz. Irish was the nurse who went out of her way to buy an I-phone charger for Steinmetz while at Makati Medical Center in Manila. Judging from her social media posts this … Read More
  • Fedor Shandor, Zakarpattia, Ukraine
    Mr. Shandor was nominated by WTN Tourism Hero Ivan Liptuga, a founding member of the WTN scream for Ukraine campaign ( www.scream.travel ) Fedor Shandor is a member of the National Tourism Organization of Ukraine (NTO), a Professor of Uzhhorod National University. Fedor Sandor gives a lecture on tourism to … Read More
  • Jeffrey Durup, Seychelles
    Jeffrey Durup was nominated as a Tourism Hero by Alain St. Ange, the former minister of Tourism for Seychelles. Mr.Durup launched his scuba diving excursions from the Island of La Digue in early 1973. Jeffrey Durup in his first boat ‘La Belle Caroline’ used to organize diving excursions for Poseidon … Read More
  • Anthony Barker, Da Nang, Vietnam
    Anthony Barker is one of the leading figures of Vietnamese wildlife conservation in the hospitality industry and an expert in the protection of the red-shanked douc langur, a native species of primate which is classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). He is the … Read More
  • Ivan Liptuga, Ukraine
    Ivan Liptuga is from the beautiful Ukrainian Black Sea resort town of Odessa in southern Ukraine. It’s known for its beaches and 19th-century architecture, including the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater. The monumental Potemkin Stairs, immortalized in “The Battleship Potemkin,” lead down to the waterfront with its Vorontsov Lighthouse. Running … Read More
  • Dov Kalmann, Israel
    During the first chapter of the Covid-19 pandemic when the global tourism industry was at a full standstill, Dov renamed his marketing & PR company to “Terranova Tourism Marketing & Consultancy”, true to his belief that tourism will and must change with a much more sustainable and meaningful set of … Read More
  • Prof. Dr. Snežana Štetić, Serbia
    Dr Snežana Štetić is working in Tourism 40+ years and in education for Tourism 40 years all together. She finished her MSc in Marketing in tourism at University of Belgrade and also her PhD in economics, tourism and hotel management. From 1981 – 1985 Specializations at: LSE- London school of … Read More
  • Meet our Tourism Heroes at Word Travel Market London Nov 1, 2021
    The World Tourism Network is inviting participants attending the World Travel Market in London to attend our Tourism Heroes Reception and meet many of our tourism heroes. When? Monday, November 1, 2021, 4.00 pm (16.00) Where: World Travel Market Stand AF 250 Kenya Tourism Board Excel Exhibition Center London, UK … Read More
  • The Anonymous Tourism Hero
    Tourism is composed of thousands of people who unselfishly create bonds between individuals, cultures and nations. These tourism stars are the industry’s unsung heroes who bring light to a world swamped in darkness. The World Tourism Network seeks to bring these tourism heroes to light. Tourism is more than a … Read More
  • Jens Thraenhart, Thailand
    Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office I have known and worked on various projects with Jens on and off for over 10 years. He has an extraordinary capacity to connect with people from across sectors and roles and make ‘inclusiveness’ into something which is practical and tangible. He is just as comfortable … Read More
  • Frank Comito, FL, USA & Bahamas
    Frank has 40 years+ of experience in tourism and economic development, organization management, government affairs, project management, workforce development, research, and in providing business and investor support on a range of tourism initiatives in The Bahamas, the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean.  Until January, 2021 he … Read More
  • Joseph Kafunda, Walvis Bay, Namibia
    Joseph Kafunda is the Chairperson of the Emerging Tourism Enterprise Association and a member of the World Tourism Network. Mr. Joseph Kafunda has been instrumental during all 3 months, he held Zoom webinars to motivate his Association members to remain positive and strong during this pandemic. He started to help … Read More
  • Karolin Troubetzkoy, St. Lucia
    Karolin Troubetzkoy is the Executive Director, Marketing and Operations of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain Resorts in Soufriere, Saint Lucia, a position she held since 1986. From March 2010 to January 2016 and again from 2018-June 2021, Mrs Troubetzkoy served as President of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association … Read More
  • Amaka Amatokwu-Ndekwu, Lagos, Nigeria
    Amaka is the Co-founder of recently established African Association of Women In Tourism and Hospitality. She is a US & Nigeria based award-winning hospitality professional with a proven history of tenacity, strong drive, passion and leadership for over 10 years. She obtained an AMP certificate from Lagos Business School focused … Read More
  • Paul Rogers, NSW, Australia
    Founder of Planet Happiness He understands the needs of destinations in terms of building back better; shares information about our product offering; builds synergies with destinations and other partners to support Covid-19 resilience & recovery. Paul has 20 years of experience as a senior tourism advisor to national and local … Read More
  • Mary Rhodes, Guam
    Mary Rhodes is president of the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association. Mary Rhodes has been President of the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association. During 2020 and 2021, Mrs. Rhodes has led several initiatives during the pandemic to ensure the health and safety of industry employees, residents of the community and … Read More
  • Efsun Ahmadov, Baku, Azerbaijan
    Mr. Ahmadov is CEO of Next Group LLC in Azerbaijan. Due to the pandemic, the world has been experiencing a tourism crisis for almost two years. Of course, this is the situation in Azerbaijan as well. Nonetheless, tourism workers who love their jobs go out of their way to protect … Read More
  • Michael Nahon, Paris, France
    Michel Nahon is the Associate Director of Voyage Solidaire par Velvet Globe. Voyage Solidaire is an association created in 2010 as a group or laboratory of ideas between professionals of International Tourism, intended to develop reflections on new possible connections between new forms of travel and philanthropy Since January 2019, … Read More
  • Yanina Gavrilova, Kyiv, Ukraine
    Yanina Gavrilova is the Head of the Board of the Civic Union “Ukrainian Tourist Guides Association” since the beginning (2016). Now the “Ukrainian Tourist Guides Association” is the leading trade union in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Ukrainian Tourist Guides Association” has n increased its membership. … Read More
  • Nicolás Villalobos, Canary Islands, Spain
    In March 2020 because of COVID-19, the Spanish government such as other administrations around the world imposed the alarm-state: Companies, schools, industries, airports, ports, trains,…everything was closed. Citizens could not go out from their homes and hundreds of tourists in Spain were locked up in Hotels where services of food, … Read More
  • Prof. Dr. Klodiana Gorica, Tirana, Albania
    KLODIANA GORICA is a Full Professor in University of Tirana, Faculty of Economy Albania Also, she is: National Contact Point for Albania in European Institute of Innovation and Technology EIT https://eit.europa.eu/; Coordinator of BLUEWBC project for University of Tirana (Sustainable Development of BLUE Economies through higher education and innovation in … Read More
  • Deme Mouhamed Faouzou, Dakar, Senegal
    Deme Mouhamed Faouou is the advisor of the Ministry of Tourism and Air Transport in Senegal. He was nominated by Josef Kafunda in Namibia among others to become a Tourism Hero. Mr. Deme Mouhamed Faouzou has been instrumental when it comes to Tourism Investment in Senegal and beyond. He is … Read More
  • Sister Juliet Lithemba, Lesotho
    For Sister Juliet Lithemba, the past year has been “nothing short of grace and mercy from above”, as she explains it. The 77-year-old resident of Mt Royal Convent of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, located in Lesotho’s Leribe district, didn’t know much about COVID-19 until her convent home and fellow sisters were … Read More
  • Manuel Flores, Mexico City, Mexico
    Manuel Flores is the Chief of the Mexico City Tourism Police and created the department.He is now working on establishing a national Tourism Police Department. Manuel created a sense of tourism security for the city of Acapulco and then moved onto Mexico City where he has influenced not only the … Read More
  • Kornelia Ferizaj, Albania
    Kornelia Ferizaj is the General Director of Albania National Tourism Agency.She was nominated a a tourism hero by WTN Balkan president Aleksandra Gardasevic-Slavuljica Like the rest of the Balkan countries, Albania is facing a lot of difficulties. The transition process that the country is going through is quite complicated. In addition to it, the … Read More
  • Robin Richman, Steppin Out, Chicago, IL, USA
    Robin Richman is now a tourism hero. Tourism may not be possible, but virtual tourism is – and it pays tour guides. Robin Richman owns Steppin Out Adventure in Chicago. has been working hard to create a program so that small community-based tourism programs can have opportunities to generate much-needed … Read More
  • Abigail Olagbaye, Nigeria
    Head of ATB Technology, Innovation, Free Movement and Facilitation. Abigail is the ambassador for the African Tourism Board.She had been working in travel and tourism for 15 years. She is the organizer and brainchild for the African Tourism Day and a number of other international events . She said: “Thank … Read More
  • Gorden “Butch” Steward, Sandals Resorts, Jamaica
    When you do good things, do them quietly. This is what Mr. Steward is representing as a founder of Sandals Resorts.  He is the founder, owner, and chairman of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, and their parent company Sandals Resorts International, as well as The ATL Group and its subsidiaries Appliance Traders and The … Read More
  • Deepak RajJoshi, Kathmandu, Nepal
    Nominated by Suresh SinghBudal of the PATA Nepal Chapter: Mr. Deepak Raj Joshi is currently leading Nepal’s tourism recovery initiative as a coordinator for the Tourism Recovery Task Force, TRTF-Nepal. He is a member of Rebuilding travel and the Project Hope Task Force Board. Mr. Joshi served as the Chief … Read More
  • Rudolf F. Herrmann, Penang, Malaysia
    It is an honor being nominated for the Tourism Hero award by my fellow study members of international aspiring entrepreneurs. Myself, being of German origin I do live in Malaysia. P.O. Box 67010780 GPO Penang, Pulau, Pinang, Malaysia Accredited tourism business economist by profession, I am also a certified hotel … Read More
  • Agnes Mucuha, Nairobi, Kenya
    Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) www.katakenya.com Josephine Kuria, Lordstown Travel Group Ltd: Mrs. Agnes has qualities of a good leader which include integrity, empathy, humility, influence, and positivity. She is good at reading people and adapting to necessary management styles. Stephen Mbatha, Emirates: Agnes … Read More
  • Peter Byrne, Tanzania
    anzania and Zanzibar have reopened to a new kind of tourism. Peter Byrne, CEO of Mafia Island in Tanzania, developed a 20-point approach and introduced it at the rebuilding.travel platform: “Let’s build a persona around the idea of ‘new tourism’ (slow, immersive, kind, local, sustainable, climate-friendly) with hospitality back, front, and center – as … Read More
  • Dale Evans, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
    Charley’s Taxi has provided transportation services to Hawaii since 1938. It is proud to be a 3rd generation, woman-owned business, and Hawaii’s premier transportation provider. Safer Tourism safety and security experts evaluated Charley’s Taxi and found this company to be a model for transportation and taxi businesses. The Safer Tourism … Read More
  • Hon. Secretary Najib Balala, Kenya
    Secretary of Tourism, Kenya Tourism is one of the world’s leading industries and a major economic development tool, and as such, security (crime and terrorism) has a major impact on the tourism, cruise, and event-oriented economies. Additionally, much of the entire world has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and … Read More
  • Prof. Geoffrey Lipman, Brussels, Belgium
    Professor Geoffrey Lipman is Creative Disruption Architect and Director of greenearth.travel, a global think tank network promoting green growth & travelism (travel & tourism) and specializing in strategy, innovation & funding. Prof. Lipman is an Adjunct Professor of Victoria University Australia; Visiting Professor of Hasselt University BE; Visiting Professor of Oxford Brookes … Read More
  • Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica
    The Hon. Edmund Bartlett today was welcomed to the International Tourism Hall of Heroes recognizing his wide-ranging expertise and accomplishments in the political arena. Honorable Edmund Bartlett has given over thirty-five years of service to Jamaica, working both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. Minister Bartlett’s reach … Read More
  • Dr. Taleb Rifai, Jordan
    Dr. Taleb Rifai  was born in 1949. He is a Jordanian economist who was the Secretary-General of the  United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)  based in Madrid, Spain, until December 31, 2017, having held the post since being unanimously elected in 2010 in Zambia/Zimbabwe at the UNWTO General Assembly. Dr. Taleb Rifai was elected … Read More
  • Louis D’Amore, New York, USA
    IIPT USA Louis D’Amore is Founder and President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT). He has been instrumental in promoting the travel and tourism industry as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry” since the founding of IIPT in 1986. Dr. D’Amore has been a pioneer in promoting … Read More
  • Tom Jenkins, London, UK
    CEO ETOA Tom Jenkins has been CEO of ETOA for twenty years. Tom ensures ETOA’s financial viability and oversees the strategic development of all ETOA projects and practices. This includes keeping ETOA at the forefront of travel industry matters and reporting back to the membership on developments at a European … Read More
  • Cuthbert Ncube, South Africa
    Chairman of African Tourism Board:  It is a new Dawn as we Usher in the Voice of Africa by Africa in Africa. It’s the birth of the African Tourism Board (ATB) whose mandate is to drive the vision and the aspirations of more than 1,323,568,478 people in Africa.” This was … Read More
  • Eng Dr. Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe
    Former Foreign Minister and Minister of Tourism for Zimbabwe, Eng. Walter Mzembi: Dr. Mzembi’s story is of one who has refused to succumb to adversity both political and in health scare. He continues to serve the tourism sector with distinction. He accepted to steer the sensitive Safety, Security, Crisis and … Read More
  • Vijay Poonoosamy, Singapore
    Vijay Poonoosamy is the Singapore-based Director International and Public Affairs of QI Group, an Honorary Member of the Hermes Air Transport Organisation, a Non-Executive Member of the Board of Veling Group, a member of the International Board of Experts of Rebuilding Travel, of the Advisory Board of the World Tourism … Read More
  • Aleksandra Gardasevic Slavuljica, MBA, Podgorcia, Montenegro
    Alexandra Gardasecvic works under very difficult conditions. First of all, Montenegro and the Balkan region are hardly hit with corona and this fact dominates all other circumstances. Also, the region is very effected by political turbulence, elections, protests, etc. All these mean that it is very hard to promote rebuilding … Read More
  • Maricar Donato, Washington DC USA
    Maricar is a brand ambassador for the World Federation of Tourist Guide Association and based in the US Capital City Washington DC. She also runs Washington Tours & Events She explains about herself: I work as a multilingual tourist guide and tourism director. I have been appointed as the first Global … Read More
  • Diana McIntyre-Pike, Jamaica
    Diana McIntyre-Pike has been serving her Jamaica community and gave her self-less services to the better of tourism to many parts in the world. Outstanding service to the development and training of communities in entrepreneurship and basic hospitality skills and created the VILLAGES AS BUSINESSES PROGRAMME which is being implemented … Read More
  • Alain St. Ange, Seychelles
    Alain St.Ange is the Former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine for the Republic of Seychelles. He is currently competing in the presidential election of the country. He was appointed as the Seychelles Director of Marketing in 2009, and in 2010, promoted to CEO of the Seychelles … Read More
  • Ambassador Dho Young-shim, Republic of Korea
    Ambassador Dho Young-shim, Chairperson of UN World Tourism Organization’s Sustainable Tourism for Eliminating Poverty Foundation. The SDG Advocates are 17 inspiring, influential people raising global awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the need for accelerated action. They use their unique global platforms to raise ambition around the SDGs … Read More