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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Announcing the 2016 Hearts of Travel Awards Honorees

Tourism Cares community salutes Abercrombie & Kent, Universal Orlando Resort, AFAR Media, and Mr. Jonathan Tisch

Press Release – Canton, MA — November 17, 2016 — The Tourism Cares board of directors and the awards selection committee proudly announce the honorees of the 2016 Hearts of Travel Awards, recognizing excellence in travel corporate social responsibility and philanthropy.

Abercrombie & Kent and Universal Orlando Resort share this year’s Legacy in Travel Philanthropy Award, honoring long term impact in corporate philanthropy and—new this year—recognizing the contributions of companies of different sizes and giving budgets.

AFAR Media is the winner of the New Innovators Award award, recognizing philanthropic achievement among those new to giving, having started a program within the last three to six years.

And Mr. Jonathan Tisch is the recipient of the Personal Philanthropic Leadership Award. A long-time, dedicated leader of corporate responsibility, Mr. Tisch is co-chairman of the board of Loews Corporation and chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts.

The awards celebrate and share these models of corporate social change, to inspire others to start or improve their own efforts.

After an open call for nominations, 20 companies were nominated for the Legacy in Travel Philanthropy and New Innovators awards; the Leadership honoree was selected by the Tourism Cares board of directors. The committee scored submissions in the following areas: theory of action and execution (problem statement, activities, and outcomes); community engagement; storytelling; communications and advocacy; integration into their core business; and overall financial commitment.

The selection committee consists of leaders in the travel and philanthropic industries:

  • Dien Yuen, Kordant Philanthropy Advisors
  • Kristin Lamoureux, Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, New York University
  • Melissa Wisniewski, Key 360 Advisors
  • Jennifer Wilson Buttigieg, Valerie Wilson Travel
  • Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly

Highlights among the winning nominations include:

  • Abercrombie & Kent’s 30 year commitment to giving back. In 2016 alone, corporate contributions, guest contributions and the value of in-kind donations totaled more than $2.5 million. In addition to managing 30 projects across seven continents, they also employ full-time community development professionals in eight countries.
  • Universal Orlando Resort’s Universal Orlando Foundation, which has has given more than $14 million to the Central Florida Community,  funding projects like Art of Tomorrow—a collaboration between the resort, the Universal Orlando Foundation and Orange County Public Schools which inspires teenagers to stay in school and pursue careers as professional artists and designers. More than 1,000 students have participated in the program.
  • AFAR Media’s early efforts to provide 613 scholarships to youth as well as funding various programs across the country—all with the theme that travel is the best form of education for young people.
  • Mr. Jonathan Tisch’s leadership in supporting New York tourism. Among many positions serving as chairman for travel organizations like the United States Travel Association and NYC & Company,  Mr. Tisch was also the chairman of New York Rising, a task force committed to reviving tourism and the economy in New York City, leading Crain’s  New York Business to name him one of  its “Top Ten Most Influential Business Leaders in 2006.”

The awards will be presented at the Hearts of Travel Awards reception, immediately preceding Travel Weekly’s Readers Choice Awards, 5 pm December 15, 2016, at the Conrad Hotel in New York City. Tickets can be purchased at

The Awards are made possible by: Legacy award sponsor American Express, New Innovator award sponsor Amadeus and Leadership award sponsor Trip Mate.

About Tourism Cares

Tourism Cares, Inc., a US 501(c)(3) public charity, that preserves and enriches the travel experience for future generations. Founded and supported by leading associations and companies in the travel industry, the Tourism Cares community invests its resources, talent and influence in three areas: supporting underappreciated and at risk destinations and communities; investing in those entering the industry and professional development for emerging leaders; and sharing travel corporate social responsibility knowledge and best practices so that individual businesses can best support their own causes. Learn more at and @TourismCares.

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