New York, NY – September 9, 2023 – A globe-spanning hotel company, a museum near the Arctic Circle, luxury Peruvian inns, world-class California aquarium and a nine-block
revitalized urban area captured SATW Phoenix Awards for History,
Culture and the Environment this year.
The society announced five winners Sept. 8 at its annual convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts pioneered sound environmental practices, programs that were emulated by other hotel companies and organizations. The Iceland’s Herring Era Museum has revitalized a small town after it lost its fishing industry. The first carbon-neutral hotel group in the world, Inkaterra promotes research and conservation in the Peruvian rainforest and operates with cultural sensitivity to the native population. Monterey Bay Aquarium is a global voice in marine research and encourages sustainable seafood consuming practices. Local citizens have transformed a once blighted and avoided area into an engaging arts and entertainment district at Shreveport Common.
“The five winners of the 2023 SATW Phoenix Awards for History, Culture and the Environment represent enormous diversity, which exemplifies the variety of qualities that merit an award based on history, culture and the environment,” said Bea Broda, chair of SATW’s Phoenix Awards Committee. “Whether big or small, each winner has proven that they have successfully achieved all of the standards we require in order to receive an SATW Phoenix Award.”
Founded in 1969, SATW’s Phoenix Awards for History, Culture and the Environment recognize and honor destinations that showcase responsible, sustainable tourism, including conservation; preservation; beautification and anti-pollution efforts as they relate to travel. North America’s premier travel media organization maintains a long-standing focus on sustainability and appreciates the benefits of cultural understanding and economic activity that come with travel.
Awardees may be individuals, communities or organizations that have contributed to a quality travel experience through conservation, preservation, beautification or environmental and cultural efforts. Nominations must be made by SATW members; they are then reviewed by the SATW Phoenix Committee and submitted with recommendations to the Board of Directors for final approval.
The five 2023 winners are:
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts: The company has spearheaded environmental stewardship and sustainable practices in the resort and hotel industry since the early 1990s. Among its properties, then Canadian Pacific Hotels was the first hotel company to launch a comprehensive policy with the Green Partnership Program and publication of a handbook used industry-wide. Later they initiated Eco-Meet, a program intended to minimize environmental impact during business conferences. They were the first hotel group to ask guests to reuse towels. The company is dedicated to reducing its properties water and consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps most well-known is its Bee Sustainable program, where bee apiaries are installed on hotel rooftops and harvested honey appears in restaurant dishes. In the decades since, the company’s practices have expanded to setting and achieving goals for reducing CO2 emissions, and installing an innovative atmospheric water generator that produces water from air in the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in the UAE.
Herring Era Museum: Until the mid-20th century, herring fishing was Iceland’s largest industry, much of it centered in a northern coast town, Siglufjörður . Known as the Klondike of the Atlantic, the town once supported 120 companies that processed herring from more than 700 ships. Every summer, people caught, salted and exported herring. Then overfishing decimated the catch, companies closed and the town faced extinction. Starting in 1977, the community came together and created a heritage museum out of three old buildings, the 1915 Norwegian Sailor’s home, 1907 salting station and an 1886 Icelandic house. Parts of the buildings had to be demolished and rebuilt, storms sometimes thwarted efforts, but by 1994 the first museum building opened. Artifacts were collected from all over Iceland, boat-repair is ongoing, creating life-like displays, as though the fishermen and salters had just briefly left. It is now Iceland’s largest maritime museum, and brings 30,00 visitors to this town of 1,300.
Inkaterra Hotels: The seven-hotel group in the Amazon rainforest, at Machu Pichu and Cusco focuses on preserving Peru’s natural gifts and culture. A pioneer in sound environmental practices since its founding 47 years ago, Inkterra was the first Peruvian company to be declared carbon neutral. The United Nations named it the world’s first “Climate Positive” hotel brand. The company partners with scientists in benchmark flora and fauna studies. Species inventoried on its properties comprise 814 birds, 365 ants, 313 butterflies and more than 100 mammals. Initiatives on biodiversity include the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway designed to study the rainforest canopy, the Spectacles Bear Rescue Center and the world’s largest native orchid collection. It partners with Peruvian companies and organizations to process trash into bio-fuel and fertilizer and with individuals to process used vegetable oil. The company engages the local communities. More than 4,000 locals have found Inkaterra careers in hospitality, field guidance and agroforestry projects aimed to sustain environmental stewardship.
Monterey Bay Aquarium: Opened in 1984, the aquarium was the first to focus its permanent exhibits on the marine life of its home region, the waters of Monterey Bay and the Central California Coast. Its innovative displays include a living kelp forest, a 90-foot replica of the deepest habitats in the bay waters, and a large-scale jellyfish display. It was the first aquarium to successfully exhibit young great white sharks and return them to open ocean. Beyond its exceptional displays that attract about 2 million visitors per year, the aquarium is committed to environmental conservation and education. It has transformed the seafood and restaurant industries through the innovative “Seafood Watch” program, which identifies seafood species that are sustainably harvested and those that are endangered. They lead in efforts to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans, and in studying the effects of climate change on the seas. It’s classroom center, a LEED gold-level facility, provides educator training and youth programs. Aquarium scientists contribute to oceanographic research with papers and scientific articles. It is housed in a repurposed fish cannery, once one of many on Monterey’s Cannery Row.
Shreveport Common: A once-blighted and avoided historic area is being transformed into a vibrant arts and entertainment neighborhood through community Creative Placemaking efforts. The nine-block area, once part of the Texas Trail, was a hub for entrepreneurs, architects, musicians and especially people of color and first-generation immigrants in the last century. Distinguished architects designed many of the buildings, which by the late 1980s became difficult to maintain. Blight and abandonment set in, and then a fire in 2009 destroyed the Shreveport Regional Arts Council offices. With boot-strap efforts, it got a new home, the Central ARTSTATION, a repurposed fire house. It sparked a renaissance, starting with National Endowment for the Arts grant to realize a Creative Placemaking Community Vision Plan. Hundreds of meetings with the community, stakeholders, and a team of preservationists, architects and landscape designers brought the plan to life. Today a restored Municipal Auditorium, a grand promenade area, a park with public art and performance areas, and artist housing are completed with more than $60 million in private-public investment, much of it from Shreveport small businesses.
The SATW Membership
Founded in 1955, SATW maintains its distinction as North America’s premier professional travel media organization by constantly learning from and reevaluating needs of a changing world and its media landscape. The organization is made up of 1,000 of the travel industry’s most experienced journalists, photographers, editors, broadcast/video/film producers, bloggers, website owners, media relations experts and hospitality industry representatives from the United States, Canada and beyond.
A Welcoming, Vibrant and Professional Community
Bringing together travel media and destinations, SATW is a vital resource for the travel industry. It is a community in which professionals can network, learn through professional development, share peer-to-peer best practices and experiences, and build relationships. All members must meet and maintain the industry’s highest standards of productivity, ethics and conduct, and they must support SATW’s mission of “Inspiring Travel Through Responsible Journalism.”
SATW also champions the ongoing struggle for equality and welcomes all professionals. Besides its formal statements supporting diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion, it publicly welcomes all races, religions, ethnicities, physical abilities, sexual orientations and gender identifications. The very active (DEAI) Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion Committee presents programs on diversity and strives to ensure that membership is inclusive.
MEDIA REQUESTS: For additional information and interviews with SATW President Kim Foley MacKinnon, or with SATW Incoming President, Lydia Schrandt, contact SATW’s External Communications Manager, Victoria Larson, firstname.lastname@example.org.