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Here’s how Travel + Leisure chose the Global Vision Awards panel and whittled down the contenders to the final list of honorees.

By T+L Editors
March 18, 2021
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Banks Peninsula at sunset, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand, Pacific with a Travel+Leisure Global Vision Awards logo
Credit: Getty Images

Travel + Leisure's Global Vision Awards aims to identify and honor companies, individuals, destinations, and organizations taking strides to develop more sustainable and responsible travel products, practices, and experiences. Not only are they demonstrating thought leadership and creative problem-solving, they are taking actionable, quantifiable steps to protect communities and environments around the world. What's more, they are inspiring their industry colleagues and travelers to do their part.

In order to ensure a broad spectrum of innovations were represented in the Global Vision Awards, Travel + Leisure editors assembled a panel of experts across the travel, hospitality, and retail industries, as well as the non-profit sector. These thought-leaders have each made concerted efforts to support more eco-friendly and responsible initiatives in their personal and professional lives. Each person submitted a list of nominations, along with a short explanation for each pick. Panelists were prohibited from nominating themselves or their own projects. Some panelists are affiliated with honorees on this year's list; these nominations came from others on the panel, and were vetted by the editors without regard to the makeup of the panel. 

All nominations were vetted by editor at large Jeff Chu and the editors of Travel + Leisure.

The Panel

Ronald Akili is the founder of Potato Head, an Indonesia-based boutique hospitality group.

Ewald Biemans is the founder of Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort in Aruba.

Jessica Blotter is the cofounder of Kind Traveler, a socially conscious booking platform.

Denise Bober is the senior vice president of human resources at the Breakers Palm Beach.

Charles Carlow is the founder of Australian hospitality company Wild Bush Luxury.

Julia Coney is a journalist and founder of Black Wine Professionals.

Kellee Edwards is a journalist and host of T+L's podcast Let's Go Together.

Susie Ellis is the chairman and CEO of the Global Wellness Institute.

Daniela Fernandez is the founder of the Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Julia Jackson is the founder of Grounded, an organization and annual summit focused on addressing climate change.

Neil Jacobs is the CEO of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas.

Natalie Kidd is the chief people and purpose officer at tour operator Intrepid Travel.

José Koechlin is the founder of Peruvian hotel group and eco-tourism company Inkaterra.

Jeninne Lee-St. John is the editor in chief of Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia.

Martinique Lewis is the president of the Black Travel Alliance.

Sven-Olof Lindblad is the CEO of expedition-cruise operator Lindblad Expeditions.  

Alyssa London is the founder of Culture Story, a media company focusing on Indigenous stories.

Henrietta Loyd is the founder of luxury tour operator Cazenove & Loyd

Virgilio Martinez is the chef at Central, in Lima, Peru, and Mil, near Cusco.

Andrea Meza Murillo is the environment and energy minister of Costa Rica.

Gregory Miller is the executive director of the Center for Responsible Travel.

Hernán Mladinic is the Latin America representative for the International Land Conservation Network.

Nate Mook is the CEO of World Central Kitchen, a non-governmental not-for-profit organization providing food relief after natural disasters.

Bruce Poon Tip is the founder of tour operator G Adventures.

Shalmali Rao Paterson is a senior travel consultant at luxury tour operator Wild Frontiers.

Thomas E. Remengesau Jr. is the former president of Palau.

Roberto J. Serrallés is a board member for Puerto Rican land trust Para La Naturaleza and a sixth-generation rum maker at Don Q.

Lucia Soria is the chef at Jacinto and Pizzería Rosa in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Fred Swaniker is the cofounder of the African Leadership Academy and African Leadership Network. 

Nozipho Sasha Thorne is the director of programs for BoMake Rural Projects, an economic development nonprofit in Eswatini.

Rebecca Van Bergen is the founder of Nest, a nonprofit organization focused on the social and economic advancement of homeworkers and artisans.

Ed Verner is the chef at Pasture and Boxer, in Auckland, New Zealand.

Austin Whitman is the CEO of Climate Neutral, a certification for brands that reach zero-net-carbon status.