Gender Champion of the Year Award

The Gender Equality Champion of the Year Award is an international recognition within the tourism and hospitality industries, bestowed upon organisations that exhibit excellence in their dedication to gender equality. 

Celebrate your success

Recognise the hard work of your team, praising their innovation and dedication to addressing gender equality.

Gain a competitive edge

Showcase your organisation as one that is leading the way towards the industry’s sustainability goals.

Create Global Change

Set an industry example for ways in which organisations can support gender equality in the workplace.

About the Award

The Gender Equality Champion of the Year Award is an internationally recognised honour within the tourism and hospitality industries. The award is bestowed upon organisations that demonstrate excellence in their commitment to gender equality.

Launched in 2022, the award, acknowledges leaders in gender equality and showcases their exceptional practises, facilitating their adoption and enhancement throughout the sector.

The award is a tribute to those in the industry who are pioneering the way towards a more gender-balanced world. Its aim is to promote progress and endorse accomplishments, encouraging tourism firms to integrate gender equality into their policies and work methodologies.

The crowning moment of the award cycle is the presentation ceremony held at ITB Berlin, where the organisation demonstrating the highest commitment to gender equality will receive the only award of its kind in the industry on a global platform.

Gender Equality Champion Logo
A representative of Travel Excellence, the 2023 winner, holding the Gender Equality Champion of the Year Award

Gender Equality Champion of the Year 2023:
Travel Excellence

On International Women’s Day (March 8, 2023), Costa Rican travel operator Travel Excellence was the first organisation to receive this prestigious award. 

The judging panel for the award was extremely impressed with Travel Excellence’s commitment to gender equality. The organisation publicly recognised that unconscious biases meant they could not make an objective evaluation of the gender inequality within their business. They began to rigorously review their policies and built a plan and legislation that came from the ground up through discussion groups to close gender gaps.

During the award ceremony, they presented a video detailing their methodologies in order to inspire other organisations with strategies that can be replicated across the industry. 

Highly Commended Runners Up

ETUR is a sustainable travel operator in Ecuador that is focused on giving the traveller the opportunity to contribute socioeconomically to local communities and generate an environmentally responsible impact during their visit.

With 52% of tourism service providers being women, ETUR has implemented a business policy that focuses on recruitment, promotion, and selection of service providers with gender equality in mind. They strive to reclaim the role of women in tourism through a “from the ground up” approach and even have a programme specifically for female travellers.

ETUR’s commitment to gender equality is evident in their actions to ensure that women have equal opportunities in the tourism industry. They are working hard to set a president for how tourism can be used to empower women and benefit both the planet and local communities.

Adventure Women Logo

AdventureWomen is a women-owned and women-run travel company from the United States of America, that prioritises gender equality in the workplace. 

They offer a hybrid work model that creates the opportunity for a balance of work-from-home and in-office hours with highly flexible schedules tailored to accommodate the various demands that women experience outside of work. As well as this, the company’s parental leave benefit surpasses the state or national law, and they implement a zero-tolerance, zero-retaliation policy against sexual harassment. 

These are just some of the strategies that impressed the judges, demonstrating a clear understanding of the obstacles women face in the workplace. They set a great example of commitment to gender equality in the workplace.

Meet our Award Sponsors

We’re excited to announce that the first Gender Equality Champion of the Year Award for the tourism and hospitality sector will be sponsored by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance).

The Alliance drives collaborative action to enable the hospitality industry to have a lasting positive impact on the planet and its people. By working with CEOs and C-suite representatives from across the hospitality industry, alongside strategic partners, they are able to implement strategic action worldwide to create a prosperous and responsible hospitality sector that gives back to the destination more than it takes.

Their members have a reach of 7 million rooms and include world-leading hotel companies as well as regional brands. Their network also includes other parts of the hospitality value chain, including owners, investors, and suppliers, to further drive joined-up action on sustainability and accelerate the industry on the path to net-positive hospitality.

“It’s an honour to sponsor such a prestigious award for Equality in Tourism. Celebrating organisations who are addressing the need for gender equality within the sector, is a priority and this year’s winner is very much deserved. The award aligns with our Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality, addressing fairness in the industry when it comes to people. I’m certain that as the awards mature, we’ll be acknowledging more winners, like Travel Excellence who we’re awarding today.”

Glenn Mandziuk

CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

Should you have any questions about the awards, please don’t hesitate to email us at

Wherever we refer to ‘women’ and ‘men’ in the questionnaire it includes people who identify as women or men, but may not be biological men or women. Your personal information entered in the online application forms will only be used to process your application for the award, we will not share your information with third parties.