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Supermodel Petra Nemcova, Founder & Chair, Happy Hearts Fund, Presented With World Tourism Humanitarian Award And Earthwatch Institute, Singita and Google Received 2014 World Tourism Awards at World Travel Market, London

NEW YORK and LONDON, Nov. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Petra Nemcova, Supermodel and Founder & Chair, Happy Hearts Fund (HHF), received the World Tourism Humanitarian Award at the annual World Tourism Awards ceremony at World Travel Market, Excel Centre, London, Monday Nov. 3, 2014. World Tourism Awards were also presented to Earthwatch Institute, Singita and Google. The award presentation was hosted by Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor and world renowned travel expert.

The World Tourism Awards, celebrating its 17th Anniversary, are co-sponsored by Corinthia Hotels, International New York Times, Reed Travel Exhibitions, and – this year for the first time – United Airlines. Inaugurated in 1997, the World Tourism Awards were established to recognize "the extraordinary initiatives by individuals, companies, organizations, destinations, and attractions for outstanding accomplishments in the travel industry."

The World Tourism Humanitarian Award was presented "in recognition of Petra Nemcova's inspiring philanthropic initiative and vision in creating Happy Hearts Fund in 2006. By the end of 2014, HHF will have rebuilt 100 safe-resilient schools in areas impacted by natural disasters to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Tsunami, bringing hope and empowerment to more than 46,000 children and 490,000 community members in nine countries around the world".

Happy Hearts Fund (HHF) was started by Ms. Nemcova in 2005 as a result of her own personal experience and tragic loss after she survived the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. HHF received its 501(c)(3) status in 2006 with a mission to rebuild safe-resilient schools in areas impacted by natural disasters. HHF works during the gap period when children are forgotten after emergency response is complete, bringing hope and empowerment to generations of children and entire communities. Since its inception, Petra has been personally involved in HHF on a daily basis, establishing the structure, vision, and strategy that would position HHF for long-term success. Petra's personal experience of survival in the Tsunami helps her understand and connect with the children and community members being helped by HHF.

Petra Nemcova, as an internationally famous supermodel, is currently an ambassador for Chopard & Clinique brands. She is also the founder of the home decor brand, Be The Light New York, which is inspired by treasures from her travels. As a philanthropist, in addition to the Happy Hearts Fund, she currently serves as an Ambassador at Large to Haiti.

The three distinguished 2014 World Tourism Award Honourees were recognized for their commitment to conservation, sustainable tourism development, as well as providing opportunities to assist local communities in overcoming challenging times.

The first award honoured Earthwatch Institute, "in recognition of its mission to promote a sustainable way of life through education and field research, enlisting more than 100,000 people, in nearly 1,400 conservation projects in more than 120 countries, so that future generations may enjoy all the natural wonders the planet has to offer". Accepting the Award on behalf of Earthwatch Institute was Sue Holden, Executive Director, Earthwatch Institute.

The second award honoured Singita - Place of Miracles, "in recognition of its vision and dedication to environmentally conscious hospitality, through the development of sustainable conservation programs and successful community projects resulting in the empowerment of local communities living and working around the twelve Singita lodges in Africa." Accepting the Award on behalf of Singita was Elle Reinink, European Sales & Marketing, Singita.

The third award honoured Google, "in recognition for developing the cutting edge global social network platform and technology, Google Glass that enabled committed photographers around the world to share their travel experiences in real time, directly into the homes of people whose mobility is limited". Accepting the Award on behalf of Google was Lasse Wassermann, Senior Program Manager, Google.

Presenting the awards on behalf of the sponsors were Fiona Harris, Director of International PR, Corinthia Hotels; Kate Macbeth, Head of Marketing & Communications, WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions; Patrick Falconer, Managing Director – UK, The New York Times; and Bob Schumacher, Managing Director Sales, United Kingdom and Ireland, United Airlines.

The World Tourism Award, Inspire, is a specially handcrafted design by Mdina Glass, made on the Mediterranean Island of Malta, to celebrate the qualities of leadership and vision that inspire others to reach new heights.

-ENDS-

For more information about Earthwatch Institute, visit www.earthwatch.org

For more information about Singita, visit www.singita.com

For more information about Google Glass, visit www.google.com/glass/start/explorer-stories

For more information about Happy Hearts Fund, visit www.happyheartsfund.org

For more information about Corinthia Hotels, visit www.corinthia.com

For more information about United Airlines, visit www.united.com

For more information about The International New York Times, visit www.nytimesglobal.com

Photos attached:

Photo 1:

2014 World Tourism Awards, World Travel Market 2014, ExCeL, London – From left to right: Fiona Harris, Director of International Public Relations, Corinthia Hotels; Bob Schumacher, Managing Director Sales, United Kingdom & Ireland, United Airlines; Sue Holden, Executive Director, Earthwatch Institute; Elle Reinink, European Sales & Marketing, Singita; Lasse Wassermann, Senior Program Manager, Google; Petra Nemcova, Founder and Chair, Happy Hearts Fund; Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor, CBS News; and Patrick Falconer, Managing Director UK, The New York Times.

Photo 2:

2014 World Tourism Awards, World Travel Market 2014, ExCeL, London – From left to right: Kate Macbeth, Head Of Marketing & Communications, WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions; Fiona Harris, Director of International Public Relations, Corinthia Hotels; Petra Nemcova, Founder and Chair, Happy Hearts Fund; Bob Schumacher, Managing Director Sales, United Kingdom & Ireland, United Airlines; Patrick Falconer, Managing Director UK, The New York Times; and Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor, CBS News

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28817

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=28818

CONTACT: Karen Hoffman/Chanel LeMond Tel: 212 447 0027 Fax: 212 725 8235 Email: info@bradfordglobalmarketing.comSource: The World Tourism Awards