The Sandals Foundation has found another reason to celebrate this year with the NGO copping the award for Responsible/Philanthropic Travel Foundation at the recently held Agents’ Choice Awards Gala in Toronto, Canada. The Sandals Foundation, which marked its 10th anniversary in March this year, was founded by Sandals Resorts International Deputy Chairman, Adam Stewart to expand the philanthropic work of the successful resort chain in the Caribbean.
“We remain committed to providing opportunities for the development and sustainable growth of our Caribbean people and the region as a whole. While this remains our focus, we are very pleased to be recognized with this award and thank all those agents who not only voted for us, but also continue to support our efforts in making this a reality for those we serve,” shared Stewart, who is also the President of the Sandals Foundation.
The Agents’ Choice Awards were established in 1999 by Toronto-based Baxter Media and its flagship publications, Canadian Travel Press and Travel Courier. Since then, the annual Agents’ Choice Awards have become a highly-anticipated event in the Canadian travel industry and has evolved from a special supplement inserted in the magazines to an actual Gala Awards ceremony held in downtown Toronto over the past two years. This year, a total of 6,512 Canadian agents voted in over 40 industry categories. Sandals Resorts International was also voted as “Favorite Hotel Brand – All-Inclusive” for the 20th year in a row.
Earlier this year, the Sandals Foundation was accepted by the Department of Global Communications of the United Nations as one of the organizations across the globe whose efforts are contributing significantly to the implementation of the Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this association, the Foundation has committed to supporting the 17 SDGs and to raise public awareness about the purposes and activities of the United Nations and issues of global concerns.
For the past ten years, the Sandals Foundation has been working diligently towards sustainable development in the Caribbean region, addressing issues such as marine & coral conservation, proper health care for all, and equal opportunities through improved educational facilities. The UN Sustainable Development Goals require us all to play our part to ensure that no one is left behind. Our association with the Department of Communications for the UN solidifies our pledge to continue to work to ensure that the islands that we call home are on track for a sustainable future,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation.
Since 2009, the Sandals Foundation has impacted over 840,000 people in Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grenada, Antigua, Barbados, Turks and Caicos and Bahamas through its work in education, the community and the environment.