As title sponsor for the Gender Equality Champion of the Year Award, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance team were thrilled to join non-profit organisation, Equality in Tourism, to announce two winners of the prestigious Awards, at ITB Berlin.

Returning for its second year, the award was bestowed upon remarkable organisations committed to promoting gender equality within the tourism industry.

The award selection process was assiduously undertaken by a panel of distinguished gender and tourism experts who assessed each application on its merit. Aligning with the UNWTO’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Awards aim to shine a light on best practice and enhance tourism’s positive impact on women’s lives globally.

This illustrious award has two categories: Accommodation and Travel & Destinations. Both categories featured a shortlist of outstanding candidates who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to gender equality. The winners were unveiled during a special ceremony held on 6th March at ITB Berlin‘s Hybrid Studio.

Accommodation category winner:
  • Accor Brazil Embrace ProgramThe judging panel commended the Accor Brazil Embrace Program for its exemplary initiative in offering shelter and vocational training to survivors of domestic abuse. It stands out as a prime model of best practices and proactive measures within the hotel industry.

Photo shows Accor Brazil Embrace Programme volunteers stood behind a Riise sign

Travel & Destinations category winner:
  •  Eternal Landscapes Mongolia The Mongolian tour operator, Eternal Landscapes, distinguished itself through its transparent actions and unwavering dedication to fostering the personal development of its female staff members, no matter their background or level of experience.

Photo shows the Eternal Landscapes Mongolia team posing for a group photo in front of a vehicle, with a desert landscape seen in the background.

  • NH Hotel Group, part of Minor Hotels – the company was selected due to its work in making DEI a pillar of its corporate culture, including robust policies and initiatives on gender.

Building upon the momentum set by the inaugural edition in 2023, the award shines a spotlight on those pushing boundaries and making impactful strides toward a more balanced workplace. Last year saw Costa Rican travel operator Travel Excellence winning, exemplifying their commitment to gender equality.

As part of the Awards Ceremony, Michelle Mason – Social Responsibility and Recognition Programme Manager at the Alliance, joined speakers from Eternal Landscapes Mongolia, the Accor Brazil Embrace Programme, Travel Excellence and ITB Berlin, alongside Dr Stroma Cole (Co-Director of Equality in Tourism), for a panel discussion about the hospitality and tourism sectors’ approach to gender equality and the importance of recognising companies who are leading the transition to a more equitable future.

With an ongoing push towards gender parity within the sector, the award’s role is more significant than ever. Michelle Mason underlines this sentiment:

“As the title sponsor of the Gender Equality Champion of the Year Award, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance stands firmly behind the vision of a more just and equitable tourism industry. We are immensely proud to support the efforts of Equality in Tourism to honour the remarkable organisations that are not just talking about change, but are actively driving it. Accor Brazil Embrace Program and Eternal Landscapes Mongolia, along with all the nominees, have demonstrated exceptional dedication to promoting gender equality. Their efforts are not just inspiring, but are also creating a ripple effect of positive change that extends far beyond their immediate sphere of influence. We congratulate each of them for their commitment and courage. They are the true champions of our industry, reminding us that change is not only possible, but imperative. This award is a testament to the power of collective action, and we are privileged to be part of this journey towards a more inclusive and equitable world.”

Adding her perspective to the sanctity of the award, Dr. Stroma Cole, comments:

“We are delighted by this year’s entries and winners, showcasing our impactful contributions to society. Equality in Tourism spearheads advocacy for gender equality, honouring trailblazers and encouraging others to embrace inclusivity. As the tourism landscape evolves, the Gender Equality Champion of the Year award stands as a pivotal force driving this transformative journey.”

To find out more about the Awards and access details about how to apply for the 2025 Awards, please visit the