The award, created with the support of The TreadRight Foundation, champions small businesses committed to responsible tourism.
MILAN - The IGLTA Foundation has announced that Madagascar-based tour company Dadamanga is the recipient of the 2022 Impact Award to honor responsible tourism development. The award was launched last year in partnership with The TreadRight Foundation, the foundation created by The Travel Corporation’s family of brands, to recognize a smaller business member (fewer than 10 employees) of the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association whose initiatives encourage sustainable tourism in three key areas: environment, community, and diversity and inclusion.
“There are so many small IGLTA business members doing great work, and a key part of our mission is to empower their future success and celebrate their stories across our global network,” said IGLTA Foundation Board Chair Theresa Belpulsi. “We saw more diverse applications this year and are thrilled to recognize Dadamanga’s contributions to welcoming, responsible tourism. This will be the first business from Madagascar to participate in the IGLTA Global Convention.”
Founded in 2010 in Taolagnaro, Dadamanga creates tours to attractions, parks, and destinations throughout the unique landscape of Madagascar with an emphasis on environmental protection and community engagement. A donation is made from every tour to girls’ school Nofy i Androy, and they have established a rice distribution fund for single mothers of disabled children. Through a partner company, they fund a nursery to raise and distribute fruit trees to local farms, and actively lobby against the exploitation of lemurs as hotel attractions. They also hold workshops for independent local drivers and tour guides to educate them on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
"Dadamanga is honoured to have been selected for this prestigious award. It has always been a guiding ethic of our company to support social issues and to support the environment in everything that we do. Being in the travel business in one of the least developed countries on earth, we consider it vital that our entire chain, from drivers to guides to the staff in our partner hotels, actively embrace those values,” said Brett Massoud, Founder & Owner, Dadamanga. “We have carefully worked with our team on matters of diversity, and we assure you that Madagascar is open, welcoming, and ready to receive everyone with fahalelem-panahy (with gentleness), and with open hearts and minds."
The Impact Award presentation will be held in Milan at the IGLTA Annual Global Convention, the premier educational and networking event for LGBTQ+ tourism, and includes US$5,000 in convention benefits and marketing support for the winner. A special thank you to the Impact Award judging committee: Shannon Guihan, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of TreadRight at The Travel Corporation; Mariano Cuervo, CEO & Founder, New World Safaris, South Africa; 2021 Impact Award winner Sam Castañeda Holdren, Founder & CEO, OUT in Colombia; Rika Jean-François, Commissioner for Corporate Social Responsibility, ITB; and Aletheia Tan, Head of Member Engagement, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
“Now, in its second year, IGLTA’s efforts to encourage greater sustainability through highlighting leaders in the space, has brought forward some genuinely impressive award applications,” said Shannon Guihan, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of TreadRight at The Travel Corporation. “There’s great value in recognising travel businesses and operators who are focused on positive impact in a fulsome way that includes the environment, our communities and the advancement greater equity and inclusivity, and it’s very encouraging to see the evolution and advancement of what this means to businesses.”