SATW President Len Barnes said in 1988, “Because tourism leaves permanent ‘footprints,’ some harmful to the environment, some destroying the reasons for traveling, the Society of American Travel Writers in 1969 created an award to recognize conservation and preservation efforts of individuals and organizations.

Since then, SATW has recognized conservation, preservation, beautification and antipollution accomplishments as they relate to travel. SATW members nominate individuals, communities, or organizations that have contributed to a quality travel experience through conservation, preservation, beautification or environmental efforts.”
Winners are announced at the SATW Annual Convention each year. Three Phoenix awards are given to US based projects and one award is presented to an international project – this year Cnoc Suain cultural retreat received a prestigious international Phoenix Award.