Galapagos and Antarctic tour operator, Lindblad Expeditions, scooped the World Travel & Tourism Council's Global Tourism Business Award last week.
The group, which beat finalists Six Senses Resorts and Wilderness Safaris in South Africa, launched the Galapagos Conservation Fund in 1997 and arranges eco-tours of the islands as well as excursions around Antarctica, Baja California, Alaska and the Artic.
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which recognise and promote best practice in tourism development, were announced during the WTTC's seventh summit in Lisbon on Friday 11 May.
Other winners were the Great Barrier Reef in Australia for Destination Award, Aspen Skiing Company in the USA for the Conservation Award and Nihiwatu Resort in Indonesia for the Investor in People Award.
Chairman of the judges, Costas Christ said the 2007 winners represented a major turning point in the global tourism industry.
"Gone are the days when there were only a handful of ecolodges or a few small tour operators who were doing sustainable tourism successfully. Today's best practice models also represent major tourism destinations and global tourism companies that are helping to protect cultural and natural heritage and support the well being of local peoples," he said.
By Emily Manson