THEODORE, Ala. (WKRG) — Gardens across the globe were honored at the International Garden Tourism Conference held earlier this month in Victoria, British Columbia.

Among those honored was Bellingrath Gardens in Theodore, which was named to the list of 12 gardens as one of the ‘Gardens of the World Worth Travelling For in 2024.’

“In the spirit of highlighting the world’s most dynamic garden experiences, we are pleased to announce the 2023 recipients of the ‘Gardens of the World Worth Travelling For in 2024’ Awards,” International Garden Tourism Network Chair Ibo Gülsen said.

Full list of ‘Gardens of the World Worth Travelling For in 2024’:

  • Adelaide Botanic Garden, Australia
  • Bellingrath Gardens, United States
  • Classical Gardens of Suzhou, China
  • Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
  • Giverny Monet’s Garden, France
  • Le Jardin Secret, Morocco
  • Mount Congreve Gardens, Ireland
  • Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Thailand
  • Parco Giardino Sigurtà, Italy
  • The Butchart Gardens, Canada
  • Trentham Gardens, United Kingdom
  • Vallarta Botanical Garden, Mexico

IGTN also gave out the 2023 International Garden Tourism Awards. Here is the full list of categories and winners:

  • Garden of the Year: The Newt in Somerset, United Kingdom
  • New Garden City of the Year: Sejong City, South Korea
  • Garden Tourism Person of the Year: Donna Dawson, Panama
  • Garden Festival of the Year: International Garden Festival, Canada
  • Flower Festival of the Year: Tulip Time, USA
  • Garden Event of the Year: Gardens of Light, Canada
  • Garden Tourism Website of the Year:, USA
  • Garden Tourism Tour Operator of the Year: Brightwater Holidays, United Kingdom
  • Garden Tourism Honorable Mention: Caribbean Horizons Tours, Grenada
  • Garden Tourism Lifetime Achievement: Gilles Vincent, Canada
  • Lifetime Achievement: Luc Behar Bannelier, France

“As we bring the gardens and tourism together at this conference, we take great pride in unveiling in the 2023 awardees of the ‘International Garden Tourism Awards’,” Gülsen said. “These recipients exemplify true leadership in the world of garden tourism.”

The jury that picks the award winners consists of four people led by chair Dr. Richard Benfield.

Full list of jurors:

  • Dr. Richard Benfield (chair)
    • Has researched, consulted and guided gardens on visitor management for more than 25 years
    • Professor and Chair of Geography at Central Connecticut State University, research agenda has covered garden management across 123 countries and all continents
    • Author of much-acclaimed books “Garden Tourism” and “New Directions and Garden Tourism”
  • Pascal Garbe
    • A regular contributor to garden magazines in France and abroad
    • Author of about 20 books on gardens and plans
    • Jury member of different garden and flower festivals across the globe
  • Gilles Vincent
    • Former director of the Montréal Botanical Garden
    • Visionary for the development of the Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden
  • Trevor Edwards
    • Global Gardens Tour Manager and Expert Guide

For more information on the International Garden Tourism Network, visit the IGTN website.

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