WANGO Awards “Tourism for Peace Award” to Hospitality Impresario Gerard “Jerry” Inzerillo

Honor recognizes Inzerillo’s unique contributions to world peace by bringing people together through travel and tourism

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, June 2, 2021 / — Today, the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (WANGO) announced it would award its “Tourism for Peace Award” to Gerard “Jerry” Inzerillo in recognition of his unique contributions to world peace through travel and tourism. WANGO is dedicated to enhancing the role of civil society in promoting peace and global well-being. The Association, with members in over 100 countries who encompass the vast spectrum of the NGO world, was established to provide the infrastructure for NGOs to better connect, partner, and multiply their contributions to solve humanity’s basic problems.

Inzerillo’s storied career in the hospitality industry includes serving as a leading executive at Kerzner Hotels and Resorts, where he was a key figure in desegregating the Sun City Resort in apartheid-era South Africa. South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela would go on to become one of Inzerillo’s closest friends and confidants, best man at his wedding, and Godfather to his daughter, Helena.

Inzerillo now serves as CEO of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority, the ancestral home of the Saudi Arabian royal family that is now being reimagined as a major tourist destination that will allow unprecedented access to and a new understanding of the cultural, political, and religious dynamics at the heart of the Arab and Muslim world.

“Jerry is much more than a hotelier,” said WANGO Chairman, Tageldin Hamad. “Jerry is someone who sees the power of hospitality to promote peace and understanding between people and to transform the world. As we begin to return to travel, we should celebrate and thank Jerry Inzerillo for being a steadfast champion of a peaceful, healthy, and joyful engagement with the world.”

“This honor is incredibly humbling,” said Inzerillo. “Never would I have imagined when I started out as a busboy in Brooklyn, New York at age 13 that the countless small interactions between guests and staff could ripple into real social change. It just seemed natural to me that hospitality makes strangers feel welcome and at home. I guess at the end of the day, that’s the essence of service.”

The recipient of the WANGO “Tourism for Peace Award” was announced in New York City on May 30. A formal ceremony is planned in Riyadh in mid-June.

From time to time, WANGO recognizes world leaders from government, civil society, culture, and business for their contributions to peace and global well-being.

Recipients of WANGO Awards include:

– Dr. Federicio Mayor, former Secretary General of UNESCO
– Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand
– H.E. Kenneth Kaunda, Former President of Zambia
– Mr. Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka
– Dr. Ibrahim Gambari, former U.N. Under-Secretary-General and head of the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur

Tageldin Hamad
World Association of Nongovernmental Organizations
+ 1 914 498 9291
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