Victoria, BC – At the International Garden Tourism Conference, echoing the convention’s theme of ‘Seizing the Moment,’ the winners of the 2023 International Garden Tourism Awards were revealed. 

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’,” says Ibo Gülsen, Chair of the International Garden Tourism Network. “These recipients exemplify true leadership in the world of garden tourism.” 

The ‘International Garden Tourism Awards’ are presented to organizations and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of garden experiences as tourism attractions and motivators for travel. The awards are proudly organized by the International Garden Tourism Network with recipients being selected by a jury* consisting of Dr. Richard Benfield (chair), Pascal Garbe, Gilles Vincent and Trevor Edwards.

The 2023 International Garden Tourism Award winners are . . . 

1.              Garden of the Year

                  The Newt in Somerset, United Kingdom        

2.              New Garden City of the Year

                  Sejong City, South Korea

3.              Garden Tourism Person of the Year

                  Donna DawsonPanama

4.              Garden Festival of the Year:  

                  International Garden Festival, Canada

5.              Flower Festival of the Year:  

                  Tulip Time, USA

6.              Garden Event of the Year

                  Gardens of Light, Canada

7.             Garden Tourism Website of the Year

        , USA         

8.              Garden Tourism Tour Operator of the Year

                  Brightwater Holidays, United Kingdom

9.              Garden Tourism Honorable Mention

                  Caribbean Horizons Tours, Grenada

10.           Garden Tourism Lifetime Achievement

                  Gilles Vincent, Canada                         

11.           Lifetime Achievement

                  Luc Behar Bannelier, France

“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,” says Ibo Gülsen, Chair of the International Garden Tourism Network.

The ‘Gardens of the World Worth Travelling For in 2024’listed in aplhabetical order, are as follows:

  1. Adelaide Botanic Garden, Australia 
  2. Bellingrath Gardens, USA
  3. Classical Gardens of Suzhou, China
  4. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
  5. Giverny Monet’s Garden, France
  6. Le Jardin Secret, Morocco
  7. Mount Congreve GardensIreland
  8. Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden, Thailand
  9. Parco Giardino Sigurtà, Italy
  10. The Butchart Gardens, Canada
  11. Trentham Gardens, United Kingdom
  12. Vallarta Botanical Garden, Mexico

* * * * * * *

*About the jury

Dr. Richard Benfield (chair) has been researching, consulting and guiding gardens on visitor management for over 25 years. As Professor and Chair of Geography at Central Connecticut State University his research agenda has covered garden management in 123 countries and all continents, and he is the author of the much-acclaimed books Garden Tourism and New Directions in Garden Tourism considered by many the seminal works in garden management.

Pascal Garbe is a regular contributor to garden magazines in France and abroad and is the author of around 20 books on gardens and plants and sits on the jury of different garden and flower festivals across the globe.

Gilles Vincent is a former director of the Montréal Botanical Garden and a visionary in the development of the Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden.

Trevor Edwards is a Global Gardens Tour Manager and Expert Guide.