WESGRO sponsors inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards

African_Awards_logoWe are delighted to welcome Wesgro as headline sponsor of the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards.

The World Responsible Tourism Awards has announced the launch of the African Responsible Tourism Awards in
partnership with World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism South Africa (ICRT-SA). Winners of the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards, the regional leg of the World Responsible Tourism Awards, will be announced in Cape Town on 16 April 2015 as part of Africa Travel Week.

The World Responsible Tourism Awards is the leading global awards recognising achievement and innovation in responsible tourism. In 2014 the awards founded by Responsible Travel celebrated 11 years at WTM London and in 2015 will continue to expand its partnership with World Travel Market portfolio events across the globe, including the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 at WTM Africa.

The inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards have already generated significant participation across Africa, with the judging process already well underway.  Heidi van der Watt of the ICRT South Africa comments “Nominations for the African Responsible Tourism Awards far outstripped our expectations.  A full 112 nominations from 16 countries, truly covering Africa from north-south and east-west were received.  Thanks you to our partners on the continent that helped us to get the word out and the nominations streaming in.”

WESGRO – the tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for the Western Cape – is the main sponsor for the 2015 African Responsible Tourism Awards.  According to Judy Lain, Chief Marketing Officer of Wesgro “Responsible Tourism is the guiding principle and priority for Wesgro and we are proud to be the sponsor of the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM Africa.  These awards will go a long way towards creating awareness of the importance of sustainability along with showcasing and rewarding those who are driving and excelling at it.”

Sugen Pillay, Commercial Director for Thebe Reed Exhibitions, organiser of WTM Africa, says: “Responsible Tourism is a huge focus at WTM Africa this year and we are pleased to honour those who make an encouraging and continuous impact on society, the economy and the environment through the tourism industry.”

Justin Francis, Managing Director of Responsible Travel which founded and organises the annual World Responsible Tourism Awards says Africa has always been well represented in the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM and I am thrilled that now it has its own awards scheme, dedicated to the African market. “

Since founding the Awards 11 years ago, and running them over this time we know what a difference they can make in driving change within the tourism industry and in raising awareness of responsible tourism among businesses and consumers.  We look forward to supporting the African Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM Africa, and are proud to welcome them to the Awards family.

As part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards family, the judging process for the African Responsible Tourism Awards is chaired by Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University, Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism and Chair of the main World Responsible Tourism Awards judging panel since its inception.

Note to editors

For media enquires information contact:

ICRT South Africa

Jacques Maritz

Email: Jmps@worldonline.co.za

Tel: +27 (0)83 389 2523

Website: http://www.responsibletravel.com/awards/africa/

WESGRO

Judith Coetzee

Email:  Judith@wesgro.co.za

Tel: +27 (0)81 408 7416

About WESGRO

The Western Cape is a region of unlimited potential, and this translates into unlimited opportunity. Whether you’re interested in travel, business or export, Cape Town and the Western Cape has something for you. Let Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, help you uncover the opportunities.

About Thebe Reed Exhibitions

Formally Thebe Exhibitions and Projects (TEPG), the newly branded Thebe Reed Exhibitions is a joint venture agreement with Thebe Tourism Group Pty Limited and Reed Exhibitions. It is now Southern Africa’s most forward thinking and successful exhibition, trade fair, special project and event organiser responsible for exhibitions such as Decorex, 100% Design, Meidiatech Africa, the Sports and Events Tourism Exchange (SETE), Business Opportunities and Franchise Expo and now the Africa Travel Week events; WTM Africa, ILTM and IBTM. Thebe Reed Exhibitions aims to provide the best platform for showcasing industries and nurturing business and networking opportunities on the African continent. www.thebereed.co.za

About World Travel Market Africa

World Travel Market Africa is a must attend business-to-business travel and tourism event, that in 2014, boasted 370 exhibitors, 476 Buyers, 2132 trade visitors and attracted over 3091 industry professionals from over 60 countries around the world. www.wtmafrica.com

World Travel Market Africa is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s WTM portfolio, which also includes World Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and Arabian Travel Market.  www.wtmworld.com

About the ICRT South Africa

The International Centre for Responsible Tourism – South Africa (ICRT South Africa), a non-profit organisation established in 2006, works alongside government, the private sector and communities in Africa to implement the objectives of Responsible Tourism as described in the Cape Town Declaration. We believe tourism should be harnessed to create better places for people to live and to visit.  Our work includes advocacy, training and capacity-building, research and technical advisory services.

About Responsible Travel:

Responsible Travel is the world’s leading market place for small and tailor-made tour operators, all screened for their commitment to responsible tourism.

Responsible Travel connects these operators with people looking for real & authentic holidays.  Starting with just 2 tour operators in 2001 we’ve become the leading place to find tours from over 400 small & specialist tour companies in 197 countries.  As tourism grows globally the opportunity for authentic experiences diminishes, and the impacts of tourism on places & local people (not always positive) grows.   We’ve found the secret to authentic travel is treating local people & places responsibly.

In addition Responsible Travel:

  • campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.
  • is publishing an expanding collection of open, honesttravel guides

CEO Justin Francis has been included in Courvoisiers The Future 500, Thames and Hudsons 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future and taken his place on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism.

The company is based in Brighton’s North Laine district, England.

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