A tented camp set on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, an eco-lodge in the Gambia, and a whole cluster of businesses in South Africa dedicated to responsible tourism are among the organisations selected as finalists for the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2015, sponsored by Wesgro and organised by Better Tourism Africa. But who will take the top spot?
With just 7 categories to be won, as well as the much-coveted top spot of ‘Overall Winner’ 2015, the competition just got real for the finalists announced today.
Following an intense debate on the Judging Day in Cape Town on 13th April, an expert panel of 10 Judges from across the industry have finally selected the finalists from around Africa, including organisations from Botswana, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania.
The finalists for the African Responsible Tourism Awards are:
- !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre
- andBeyond Rhinos without Borders
- Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse
- Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary
- Chobe Game Lodge
- Chumbe Island Coral Park
- City of Cape Town
- Coffeebeans Routes
- Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in partnership with the Grootbos Foundation
- Marine Dynamics
- My Slow Journey
- Nkwichi Lodge
- Nuarro Lodge
- Sandele Eco-Retreat and Learning Centre
- Stormsriver Adventures
- Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company
- The Good Holiday
- TFPD Foundation – Baleni Camp
- Transfrontier Parks Destinations
- Vineyard Hotel
- Wilderness Safaris – Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
The supporters of the African Responsible Tourism Awards are:
- Best Blog – supported by Cape Town Tourism
- Best for Beach Tourism – supported by Shark Spotters and BulkSMS.com
- Best Destination for Responsible Tourism – supported by the V&A Waterfront
- Best for engaging people and culture – supported by Gauteng Tourism Authority
- Best for Poverty Reduction – supported by Marine Dynamics
- Best for Resource Management – supported by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa
- Best for Wildlife Conservation – supported by South Africa National Parks
The award winners will be announced at the 2015 African Responsible Tourism Awards on Thursday 16 April 2015 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town. The awards are part of the responsible tourism programme at WTM Africa, which kicks off with the 11th International Responsible Tourism in Destinations conference on 14 and 15 April, and will have 18 speakers from Europe, India and Africa.
Commenting on the finalists, Heidi van der Watt, founder of the Awards and managing director of Better Tourism Africa, said:
“Represented in this year’s finalists are some of the most trendsetting examples of responsible tourism in Africa! From a community-focused birding destination to a rhino relocation programme, from comprehensive greening efforts to revival of traditional economic activities – the Shortlist has a lot to say about where responsible tourism on the continent is, and where it is going next.”
Reflecting on the decisions made on the Judging Day was Professor Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judging Panel and Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism:
“This is not just the Judges’ Shortlist – the judges can only select from amongst those who are nominated and make the considerable effort required to apply. For each finalist we’ve chosen, there are many others doing ground-breaking work we’re looking forward to seeing who will be nominated next year. I’d like to thank all those who came forward to share their inspiring stories with the Judging Panel, and hope they’ll join in celebrating the winners on Thursday.”
Looking forward to the ceremony is Tim Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro:
“We would like to congratulate all those selected by the Judges for the African Responsible Tourism Awards Shortlist this year. These forward thinking and innovative organisations are true examples of how we can take the tourism industry to new heights in a sustainable and attractive manner. We look forward to the awards ceremony on 16 April at World Travel Market Africa, where we will celebrate the winners in person.”
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Notes to editors
High resolution jpg images of logos and interviews available upon request.
About the awards
For more information on the African Responsible Tourism Awards visit www.africanresponsibletourismawards.com
The African Responsible Tourism Awards celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism on the African continent and showcase tourism organisations which are, actively and demonstrably, taking responsibility for making tourism stronger. The first African Responsible Tourism Awards is part of the family of regional Responsible Tourism Awards which culminate each year with the World Responsible Tourism Awards which are presented at WTM in London on World Responsible Tourism Day.
The awards are organised by Better Tourism Africa (formerly International Center for Responsible Tourism – South Africa), under license by Responsible Travel.
The awards ceremony is hosted by World Travel Market Africa, and will take place on Thursday 16 April. Winners in the African awards will automatically qualify for the World Responsible Tourism Awards.
Media partners for the event are BizCommunity, Responsible Traveller, Classic FM, SmileFM, and Socially Unforgettable.
Note to editors
For media enquires information contact:
Better Tourism Africa
Tel: +27 (0)83 389 2523
About Better Tourism Africa
Better Tourism Africa – a non-profit company 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. For more information, visit www.bettertourismafrica.org
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. For more information, visit www.wesgro.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 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 two tour operators in 2001, Responsible Travel has become the leading place to find tours from over 400 small and specialist tour companies in 197 countries. As tourism grows globally the opportunity for authentic experiences diminishes, and the impacts of tourism on places and local people (not always positive) grows. We’ve found the secret to authentic travel is treating local people and places responsibly.
In addition, Responsible Travel
- campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.
- publishes an expanding collection of open, honest travel guides
CEO Justin Francis has been included in Courvoisier’s The Future 500, Thames and Hudson’s 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.