About the African Responsible Tourism Awards

Founded in 2015, the African Responsible Tourism Awards are a continent-wide search and celebration of Africa’s most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences. Our vision for the Awards, which are open to any organisation anywhere in Africa, is to shine a light on the best of the best, and to inspire change in the African tourism industry. The winners of our Awards are announced each year at a ceremony at World Travel Market Africa held in Cape Town.

The African Responsible Tourism Awards form part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards, organised by Responsible Travel, and held at WTM London in November each year. Winners in the continental awards are automatically entered into the world awards. The Awards are organised by Better Tourism Africa, under license by Responsible Travel.

What are our Awards for?

Better Tourism Africa wants to help people live their dreams through authentic and life-enriching adventures, to ensure local people and wildlife benefits and to be a catalyst for change in the tourism industry. Our Awards are a key part of this dream to inspire positive change.

Our Awards rest on a simple principle – that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people. We want to celebrate the shining stars of responsible tourism – the individuals, organisations and destinations working innovatively with local cultures, communities and biodiversity.

But more than that we want their examples to inspire others. That’s why we’ve got the most rigorous judging process around, and work with the best partners in the industry to help us get the word out – to ensure that their stories provide an example to the industry.

How do the Awards work?

All it takes for an organisation to be considered for an award is a submission in any of the Awards categories. We do not pick the entrants ourselves, but rely on tourism organisations to apply. After all, they are the ones with the stories to tell.

Once all the submissions are received the judging process begins. The judging process has several stages and has been designed by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism to put candidates through their paces. At each stage the list gets shorter and eventually our expert panel of judges debate the winners on the judging day.

What does it mean to be a winner?

Finalists of the Awards are invited to a prestigious ceremony hosted as part of World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town where the winners are announced to an audience of tourism ministers, destination managers, industry professionals and media. We also work with a variety of media partners to share the stories of our winners with the public.