Heidi van der Watt

Director: Better Tourism Africa

hvdw Heidi @HeidivdWatt is a founding member of Better Tourism Africa (formerly the International Centre for Responsible Tourism – South Africa) and owner of EDGE Tourism Solutions. Much of her work over the last 2 decades has been in regional and local economic development in developing countries – places where tourism can play a significant role in improving quality of life and safeguarding the environment. Heidi’s expertise in sustainable tourism has been enhanced by her Masters degree in Town and Regional Planning. Apart from projects in Southern Africa, Heidi has worked on tourism projects in other parts of Africa, Oman, India and Russia.

Heidi has helped shape South Africa’s vision as a responsible tourism destination. She developed a National Strategy for Responsible Tourism for the Department of Tourism, played a key role in the development of the Responsible Tourism Guidelines, and managed the development of Cape Town’s Responsible Tourism Policy and Action Plan and the national Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism. Heidi holds leadership positions in a number of African organisations, including the Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance Africa and the RETOSA Sustainable Tourism Forum. Heidi is also a Director of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and a member of the WTM Responsible Tourism Advisory Panel.

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