Better Tourism Africa

Tembisa hostel experience showcased at WTM Africa 2017

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Gauteng is the product of a 19th and 20th century ‘migrant labour’ system. The mineral revolution required cheap, controlled labour for the white-owned farms, mines and later factories. Male migrants were not allowed to live permanently in ‘white’ areas and so hostels played an important role in this system. Many hundreds of thousands of African men lived in single-sex hostels near their places of work. The hostels – reserved for men only until quite recently – were crowded with prisonlike dormitories where every aspect of life was controlled by colonial and apartheid authorities. Hostels were ‘tribal’ spaces, as the authorities insisted on them being structured according to ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.

To this day, many hostels are still closely associated with Zulu culture. In the early 1990s they were no-go Inkatha Freedom Party strongholds and played a major role in the upheavals of the time. They are still perceived by many South Africans to be inaccessible and unsafe. While these hostels are now home to families, Zulu cultural practices still dominate including the continued role of Zulu Royal families in overseeing the day-to-day management of the hostel. These spaces remain off bounds for visitors, but in Tembisa (a stone’s throw away from the OR Tambo International Airport) one hostel is slowly opening up to tourists.

Ehlanzeni hostel, host Neo Ramothata explains, is one of the largest hostels in Tembisa. It was built in the middle half of the previous century as a panopticon – an institutional building where the design allows all dwellers of the hostel to be observed by watchmen (and police) from a single advantage point.  The watchmen may be long gone, but the hostel still has an overseer in the form of an Induna’nkhulu. The ‘Induna’ reside in what used to be a Police Office, conveniently located at the entrance to the hostel.

According to Ramothata it is unclear exactly how many families reside at Ehlanzeni. Life in the hostel is hard and many residents are unemployed. Makeshift kraals are home to roaming goats.  One middle-aged man we meet shows us into his room. Against the walls hang traditional adornments which he makes from cured animal hide. He pulls up the mattress to reveal that he sleeps on layer upon layer of animal hides not yet fully cured. He shows us a leopard skin adornment and assures us it is fake. Only members of the royal family can wear Ingwe (leopard skin).

While the poverty and harshness of the environment is sobering, hostels like Ehlanzeni keep Zulu cultural traditions alive, especially for music. A Jukebox highlights the importance of Maskanda (in a Wikipedia entry referred to as the “the music of the man who’s got the Zulu blues”). The trek from rural KwaZulu-Natal to the Rand happened on a massive scale. Maskanda developed as an outlet for expressing the sense of exile and loss that these men (and later women) experienced. Maskandi is played on cheap, often homemade, instruments to produce the distinctive polyphonic sound.

Maskandi, traditional dancing and other events take place in a large open space in the centre of the hostel. Here sheep and cattle are also slaughtered and meat grilled on open fires. On our way out, we are taken into the original beer hall. Although the consumption of alcohol by black men was originally prohibited, by the middle of the 20th century, beer halls were introduced albeit strictly controlled. During the 1967 riots, many were targeted by the youth and burnt down as symbols of apartheid control.

As we leave, Ramothata, has to thank every Induna for allowing visitors to Ehlanzeni. These pleasantries take a while to complete but Ramothata assures us the community is pleased by their first visitors.

Neo Ramothata is the winner of the GeePee Township Experience Challenge which saw eighteen new experiences from across nearly fifteen townships in Gauteng compete for best new tourism experience. The competition is an initiative of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development in association with tourism consultancy Place Matters.

 Ramothata is hosted at WTM Africa 2017 courtesy of Place Matters and Better Tourism Africa.   

Finalists for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards revealed

A community-based camp located in remote Namibia, two backpackers and a mountain bike tour in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Area are among the organisations selected as finalists for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards (sponsored by Wesgro and organised by Better Tourism Africa). But who will take the top spots?

With seven categories as well as the much-coveted ‘Overall Winner’ to be won, the competition has stepped up a notch for the finalists revealed today.

Following an intense debate on the Judging Day, held in Johannesburg on 7 April, the panel of 14 expert judges from across the industry shortlisted 13 organisations from across Africa – including Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa and Mozambique. The finalists are:

The supporters of the African Responsible Tourism Awards are:

  1. Best Accommodation for Social Inclusion – supported by Better Tourism Africa @RespTourismSA
  2. Best for Engaging People & Culture – sponsored by  Transfrontier Parks Destinations @TFPD_SA
  3. Best Partnership for Poverty Reduction – supported  by Africa! Ignite @AfricaIgnite
  4. Best Responsible Tourism Campaign – supported by Cape Town Pass and Cellar in the City @CapeTownPass
  5. Best for Habitat & Species Conservation –  supported by CapeNature @CapeNature1
  6. Best Responsible Event – supported by Bulk SMS @BulkSMS
  7. Best Tour Operator for Impact in Urban Areas – supported by  Marine Dynamics @MarineDynamics
  8. Overall Winner – supported by Wesgro @Wesgro

The 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards winners will be announced during WTM Africa at an awards ceremony to be held on Thursday 20 April 2017 at 16.30 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa. A celebratory function will follow the ceremony. Winners will be available on the WTM Responsible Tourism Stand (W54) from 10.30 – 11.30 on Friday 21 April 2017 for media interviews.

Commenting on the finalists, Heidi van der Watt, managing director of Better Tourism Africa, said:  “This year’s finalists are worthy change makers who bravely use tourism to create positive change for Africa’s people and environments. From a music festival in an unlikely destination, a hard-hitting documentary and cultural tours that tells the stories of the residents of a beach town – the shortlist has a lot to say about where responsible tourism on the continent is, and where it is going next.”

Professor Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judging Panel and WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor, reflected on the decisions made on the Judging Day: “There were many excellent businesses and organisations on the shortlist for the Awards and much debate amongst the judges about each of the categories. It is an achievement to be on the long listed and to be a finalist, these are very prestigious and competitive awards. We have inspiring Gold and Silver winners again this year, large and small, reflecting the range of Responsible Tourism practice in Africa. I hope you will be as inspired as the judges were, by the range and quality of the shortlist and by the finalists .”

Tim Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro, is looking forward to the ceremony: “We would like to congratulate all those selected by the Judges as finalists for the African Responsible Tourism Awards 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 20 April at WTM Africa, where we will celebrate the winners in person.”

The African Responsible Tourism Awards are part of the responsible tourism programme at WTM Africa. The responsible tourism programme includes three panel discussions on market access for small businesses, responsible tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the cultures and heritages of Africa, as well as a social media challenge for digital influencers, the media and travel trade. The WTM Responsible Tourism Stand will host past winners of the World and African Responsible Tourism Awards.
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Official hashtag: #ARTA17
Official twitter handle: @RTAwardsAfrica

For more information, high res logos or interviews contact:

Better Tourism Africa
Jacques Maritz
Email: Jmps@worldonline.co.za
Tel: +27 833892523
Website: http://www.africanresponsibletourismawards.com

WESGRO
Inge Dykman
Email: Inge@wesgro.co.za
Tel: + 27 21 487 4800

WESGRO supports 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM Africa

arta-2017-logoFor the third year running, Wesgro – Cape Town and the Western Cape’s official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency – is the main sponsor for the African Responsible Tourism Awards.   Winners of the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards, a part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards, will be announced in Cape Town at the CTICC during Africa Travel Week 2017.

The African Responsible Tourism Awards are organised by Better Tourism Africa, and are hosted by World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa).  The African regional awards are a part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards family, the leading global awards recognising achievement and innovation in responsible tourism. In 2016 the world awards founded by Responsible Travel celebrated 13 years at WTM London. Several category winners in the 2016 African round came out tops in the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards.

Wesgro Chief Marketing Officer, Judy Lain congratulated Bushmans Kloof for winning silver for the Best Accommodation for Responsible Employment category at the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards,

Grootbos, Hotel Verde, Bushmans Kloof, Gansbaai, Marine Dynamics and the V&A Waterfront are amongst the tourism businesses from the Western Cape that have over the years received top responsible tourism awards. We recognise that these awards are the result of hard work and an unwavering commitment to develop tourism in a sustainable manner. As the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, it is imperative that responsible tourism is a guiding principle in all we do. To this end we are pleased to announce that Wesgro will be the headline sponsor of the 2017 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards”.

The 2015 and 2016 African Responsible Tourism Awards generated significant participation across Africa.  Heidi van der Watt of Better Tourism Africa, the organiser and founder of the African Responsible Tourism Awards comments:

Watching the quality of entries for the African Responsible Tourism Awards strengthening year on year is truly gratifying. Wesgro has supported the awards since the inaugural year in 2015, helping to discover and celebrate African tourism businesses that follow the beat of a different drum. It is fitting that they continue this partnership during the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. We value their commitment to celebrating businesses that use to tourism as a force for good.”

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, and Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism and Chair of the main World Responsible Tourism Awards judging panel since its inception.

Entries for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards closed in January, and the longlist will be announced on 1 March 2017.

Note to editors

Official hashtag: #ARTA17
Official twitter handle: @RTAwardsAfrica

For media enquiries or information contact:

Better Tourism Africa

Sadia Nanabhay
Email: talktous@africanresponsibletourismawards.com
Tel: +27 662 5410
Website: www.africanresponsibletourismawards.com

WESGRO
Inge Dykman
Email:  Inge@wesgro.co.za
Tel: +27 21 487 8600

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 Better Tourism Africa

Better Tourism Africa (previously the International Centre for Responsible Tourism – 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, honest travel 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.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is a leading global player in the world of exhibitions and part of RELX Group, one of South Africa’s largest and most successful business events companies. Reed Exhibitions brings over 50 years of experience in developing, marketing, selling and organising exhibitions, events, conferences and meetings.

About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises of six leading B2B events across four continents generating more than $7bn of industry deals. The six events are WTM London; Arabian Travel Market (ATM); World Travel Market Latin America; World Travel Market Africa; WTM Connect Asia and International Golf Travel Market (IGTM).

About Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week comprises three co-located shows – WTM Africa, ibtm africa and ILTM Africa – encompassing Africa’s inbound and outbound markets for general leisure travel, luxury tourism, and the MICE/business travel sector under RTE’s established portfolios of WTM (World Travel Market), ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) and IBTM (Incentives, Business Travel & Meetings). The dates for Africa Travel Week (#africatravelweek) 2017 are 19 – 23 April 2017

About World Travel Market Africa

World Travel Market Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. The dates for the next event are 19-21 April 2017.

2017 african responsible tourism awards

Closing date for African Responsible Tourism Awards extended

Tourism organisations that are interested in entering the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards (ARTA) but have not yet had a chance to complete their application now has a second chance – the closing date for applications has been extended to Friday, 20 January.

Award categories

This year, ARTA aims to celebrate tourism organisations doing good work in seven categories.

Best accommodation for social inclusion
This category is awarded to accommodation providers that create places to stay and work at which are supportive, fair and empowering.

2016 African winner for Best accommodation for Responsible Employment

2016 African winner for Best accommodation for Responsible Employment

Lemon Tree Hotels, India: 2016 World winner for Best accommodation for Responsible Employment

Lemon Tree Hotels, India: 2016 World winner for Best accommodation for Responsible Employment

Best for engaging people & culture
This category seeks to shine a light on the best examples of holidays which involve and celebrate local people, traditions and ways of life.

Coffeebeans Routes, South Africa: 2015 African winner for Best for Engaging People and Culture

Coffeebeans Routes, South Africa: 2015 African winner for Best for Engaging People and Culture

Bushmans Kloof, South Africa: 2016 African winner for Best Contribution to Cultural Heritage Conservation

Bushmans Kloof, South Africa: 2016 African winner for Best Contribution to Cultural Heritage Conservation

Best for habitat and species conservation
This category is awarded to a tourism business or initiative that had measurable success in preserving and managing habitat and species.

Mara Naboisho, Kenya: 2016 African winner for Best for Wildlife Conservation

Mara Naboisho, Kenya: 2016 African winner for Best for Wildlife Conservation

Ol Pejeta, Kenya: 2016 African winner for Best for Wildlife Conservation

Marine Dynamics, South Africa: 2015 African winner for Best for Wildlife Conservation

Sam Veasna Centre (SVC), Cambodia : 2016 World winner for Best for Wildlife Conservation

 

Best partnership for poverty reduction
The emphasis in this category is on the partnerships between tourism businesses that use travel experiences to achieve a measurable reduction in poverty among a local community, and include local and marginalised people.

!Xaus Lodge, South Africa: 2016 African winner for Best for Poverty Reduction

!Xaus Lodge, South Africa: 2016 African winner for Best for Poverty Reduction

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in partnership with the Grootbos Foundation, South Africa: 2016 African winner for Best for Poverty Reduction

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, South Africa: 2015 African winner for Best for Poverty Reduction

Transfrontier Parks Destinations, South Africa: 2016 African winner for Best for Poverty Reduction

TFPD, South Africa: 2015 African winner for Best for Poverty Reduction

Tren Ecuador, Ecuador : 2016 World winner for Best for Poverty Reduction

Tren Ecuador, Ecuador : 2016 World winner for Best for Poverty Reduction

 Best responsible event
This category is for an event that is designed, organised and managed in a way that minimises potential negative impacts and leaves a beneficial legacy for the host community and all involved.

Best responsible tourism campaign
This category is for a campaign from a tourism business or organisation which has successfully championed responsible tourism. This could be a marketing campaign or an advocacy campaign.

Great Plains Conservation, South Africa: 2016 African winner for Best Responsible Tourism Marketing Campaign

Great Plains Conservation, South Africa: 2016 African winner for Best Responsible Tourism Marketing Campaign

Friends International - ChildSafe, Cambodia: 2016 World winner for Best Responsible Tourism Marketing Campaign

Friends International – ChildSafe, Cambodia: 2016 World winner for Best Responsible Tourism Marketing Campaign

Best tour operator for impact in urban areas
This category is for a tourism business with an innovative and successful approach to responsible tourism within cities or urban settlements, using tourism for positive change within cities or urban settlements.

The Awards ceremony

The winners of the 2017 awards will be announced at a ceremony on 20 April at the World Travel Market Africa held in Cape Town. Winners of the African awards are automatically entered into the World Responsible Tourism Awards.

About WTM Africa

wtm africaWTM Africa is a vibrant, culturally diverse, must attend business-to-business travel and tourism event, with a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to African and International travel professionals.

Mirrored on flagship events WTM in London and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai – WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors and in 2016 saw a 23% increase in visitors compared to 2015. The only inbound and outbound show of its kind on the African continent, WTM Africa provides a platform to launch new products, increase brand exposure, debate industry issues, and gather market intelligence; to generate new sales leads, strengthen existing relationships and most importantly, close new business.

The search for the bright spots in responsible tourism on the African continent is on!  Now in its third year, the #ARTA17 ceremony will again be hosted as part of WTM Africa in Cape Town on 20 April 2017.

Previous years have uncovered many remarkable tourism businesses and organisations that plough back into their communities, conserve nature and heritage, benefit African destinations and African people.  The African Responsible Tourism Awards celebrate the commitment and efforts of individuals, organisations and destinations that use tourism to make Africa better.  The awards also aim to inspire change in the African tourism industry.

The seven categories for the 2017 awards are:

  • Best accommodation for social inclusion
  • Best for engaging people & culture
  • Best for habitat and species conservation
  • Best for partnership for poverty reduction
  • Best responsible event
  • Best responsible tourism campaign
  • Best tour operator for impact in urban areas

Read more about the award categories and download entry forms here

Entries close Sunday, 15 January 2017.  Make sure to submit your entry before time slips away over the festive season!

The African Responsible Tourism Awards are part of the prestigious World Responsible Tourism Awards, the world’s most respected responsible tourism awards.  The awards are organised by Better Tourism Africa, under licence by Responsible Travel.

Should you be interested in sponsoring a category or require further information, please e-mail awards@africanresponsbletourismawardscom.

Follow us on twitter : @RTAwardsAfrica and Facebook : AfricanResponsibleTourismAwards for the latest news.

 

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Baklava in Greece, injera in Ethiopia and bunny chows in Durban. There’s nothing like sampling a place’s food and drinks to create lasting memories of our travels. We go to restaurants, wineries and markets to find out what the locals love to eat, drink and celebrate with. And those of us who are among the growing number of consumers searching for meals that are organic, free range and ethical – meals that do not “cost the earth” – we find our happiness in cafés, craft breweries and bistros.

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Utilities are the regular services delivered to a property from the municipality, Eskom or a property manager. Most domestic and commercial properties receive a monthly utility bill that includes property rates, waste removal, electricity, water and sanitation. The properties of several GeePee Responsible Tourism Challenge businesses are classified ‘domestic’, even though there are businesses operating from them, simply because the properties were originally residences and are still small enough to be considered domestic. Read More

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A conservancy that truly and remarkably brings together community and wildlife conservation to make better places to live in and great places to visit was announced Overall Winner this afternoon at the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2016 in Cape Town, sponsored by Wesgro.

In a special ceremony at World Travel Market Africa, Mara Naboisho Conservancy  took the coveted position of Overall Winner from a selection of 24 finalists gathered from around Africa. Read More

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