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
Tel: +27 662 5410

Inge Dykman
Tel: +27 21 487 8600


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