The winners of the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2016, sponsored by Wesgro, have been announced at a special ceremony held at the World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town.
The winners were announced at a ceremony attended by South Africa’s influential travel bloggers, industry experts and Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom.
Tim Harris, chief executive officer of awards sponsor Wesgro said:
“We are pleased to recognise the vision of the Award winners for providing leadership in their respective sectors throughout Africa, and effectively contributing to growing tourism in a sustainable manner. Today, we celebrate their commitment and achievements.”
Heidi van der Watt, managing director of Better Tourism Africa pinpointed what makes the Award winners the leaders in responsible tourism in Africa:
“Our winners have a vision that extends beyond the commercial – linking business success with the wellbeing of local communities and the longevity of their environments. They want to make profits with principles, communicate balance sheets alongside beliefs, and won’t undermine passion in the pursuit of professionalism. They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They are the future of tourism in Africa.”
The overall winner was Mara Naboisho Conservancy, a conservancy that brings together community and wildlife conservation to make better places to live in and great places to visit.
The judges’ reasons for winning:
“Prior to setting up Naboisho Conservancy, four years of consultation with the 554 landowners lead to 94 percent of them signing over their land to a holding company with their own appointed directors who have in turn entered into a management agreement with Naboisho Conservancy.
“The community gets direct and tangible benefits from wildlife conservation; no other activity provides as much income to as many people as Nabisco Conservancy.”
South Africa’s own Bushman’s Kloof won overall for Best Contribution to Cultural Heritage Conservation – supported by Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme.
Click here for a full list of winners.
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