Cape Town - Two South African organizations Coffee Shack and Blood Lion were announced Joint Overall Winners this afternoon at the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2017 in Cape Town, sponsored by Wesgro.
In a special ceremony at World Travel Market Africa 2017, Blood Lions and Coffee Shack took the coveted position of Overall Winner from a selection of finalists gathered from around Africa.
SEE: #AfriTravel: WTM Africa 2017 showcases best of tourism on the African continent
“All of those longlisted should be recognised as having made a significant contribution and be proud of what they have achieved. As in the World Responsible Tourism Awards the judges looked for winners who might educate and inspire others, challenging the industry to achieve more by demonstrating what can be done by businesses and organisations to realise the ambition of Responsible Tourism.,” says Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judging Panel.
Winners of the day
Overall Winners - Blood Lions and Coffee Shack supported by Wesgro
The ambition of the Responsible Tourism Awards is to educate, inspire and challenge. The Blood Lions campaign demonstrates how awareness raising and engagement can achieve change, successfully engaging the industry though its “Born To Live Wild” campaign. Coffee Shack demonstrates the major positive impact which a small business in a remote rural area can have.
Best for Engaging People & Culture supported by Transfrontier Parks Destinations
Gold: Ilha Blue Island Safaris (Mozambique)
Best for Habitat & Species Conservation supported by Cape Nature
Gold: All Out Africa (Swaziland)
Best Partnership for Poverty Reduction supported by Africa Ignite
Gold winner: Isibindi African Lodges
Best Accommodation for Social supported by Better Tourism Africa
Gold winner: Coffee Shack Backpackers (South Africa)
Best Responsible Event supported by BulkSMS
Gold winner: MTN Bushfire (Swaziland)
Best Responsible Event#ARTA17
Best Tour Operator for Impact in Urban Areas supported by Marine Dynamic
Gold winner: Uthando (South Africa)
Best Responsible Tourism Campaign supported by Cape Town Pass
Gold winner: Blood Lions (South Africa)
Goodwin says that in this International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development the industry needs to recognise that they need to be a lot more transparent about credibly reporting the positive impacts that businesses in the tourism sector have on peoples’ livelihoods and well-being – we need to up our game and prove the claims we make.
SEE: World Tourism review: SA on trend with global surge and sustainable practices
”We encourage them, and other businesses, to continue to take responsibility for increasing the positive, and reducing the negative, impacts of tourism, to communicate what they are doing to use tourism to make better places and to consider entering the Responsible Tourism Awards when there is an appropriate category for their business or organisation,” Goodwin continued.
Heidi van der Watt, managing director of Better Tourism Africa also says, “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.”
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