Finalists announced for African Responsible Tourism Awards

Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:50 pm

14 APR 2015 09:34

Following a heated debate in Cape Town on 13 April 2015, a panel of 10 Judges from across the industry have selected the finalists from around Africa.
A tented camp set on Namibia's Skeleton Coast, an eco-lodge in the Gambia, and a whole cluster of businesses in South Africa dedicated to responsible tourism are among the organisations selected as finalists for the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2015, sponsored by Wesgro and organised by Better Tourism Africa.

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Who will take the top spot?

With just seven categories to be won, as well as the much-coveted top spot of 'Overall Winner' 2015, the competition just got real for the finalists announced.

Following an intense debate on the Judging Day in Cape Town on 13April, an expert panel of 10 Judges from across the industry have finally selected the finalists from around Africa, including organisations from Botswana, South Africa, Uganda and Tanzania.

The finalists for the African Responsible Tourism Awards are:
!Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre
andBeyond Rhinos without Borders
Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse
Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary
Chobe Game Lodge
Chumbe Island Coral Park
City of Cape Town
Coffeebeans Routes
Gansbaai
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in partnership with the Grootbos Foundation
Marine Dynamics
My Slow Journey
Nkwichi Lodge
Nuarro Lodge
Sandele Eco-Retreat and Learning Centre
Stormsriver Adventures
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company
The Good Holiday
Transfrontier Parks Destinations Foundation - Baleni Camp
Transfrontier Parks Destinations
Vineyard Hotel
Wilderness Safaris - Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

The supporters of the African Responsible Tourism Awards are:
Best Blog - supported by Cape Town Tourism
Best for Beach Tourism - supported by Shark Spotters and BulkSMS.com
Best Destination for Responsible Tourism - supported by the V&A Waterfront
Best for engaging people and culture - supported by Gauteng Tourism Authority
Best for Poverty Reduction - supported by Marine Dynamics
Best for Resource Management - supported by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa
Best for Wildlife Conservation - supported by South Africa National Parks

And the winner is... .

The award winners will be announced at the 2015 African Responsible Tourism Awards on Thursday, 16 April 2015, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The awards are part of the responsible tourism programme at WTM Africa, which kicks off with the 11th International Responsible Tourism in Destinations conference on 14 and 15 April, and will have 18 speakers from Europe, India and Africa.

Heidi van der Watt, founder of the Awards and managing director of Better Tourism Africa, says of the finalists: "Represented in this year's finalists are some of the most trendsetting examples of responsible tourism in Africa! From a community-focussed birding destination to a rhino relocation programme, from comprehensive greening efforts to revival of traditional economic activities - the Shortlist has a lot to say about where responsible tourism on the continent is, and where it is going next."

Reflecting on the decisions made on the Judging Day was Professor Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judging Panel and Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism: "This is not just the Judges' Shortlist - the judges can only select from amongst those who are nominated and make the considerable effort required to apply. For each finalist we've chosen, there are many others doing ground-breaking work we're looking forward to seeing who will be nominated next year. I'd like to thank all those who came forward to share their inspiring stories with the judging panel, and hope they'll join in celebrating the winners on Thursday."

Looking forward to the ceremony is Tim Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro: "We would like to congratulate all those selected by the Judges for the African Responsible Tourism Awards Shortlist 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 16 April at World Travel Market Africa, where we will celebrate the winners in person."

For more, go to http://www.responsibletravel.com/awards/africa
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Re: Finalists announced for African Responsible Tourism Awar

Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:57 pm

Stormsriver Adventures are the guys who had or still have this issue with SANParks

viewtopic.php?f=177&t=2220&p=89310&hilit=tender+tsitsikamma#p89310

Re: Finalists announced for African Responsible Tourism Awar

Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:29 pm

.Winners of African Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 announced

16 APR 2015 17:20

At a special ceremony at World Travel Market Africa, taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, winners of the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards were announced.
Gansbaai, a community of tourism businesses working together to make better places to live in and great places to visit was announced as the overall winners this afternoon at the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 in Cape Town, sponsored by Wesgro.

ImageL to R: Tim Harris, CEO of WESGRO; Glenda Kitley, Manager of Gansbaai Tourism (Overall Winner) and Heidi van der Watt, MD Better Tourism Africa

In a special ceremony at World Travel Market Africa, Gansbaai took the coveted position of Overall Winner from of a selection of 22 finalists gathered from around Africa.

"It is exciting to bring the Word Responsible Tourism Awards family of the Awards to Cape Town and Africa" says Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judging Panel. "There are many world class winners being announced today. Since 2004 African businesses from 14 countries have won awards, 20% of the Awards winners have been from Africa, 20% of all of those awarded. "

A vision that extends beyond the commercial

Speaking before a packed audience of over 100 tourism professionals, media, ministers and officials, 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 Awards were sponsored by the Wesgro. Tim Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro, who handed out the Awards, said: "As the proud headline sponsor of the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards, Wesgro is delighted to pay tribute to this year's inspirational winners. As the official Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, we continue to show our commitment to responsible tourism development both in our province and on the African continent. 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."

And the winners are...

Overall Winner - sponsored by Wesgro: Gansbaai - http://www.gansbaaiinfo.com

Best for Beach Tourism - supported by BulkSMS and Shark Spotters

Gold Winner:

Chumbe Island Coral Park - http://www.chumbeisland.com

Judges' reasons for winning: "Chumbe was highly commended for water conservation in the World Responsible Tourism Awards in 2013 and they won the marine environment category in 2004. This time the judges wanted to recognise them for their careful review of progress to 2006 and the development of the new Management Plan 2006-2016. The judges saw this as an example of good practice and one which others should emulate."

Silver Winner: Nuarro Lodge

Best Blog for Responsible Tourism - sponsored by Cape Town Tourism

Gold Winner: The Good Holiday - thegoodholiday.com

Judges' reasons for winning: "The Good Holiday has authenticity, a real sense of care and a true desire to facilitate experiences that are beneficial to all it comes in contact with at the heart of stories told. Interactive and visually appealing, the blog inspires travellers to journey to African places with a unique cultural heritage, places that inspire people to consider a life seeking simple pleasures that tread lightly on the earth.

Silver winner: My Slow Journey

Best Destination for Responsible Tourism - sponsored by the V&A Waterfront

Gold Winner: Gansbaai - http://www.gansbaaiinfo.com

Judges' reasons for winning: "Since 1995 Gansbaai Tourism has worked to create awareness of and market the area as a tourism destination. The cluster of businesses in the area, some of them with international reputations, have worked together to develop an exemplary destination, a quality guest experience which has conserved fynbos and marine wildlife, created significant direct and indirect employment and they are now working together to quantify their environmental impacts.

Silver Winners:
Bigodo Wetlands Sanctuary
Cape Town

Best for Engaging People and Cultures - sponsored by Gauteng Tourism Authority

Gold Winner: Coffeebeans Routes, Cape Town, South Africa - coffeebeansroutes.com

Judges' reasons for winning: "Setting an example that could be replicated in other destinations, Cape Town-based Coffeebeans Routes creates travel experiences around urban stories. These are contemporary, urban, African experiences that provide deep insights, and plenty of fun. The experiences bring visitors and locals together across boundaries. Unapologetic about the pushing social justice agenda, Coffeebeans Routes employs tourism as a tool to unlock economic potential and address societal inequalities through exploring cultural diversity and legacy."

Silver Winners:
!Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre
Nkwichi Lodge
TFPD Foundation for the work done at Baleni Camp

Best for Poverty Reduction sponsored by Marine Dynamics

Joint Gold Winner

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in partnership with the Grootbos Foundation - http://www.grootbosfoundation.org

Judges' reasons for winning "Here we have two winners working at different scales - each in their own way using tourism as a vehicle for poverty reduction.
Grootbos is not a stranger to winning Responsible Tourism Awards. What stands out is the long history of interventions that amplify each other. The programmes of the Grootbos Foundation focus on improved livelihoods through self-reliance, development of viable enterprise development, gender balance and empowerment of women. Impacts are well quantified and information about projects easily accessible to the willing reader.

Transfrontier Parks Destinations - http://www.tfpd.co.za

The scale and ambition of the Transfrontier Parks Destination's work is truly remarkable. To actively seek out failing tourism businesses in areas of very high unemployment is very admirable but to them turn them round into viable businesses again employing many locals on a living wage giving them long term stability and income displays true leadership."

Silver Winner: Stormsriver Adventures

Best for Resource Management - supported by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa

Gold Winner: Chobe Game Lodge, Botswana http://www.chobegamelodge.co.bw

Judges' reasons for winning: "Chobe Game Lodge is over 40 years old, to refurbish an old structure the size of this lodge, making it more eco-friendly is a mammoth and on-going task. The lodge has a long term approach to energy efficiency with the ultimate aim of reducing dependency on the grid. The most noticeable innovation is the use of All Electric Game Drive Vehicles and Electric game viewing boats.

Silver Winners:
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
Sandele Eco-Retreat and Learning Centre
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company
Vineyard Hotel

Best for Wildlife Conservation - sponsored by South African National Parks

Gold Winner: Marine Dynamics, South Africa - http://www.sharkwatchsa.com

Judges' reasons for winning: "Marine Dynamics provide very high quality shark cage diving experiences. They operate in a sector where there is rightly a lot of criticism of current practice. Marine Dynamics are industry leaders, a commercial operation which operates to the highest conservation standards, where every trip has a marine biologist aboard to provide interpretation and collect data for scientific research. An operator that makes a significant contribution to conservation and the local economy.

Re: Finalists announced for African Responsible Tourism Awar

Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:50 pm

Well done, all the winners ^Q^