WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards Celebrate Sustainable Initiatives

WTMA Responsible Tourism Awards Announced
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The WTMA Responsible Tourism Awards spotlighted innovative initiatives driving sustainability and community upliftment in the tourism industry, showcasing Africa’s leadership in responsible travel.

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The World Travel Market Africa (WTMA) Responsible Tourism Awards winners were announced at Africa Travel Week 2024. Bangu Masisi of Transfrontier Parks Destinations unveiled the honorees, recognizing businesses and initiatives championing positive impacts through responsible tourism practices.

“These awards are crucial to WTM Africa’s responsible tourism program,” said Masisi, underlining the importance of highlighting impactful endeavors to inspire others.

Alderman James Vos, opening the ceremony, lauded the winners and stressed the significance of sustainable practices in the tourism industry.

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The 2024 awards, featuring six categories, honored gold and silver winners with trophies crafted by Ngwenya Glass, with five of the eight global winners originating from Africa in the Global Responsible Tourism Awards 2023.

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Harold Goodwin, WTM Africa’s responsible tourism advisor and a judge, extended congratulations to the winners and expressed excitement about those recognized as ‘ones to watch’.

Below are the recipients of the gold and silver awards, alongside noteworthy mentions to watch:

Recognizing Nature Positive Initiatives

Gold Winner: Denis Private Island in Seychelles

The winners of the World Travel Market Africa (WTMA) Responsible Tourism Awards 2024 showcased remarkable dedication to sustainable practices. Denis Private Island in Seychelles was awarded gold for its holistic approach to sustainable tourism, prioritizing habitat restoration and wildlife conservation. Silver was awarded to !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre in South Africa.

Silver Winner: !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre – South Africa

One to Watch: HBD Príncipe – São Tomé and Príncipe
One to Watch: Plett Ocean – South Africa

Empowering Local Communities

Gold: Grootbos Lodge & the Green Futures College – South Africa

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Grootbos Lodge & the Green Futures College in South Africa clinched the gold for employing and upskilling local communities. The Grootbos Foundation, funded by the business and donors, has provided training to over 200 graduates and empowered female biodiversity stewards. WTMA Responsible Tourism Awards’ Silver went to Save Wildlife in Uganda.

Silver: Save Wildlife – Uganda
One to Watch: Matoke Tours – Uganda
One to Watch HBD: Príncipe – São Tomé and Príncipe

Promoting Inclusive Travel

Gold: Warrior on Wheels Foundation – South Africa

Warrior on Wheels Foundation in South Africa secured the gold of WTMA Responsible Tourism Awards for its efforts in making travel inclusive, offering empowering experiences for children with disabilities. The foundation, reliant on sponsorships and partnerships, has hosted over 89 experiences for more than 100 families since its inception eight years ago.

One to Watch: Bontel Adventures – Kenya

Fostering Climate Consciousness

Gold: Ecodrop – Zimbabwe

Ecodrop in Zimbabwe won gold for its innovative solution to eliminate single-use plastic bottles in Southern Africa’s tourism sector. Removing over 72,000 plastic bottles at Victoria Falls in just ten months, Ecodrop impressed judges with its scalable, waste-reducing system.

Silver: Century City Conference Centre – South Africa
One to Watch: Sunsail and The Moorings

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Gold: Trip to Help – Kenya & Tanzania

WTMA Responsible Tourism Awards awarded gold to Trip to Help in Kenya & Tanzania for championing cultural diversity through sustainable practices. The company ensures 80% of payments directly benefit the local economy and supports over 3,000 children’s access to free education in Maasai areas.

Silver: Traditional African Homestays – South Africa
One to Watch: Come Make We Go – Nigeria
One to Watch: Cultural Oneness Festival Ghana

The gold winners in the WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards are automatically entered into the Sabre Global Responsible Tourism Awards.

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