2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards longlist revealed

2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards longlist revealed

Longlist for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards demonstrate the power of responsible tourism in Africa

The competition for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards has moved into the second round, with over 30 tourism organisations competing for top spots at the awards ceremony at WTM Africa in April.
Sponsored by WESGRO and organised by Better Tourism Africa, the awards recognise African organisations that offer a shining example of how tourism can benefit the local people, the environment, and destinations. The awards are part of a family of regional Responsible Tourism Awards which culminate each year with World Responsible Tourism Day at WTM in London.

This year, the longlist names tourism organisations from Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Longlisted organisations compete in seven categories, among them habitat and species conservation, engaging people and culture, poverty reduction and a new category in 2017 – the best responsible event.

Image: Previous winners of the African Responsible Tourism Awards


“The quality of entries which have made it through to the longlist this year confirms the power of responsible tourism as a force for good in Africa. Each and every one of these organisations is playing an important role in championing responsible tourism. We’ve reviewed the information from the first round entry forms, and are excited about the possibilities,” says Heidi van der Watt, founder of the African awards and director of Better Tourism Africa.

The longlisted organisations will now be rigorously questioned and their submissions reviewed by the judging team. Chair of Judges, Professor Harold Goodwin says:
“The field for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards (ARTA) is even stronger than previous years – and that takes some doing! Those longlisted have been invited to complete a detailed questionnaire, we’ll take up references and make some inquiries. On judging day we’ll identify those that demonstrate the difference that taking responsibility can make, and have the capacity to educate and inspire others to be more responsible.”

The general public can also offer support or otherwise for longlisted organisations by emailing talktous@africanresponsibletourismawards.com. Based on all the evidence, the independent judging team, made up of industry experts, will debate the entries and select the shortlist and winners. The shortlist will be announced on 7 April 2017.

The 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards winners will be announced at a ceremony that will be held on Thursday 20 April 2017 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The ceremony is part of the responsible tourism programme at WTM Africa, which takes place from 19 to 21 April 2017.

Carol Weaving, Managing Director for Reed Exhibitions, organiser of WTM Africa, says:
“WTM Africa is now firmly established on the African travel and tourism event calendar. Responsible Tourism is a cornerstone of WTM Africa and integral to the success of tourism on the continent. All stakeholders have a duty to ensure education, sustainability, and authenticity when promoting the unique experiences that Africa has to offer. We look forward to an exciting third edition of the African Responsible Tourism Awards, here in Cape Town at the CTICC at WTM Africa.”

The 2017 ARTA longlist
@BushCampsAfrica African Bush Camps

@African_Impact African Impact

@alloutafrica All Out Africa

@basecampexplore Basecamp Explorer

@Blood_Lions Blood Lions™

@bushfirefest Bushfire

@CoffeeShackBP Coffee Shack Backpackers

@WeAreWilderness Damaraland Camp & the Torra Conservancy

@porinisafaris Gamewatchers Safaris

@GreatPlainsCons Great Plains Conservation

@GreenGirlAfrica Green Girls in Africa

@ilhablue.islandsafaris Ilha Blue Island Safaris

@influencetours Influence Tours

@IsibindiAfrica Isibindi Africa Lodges

@Khayavolunteers Khaya Volunteer Projects

@KwandweReserve Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

@LEO.Africa LEO Africa

@MaasaiOlympic Maasai Olympics

@MabonengArtsMaboneng Township Arts Experience

@MabonengArtsMaboneng Township Arts Experience Festival

Mashujaa Peace Walk

@PantheraAfrica Panthera Africa

@SaltyCrax_SAVE Save Foundation

@serenahotels Serena Hotels

@simiens.lodgeSimien Lodge

Sterkspruit Community Art Centre Tele Bridge Race

@Thanda_ Thanda Safari

@thebackpackcpt The Backpack

@WeAreWilderness Tour de Tuli

@TzaneenLodge Tzaneen Country Lodge

@LetsGoTravelKE Uniglobe Lets Go Travel

@UthandoSouthAfr Uthando

@WarriorOnWheels Warrior On Wheels Foundation

@WeAreWilderness Wilderness Safaris

@wildlifeactWildlife ACT


For more information or any media related questions, please contact RedLip PR:

Robyn Elford
+27 83 460 5751

Casey van Niekerk
+27 82 214 7582

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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.

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). 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. http://africa.wtm.com/ Next event: 19-21 April 2017.

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Taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, nearly 5000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading and only business to business (B2B) exhibition for inbound and outbound Africa travel and tourism markets.

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