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ATTA for Action Award winners announced at Experience Africa in London

ATTA Action Awards
ATTA Action Awards

ATTA for Action Awards launched by the African Travel and Tourism Association to inspire impactful tourism in Africa, announced at Experience Africa in London.

LONDON – Designed to inspire meaningful impact in tourism across Africa, the ATTA for Action Awards was crafted by the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) and announced at the Experience Africa travel trade show event on 1 July 2024 in London.

Says Nigel Vere Nicoll, ATTA President: “We received an overwhelming number of excellent applications for our inaugural awards, and we are grateful to all those who whole-heartedly supported this initiative. We are impressed by the commitment of so many within the tourism industry to impact conservation and communities, and we sincerely hope that the work of the winners and finalists will be inspirational to many.”

ATTA for Action is a conscious collaboration for NGO projects and the Africa tourism supply chain. The aim is to leverage collective expertise to address the unique challenges faced by local communities and the tourism supply chain and drive meaningful impact in the communities across the African continent. The award event was sponsored by Botswana Tourism Organisation. Eight categories formed the basis of the awards. The winners per category are summarised as below:

  • Heart for Heritage and Community Champion: Chem Chem Safaris (Tanzania)
  • Ethical Wildlife Experience: Chumbe Island Coral Park (Tanzania)
  • Eco-Innovation in Hospitality: Asilia Africa (United Kingdom)
  • Earth-Friendly Cuisine: Lemala Camps and Lodges (Tanzania)
  • Meaningful Engagement Champion: African Monarch Lodges – The Sijwa Project (Namibia Digital Storytelling Champion: How Many Elephants (United Kingdom)
    Collaborative Champions of Climate and Social Justice: Gamewatchers Safari & Porini Camps (Kenya)
  • Traveller Education and Awareness Champion: Let’s Go Travel Uniglobe (Kenya)

Each category had specific criteria which were reviewed by a panel of judges:

  • Heart for Heritage and Community Champion: Exceptional leadership in heritage-focused African tourism, and a corporate culture of community, empowerment and inclusivity within their internal teams.

Winner: Chem Chem Safaris (Tanzania)

Chem Chem Safari owns and operates three exclusive safari camps in the 50,000-acre Burunge Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in northern Tanzania. The land belongs to the communities around Chem Chem who have set it aside for conservation and wildlife protection.

Judge’s comment: It’s amazing to see how Chem Chem acknowledges that successful conservation requires community involvement. Their impact report highlights impressive numbers, showcasing their intertwined efforts for both conservation protection and community empowerment.

Finalists: Desert & Delta Safaris (Botswana) | Saruni Basecamp (Kenya)

  • Ethical Wildlife Experience: Ethical wildlife tour experiences that respect animal welfare (captive and wild), educates tourists and have demonstrated a significant contribution to natural habitat conservation and the reduction of human wildlife conflict.

Winner: Chumbe Island Coral Park (Tanzania)

Chumbe Island Coral Park (CHICOP) is a private island off the coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania, and is a social non-profit enterprise. Established in 1992, CHICOP is famous for turning Chumbe Island’s coral reefs and forest into a fully managed internationally recognised nature reserve. With they have created the world’s first privately managed marine park that’s fully financed through ecotourism.

Judge’s comments: The impact of the efforts of Chumbe Island Coral Park (CHICOP) is evident in its successful conservation outcomes and community benefits. The park has achieved significant biodiversity preservation with high densities of fish and coral species. Studies have shown the effectiveness of the spillover effect, which benefits local fisheries. The park’s initiatives have also led to improved livelihoods for community members and greater environmental awareness. CHICOP’s model of sustainable park management, funded by ecotourism, serves as an exemplary case for conservation efforts globally.

Finalists: Great Plains Conservation (South Africa) | Sibuya Game Reserve (South Africa)

Eco-Innovation in Hospitality: Honours accommodation establishments with integrated innovative eco-friendly practices and technologies and that have effectively integrated renewable energy sources into their operations.

Winner: Asilia Africa (United Kingdom)

Asilia Africa offers authentic East African safari experiences that leave a positive impact on Africa’s crucial wilderness areas. Meaning ‘genuine’ or ‘authentic’ in Swahili, Asilia Africa has built a reputation for incredible safari experiences with an unwavering commitment to empowering both people and nature alike. Asilia Africa is a fast-growing, leading safari operator and DMC, employing over 1,000 people with 19 camps and lodges in Kenya and Tanzania.

Judge’s comments: Asilia Africa (Rubondo Island Camp) has prioritised the use of renewable energy, use of electric vehicles, and working with other organisations in monitoring and combating emissions as well as supporting local initiatives.

Finalists: Far and Wide Travel (United Kingdom) | Green Safaris (Zambia)

  • Earth-Friendly Cuisine: Organisations that prioritise seasonal, local and indigenous produce, working with ethical suppliers, minimising food waste, and educating guests and other stakeholders.

Winner: Lemala Camps and Lodges (Tanzania)

Lemala properties are an authentic collection of luxurious lodges, intimate villas and classic tented camps located in Tanzania’s Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire regions, and Uganda’s River Nile.

Judge’s comments: An extraordinary example of a totally holistic approach to a sustainable food initiative, which educates guests and so many people in the local community. Combined with some original thinking, Lemala Camps and Lodges are a brilliant case study globally.

Finalists: Dusty Road Township Experience (Zimbabwe) | Hatari Lodge (Tanzania)

Meaningful Engagement Champion: The tourism entity that has demonstrated exceptional commitment to protecting both people and places through outstanding employee and client engagement initiatives. It honours those who have successfully fostered a culture of caring within their workforce and clientele, actively involving them in meaningful conservation and community actions.

Winner: African Monarch Lodges – The Sijwa Project (Namibia)

African Monarch Lodges operates two properties in Namibia’s Bwabwata National Park: Nambwa Tented Lodge and Kazile Island Lodge. These lodges, part of a Joint Venture Collection, are located in the Eastern Zambezi Region, at the heart of KAZA – the world’s largest conservation area. Committed to sustainability and community support, the company launched The Sijwa Project. This initiative focuses on repurposing and reinventing recyclable waste from both their lodges, the local community, and neighbouring properties.

Judge’s comments: We’re beyond impressed at how far this initiative has come considering it was only started in Covid times. To see both the practical benefits to the wider community of waste disposal and recycling, and the soft power of the education and community immersion is superb. African Monarch Lodges provides a best-in-class example of how tourism and local communities really can co-exist and both profit from a financial and emotional perspective.

Finalists: Gamewatchers Safari & Porini Camps (Kenya) | Green Safaris (Zambia)

  • Digital Storytelling Champion: A captivating digital media story (video, blog post, podcast, social media campaign) that inspired viewers or readers to travel responsibly from coast to coast and contribute to a positive impact on the continent.

Winner: How Many Elephants (United Kingdom)

UK registered charity How Many Elephants (1186238) is a powerful design-led awareness campaign and innovative in its 100% non-gory approach. It showcases the annual poaching rate of 35,000 elephants in Africa in a visual exhibition to inspire and educate a global audience about the devastating impacts of the ivory trade. How Many Elephants collaborates with and supports female rangers on the front line.

Judge’s comments: There are many amazing charities that focus on Africa, but what Holly has achieved in both how she presents the female ranger role alongside its challenges in an unusual and design-led way is so powerful. This is evidenced in How Many Elephants media and fundraising achievements, that has each year built on this momentum very successfully having moved from Female Ranger Day to Female Ranger Week.

  • Collaborative Champions of Climate and Social Justice: Recognises the collaboration of organisations with aligned missions that share resources to make a holistic impact.

Winner: Gamewatchers Safari & Porini Camps (Kenya)

Gamewatchers is an exclusive tour company that specialises in delivering tailored safaris to small camps and lodges in Africa, committed to helping preserve Africa’s unique wildlife, landscapes and local communities. Gamewatchers Safaris is one of the longest established safari outfitters based in East Africa.

Judge’s comments: Through the detailed application form complimented by the supportive content, Gamewatchers Safari & Porini Camps provided a very intense account of the enterprise’s collaborative initiatives towards climate and social justice. Their numerous partnerships, such as that with Maarifa Foundation, the Smart Learning Project, Wi-Learn, and PadMad, to name a few, have shown true impact.

Finalists: Niarra Travel (United Kingdom) | Steppes Travel (United Kingdom)

  • Traveller Education and Awareness Champion: Recognition of a buyer that educates travellers on how to be better visitors to make a more positive impact on tourism in Africa

Winner: Let’s Go Travel Uniglobe (Kenya)

Let’s Go Travel Uniglobe is a leading sustainable and inclusive travel management company in East Africa. Established in 1979 with their head office Nairobi, Kenya, they are IATA-approved and automated, offering computerised reservations, ticketing and personalised travel experiences. Let’s Go Travel Uniglobe have implemented a comprehensive set of social and environmental initiatives, focused on raising awareness about conserving the environment, empowering communities, and fostering a new generation of sustainability champions.

Judge’s comments: Let’s Go Travel has immensely demonstrated their commitment to ensuring their sustainability efforts are widely known, experienced and witnessed through their website, initiative beneficiaries, youth integration and capacity-building efforts among other interventions including the creative idea of caring for senior citizens. They also highlighted numerous evidence in the form of documentation, videos or online material, which further complimented their detailed application.

Finalists: Asilia Africa (United Kingdom) | EcoTraining (South Africa)

“Congratulations to all the winners, and a special thanks to the judges, each a leader in the field of responsible tourism, who contributed their time and talents to reviewing each application,”
added Vere-Nicoll.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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