CAPE TOWN – Tourism stakeholders across Africa have just one month to get their entries in for the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021, which for the first time has introduced regional awards, including Africa, India, Latin America and the Rest of World.
This year, all the Gold winners will have a chance to win an inaugural WTM World Responsible Tourism Global Award. Each of the six categories will have its own Global winner, chosen from the four regional winners. The regional Gold and Silver Awards recipients, and the new Global winners, will be announced at WTM Virtual, taking place digitally between 8-9 November this year.
Winners will be chosen by a group of industry experts, led by Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, which meet online to allow for an internationally diverse panel.
This year’s categories reflect the relationship between tourism, responsibility and COVID-19:
- Decarbonising Travel & Tourism
- Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic
- Destinations Building Back Better Post-Covid
- Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?
- Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment
- Growing the Local Economic Benefit
Conservation and community are Africa’s key tourism assets, says Megan Oberholzer, Reed Exhibitions South Africa Portfolio Director - Travel, Tourism & Creative Industries. As such, the continent is a leading example for responsible tourism and the awards provide a
platform for worthy initiatives to get well-deserved international recognition.
“Don’t miss your opportunity to contribute to shining a spotlight, not only on your noteworthy responsible tourism initiatives, but also to showcase Africa as a continent that truly cares for people, places and the planet. There are so many incredible initiatives in Africa that deserve to be showcased as leading examples of responsible tourism and you have a month to get those entries in. You have to be in it, to win it,” adds Oberholzer.
According to Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, says the World Responsible Tourism Awards have grown in prestige. “Every year, remarkable new examples of responsible businesses and destinations are ‘discovered’ and recognised through the Awards. In 2021 for the first time, we are launching Global Awards for each category, selected from the Gold winners in each of the regions. Only those that enter can win, you've nothing to lose by applying or encouraging someone else to do so,” Goodwin concludes.
Launched in 2002, the awards seek to recognise and reward businesses and destinations which are contributing to more sustainable and responsible tourism industry, based on the simple principle that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be
organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people.