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Gansbaai, South Africa
This is a remarkable group of tourism businesses many of which have won Responsible Tourism Awards individually, including Grootbos for its conservation of the fynbos and its poverty reduction impact, and Marine Dynamics for conservation and local economic development.
The judges wanted to recognise them for the overall award for the way in which they have worked, together to create a destination, with outstanding product, memorable experiences and brought local economic development and communal facilities to the local community. They have demonstrated what tourism can do to make better places to live in and great places to visit.
GOLD: Chumbe Island Coral Park, Tanzania
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: Nuarro Lodge, Mozambique
GOLD: The Good Holiday
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: My Slow Journey
GOLD: Gansbaai, South Africa
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: Bigodo Wetlands Sanctuary, Uganda & Cape Town, South Africa
GOLD: Marine Dynamics, South Africa
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.
SILVER: andBeyond’s Rhinos Without Borders & Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse, South Africa
GOLD: Coffeebeans Routes, South Africa
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 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: !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre, South Africa and Nkwichi Lodge, Mozambique and TFPD Foundation for the work done at Baleni Camp, South Africa
GOLD: Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in partnership with the Grootbos Foundation, South Africa and Transfrontier Parks Destinations, South Africa
Here we have two winners working at different scales – each in their own way using tourism as a vehicle for poverty reduction.
Grootbos is no 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.
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: Stormsriver Adventures, South Africa
GOLD: Chobe Game Lodge, Botswana
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: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Namibia and Sandele Eco-Retreat and Learning Centre, The Gambia and Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, South Africa and Vineyard Hotel, South Africa