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WTM Africa 2023

Responsible Tourism at WTM Africa April 4 & 5 2023

Tuesday 4th April

 10:30-11:25  Measuring and reporting on impact, avoiding greenwashing
The evidence from Booking.com and other large-scale surveys of consumer demand is clear. A large majority of consumers from all source markets express a preference for sustainable products and experiences. Nearly one in three (29%) said they still did not know how to find them. There is a commercial opportunity to transparently communicate to consumers and business partners the issues you are taking responsibility for and what you are achieving.

Certification alone cannot provide the traveller or holidaymaker with the information they seek about water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, labour conditions or contributions to conservation. This panel will discuss the different ways of reporting on emerging sustainability practices.

Moderator Harold Goodwin  WTM Responsible Tourism Adviser

  1. Henry Matthys - Snr Man. Social Impact & Food Ecosystem Head V&A Waterfront
  2. Vincent Shacks Group Impact Manager, Wilderness
  3. Julie Cheetham Managing Director, Weeva
  4. Barry Gray Director, Transfrontier Parks Destinations
  5. Ruth Crichton Marketing & PR, Sustainability, Grootbos

11:30-12:15 Witsieshoek: Montoeli Mota & Glynn O’Leary in conversation with Harold Goodwin

In November 2022, Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge in the Drakensburg was the overall winner of the Global Awards at WTM, London. Montoeli Mota is the Principal Traditional  Leader of the Batlokoa community, part of the greater Sesotho nation, who own  Witsieshoek. Glynn O'Leary is the CEO of Transfrontier Parks Destinations, their commercial partner. We shall explore the origins and development of the relationship between them, discuss the impact of the Covid pandemic and reflect on what makes a good working partnership between a community, the owner,  and their commercial operator.

12:15-13:00 Coping with Climate Change – Adaptation & Decarbonisation
 At COP 27, UN secretary general António Guterres warned of the consequences of failure, "There is no way we can avoid a catastrophic situation if the two [the developed and developing world] are not able to establish a historic pact," he said, in an interview with the Guardian. "Because at the present level, we will be doomed."

Robert Swan, the first person to walk to the North and South Poles,  captured our predicament as a species pithily "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief someone else will save it." We now have both to bear the cost of adaptation and decarbonise. Our expert panel will discuss some of the solutions which make business sense. Our conversation will range over adaptation, reductions in emissions, the polluter pays principle,  off-setting by tree planting and concerns about the efficacy of planting trees and dangers of dependency.

Moderator Harold Goodwin  WTM Responsible Tourism Adviser 
Val Charlton
Managing, Director Landworks™
Melissa Foley All About Africa Consulting,
Goosain Isaacs 
Director. Climate Change, Western Cape Government


13:45-14:30 Why enter the Responsible Tourism Awards? Is there value in being recognised?

Harold Goodwin, the Chair of Judges for the WTM Africa and WTM Global Awards, in conversation with previous winners about why they entered and what it means to them to have been recognised. These awards aim to "discover, recognise and promote good practice". These prestigious awards recognise businesses and destinations that make responsible tourism their focus to ensure they are discovered and celebrated, showing how they are cultivating change and pioneering creative projects that revolve around the well-being and sustainability of tourism and looking after the people and the landscapes that allow the industry to thrive.

Moderator Harold Goodwin  WTM Responsible Tourism Adviser

 1. Glynn O'Leary Transfrontier Parks Destinations
2. Pieter van Rooyen, Bon Hotel Bloemfontein Central
3. Miha Logar, Co-Founder | Gorilla Highlands Ltd
4. Melissa Foley – Board Member, Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project
5. Emilie Hagedoorn - Green Heart Tourism

14:30-16:00 The 2023 WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards

Join us as we celebrate those - sustainability champions, changemakers, movers and shakers - who continue to make a positive impact and lead by example. See who has been recognised this year in the WTM Africa Awards, with the Gold winners entering the Global Awards at WTM, London, in November.

There will be a celebration event to recognise this year's winners.

Wednesday 5th April

10:30 – 11:15 21 years on from the 2002 Cape Town Declaration   

The 1995 post-apartheid white paper on the Development and  Promotion of Tourism in South Africa had Responsible Tourism at its core. In Cape Town 21 years ago,  the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations was debated and agreed upon alongside the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Over the last two decades, South African businesses and many more across Africa and worldwide have been recognised for their achievements in implementing Responsible Tourism principles, and the Responsible Tourism movement is gathering pace. 21 years on, it is time to reflect on progress and think about the future

 Moderator Harold Goodwin  WTM Responsible Tourism Adviser

  1. Wilfred Chivell Marine Dynamics
  2. Emilie Hagedoorn  Green Heart Tourism
  3. Bangu Masisi represented SA Tourism in US & Canada, North Europe & Scandinavia, and Australasia
  4. Pieter van Rooyen, Bon Hotel Bloemfontein Central
  5. Siyabulela (Sabu) Siyaka Ubizo Events & Tours
  6. Theuns Vivian Tourism Unit in the Enterprise and Investment Directorate of the
    City of Cape Town.

11:30 – 12:15 James Fernie of Uthando in Conversation with Harold Goodwin

Uthando (Love), based in Cape Town is an award-winning Fair Trade in Tourism certified not-for-profit organisation. They create linkages between tourism and community development projects. Their Philanthropic Educational Excursions allow Uthando guests to experience South Africa's unique spirit of Ubuntu 'I am because we are'. Their culturally sensitive philanthropic educational excursions shine a light on the many deserving, unsung community heroes. All the research confirms that tourists are looking for positive engagement with local communities, we shall be talking about how doing good, is good for business.

12:30-13:15 How can tourism become Nature Positive?

In the wake of COP 15 we shall discuss how travel and tourism can become nature positive. Back in September 2022, the World Travel & Tourism Council published Nature Positive Travel and Tourism. It reminds us that the sector can contribute to biodiversity loss and advance nature conservation. The WTTC asserts that "Taking direct action to reduce impacts and restore nature, while encouraging supply chains and destination partners to do the same, can protect our planet and also boost tourism appeal. Managed well, Travel & Tourism can reconnect people with nature, invest in species protection through effective community-led partnerships and play a leading role in a Nature Positive future." Our panel will share their experience of how best to turn tourism nature positive, to benefit conservation and the communities who live in the buffer zone.

Moderator Harold Goodwin  WTM Responsible Tourism Adviser

  1. Keleabetswe Tlouane
  2. Colin Bell Natural  Selection
  3. Holly Budge, Founder of NGO How Many Elephants & World Female Ranger Week
  4. Miha Logar, Co-Founder | Gorilla Highlands Ltd
  5. Loubie Rusch Stimulating knowledge, cultivation & eating of Cape local indigenous foods

13:30 – 14:15  The 2022 Responsible Tourism Charter
20 years on from the 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, it was necessary to update it. We need to address the issues of transport to the destination, which is central to the decarbonisation agenda. Plastics and biodiversity extinction have also gained prominence since 2002. The 2022 Responsible Tourism Charter was launched and signed on Magna Carta Island in November 2022. The agenda has broadened over the last twenty years. We will discuss with people there at the launch why the new Charter matters and the business advantage of having signed.

There will also be an opportunity for those who wish to sign the Charter.

14:30 – 16:00 Workshop: How to use Responsible Tourism to do better business.

With a panel of business people who have used Responsible Tourism to build their businesses by creating shared value, enriching the tourist experience, extending the length of stay and saving costs by sourcing locally, we shall explore how you can use Responsible Tourism to do better business. We shall discuss how you might choose the Responsible Tourism issues to address to make tourism better for neighbouring communities and the natural and cultural environment. How best to tackle your objectives and secure market advantage from your efforts. There will be time for questions and answers, a chance to share experiences and to benefit from the expertise in the panel,

  1. Harold Goodwin  WTM Responsible Tourism Adviser
  2. Miha Logar, Co-Founder | Gorilla Highlands Ltd
  3. Ruth Crichton Marketing & PR, Sustainability, Grootbos
  4. Glynn O'Leary Transfrontier Parks Destinations
  5. Beks Ndlovu, Owner, African Bushcamps.
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