(Posted 13th April 2022)
● 2022 winners announced for the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards live at Africa Travel Week.
● TUI Care Foundation, Wild Horizons and Green Safaris awarded gold.
● Gold winners in each category will go on to compete in the Global Awards at WTM London from
The winners of the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards 2022 have officially been announced at Africa Travel Week (ATW), with TUI Care Foundation, Wild Horizons and Green Safaris taking home gold.
The live ceremony, held on the Global Stage at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC)
on Monday, 11th of April, commenced in front of a live audience of global industry professionals and local media.
“It was a great pleasure to honour those responsible-tourism rock stars who lead by example, and
champion meaningful causes within our industry,” says Martin Hiller, Content + Creative Director:
Travel, Tourism & Creative Industries at RX Exhibitions before adding: “We also want to extend a massive thank you to all of our sponsors, and applicants who continue to shine a spotlight on Africa as a continent that truly cares for its people, places and the wellbeing of our planet.”
Following an intense judging session, the panel, including Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism
Advisor, shortlisted seven organisations from across Africa as gold winners for this year’s awards. Official
winners and runners-up per category are as follows:
● Decarbonising Travel & Tourism:
Climate change will have profound consequences for businesses in the travel and tourism sector, and
people and wildlife in originating markets and destinations. It is important to find ways to reduce the
amount of carbon emissions that travellers and holidaymakers cause.
Gold: Green Safaris
Green Safaris operates properties in Zambia and Malawi using tourism to contribute to
conservation, community development and the promotion of engaged tourism. Their lodges are
built with earthbags − which reduce cement use by 95% − as well as local materials to minimise
embedded carbon footprint. Most are fully solar-powered and the earthbag construction helps
better regulate the interior temperature naturally. They also use solar-charged game-drive e-
vehicles, e-boats and e-mountain bikes, and have introduced smart stoves to reduce charcoal-
burning in neighbouring communities.
Silver: V&A Waterfront
● Destinations Building Back Better Post-Covid
At the awards last year we saw several destinations that were beginning to rethink the tourist volumes
and market segments they will attract post-Covid, and some who were considering demarketing.
Gold: TUI Care Foundation
The TUI Care Foundation connects holidaymakers to good causes; they foster education and the
wellbeing of children and youth, the protection of nature and the environment, and the positive
impacts of tourism on people and places in destinations worldwide.
Silver Sustainable: Island Mauritius
One to Watch: Rwanda Development Board
One to Watch: Ultimate Safaris
● Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic
Many businesses and organisations in the travel and tourism sector have worked hard to sustain their
employees and the communities in which they operate during Covid-19. This award recognises and
draws attention to those who have successfully helped others − employees and neighbours alike − to
weather the storm.
Gold: Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project
The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project is a programme of the Kilimanjaro Responsible
Trekking Organization, a porter welfare initiative aiming to improve their working conditions.
When Covid arrived they used a phone tree method to provide Covid safety information to
7,000 mountain crew and asked them to share the information with families, friends and
Silver: We are Victoria Falls
● Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment
The pandemic has dramatically increased the amount of single-use plastic, adding to the global plastic
waste crisis. The industry needs to do more to reduce single-use plastics, take responsibility and work
with local communities and their governments on waterways to capture waste plastic with nets and
floating barriers and upcycle it for cobbles, furniture and crafts.
Asilia were early partners of Zanrec in introducing sustainable waste management and played a
part in encouraging 100 other hotels and guesthouses on the east coast of Zanzibar to partner
with them and recycle their waste responsibly. In 2020 at Sayari, in the Serengeti, they launched
a solar-powered micro-brewery using reverse-osmosis purified water from a borehole on site.
They no longer purchase plastic and glass bottles or cans for the camp and save carbon
emissions by not having to transport drinks to the lodge.
Silver: Lemala Camps and Lodges
● Increasing Diversity in Tourism
Diversity is a broad term: “Identities include, but are not limited to, ability, age, ethnicity, gender
identity and expression, immigration status, intellectual differences, national origin, race, religion, sex,
and sexual orientation.” For the travel industry, it is about who they employ at various levels, who they
market to, the way they present the destinations they sell, the range of experiences they promote and
the stories they tell.
Gold: BON Hotel Bloemfontein Central
In 2007, BON Hotel Bloemfontein Central appointed previously disadvantaged staff members to
their board of directors and then created a staff share trust in which they allocated 51% of the shares in the business to the staff. The initiative is self-funded from the hotel’s profits. The establishment is also involved with the Towers of Hope, an NGO located across the street from the hotel which works to improve the lives of marginalised citizens in inner-city Bloemfontein.
The judges wanted to recognise this unusual example of an initiative designed to empower
previously disadvantaged members of their community.
Silver: Lemala Camps and Lodges
● Growing the Local Economic Benefit
By adapting the way they do business, accommodation providers and tour operators can create
additional market opportunities for local communities in their supply chains and create opportunities to
sell goods and services directly to tourists.
Gold: Wild Horizons
Wild Horizon’s Pay It Forward Initiative enables guests to enrich their journey while making a
positive impact. From a list of registered charitable organisations, guests select a cause they
would like to support. The guests connect with local people, discover less-visited parts of town
and immerse themselves in a different style of grocery shopping before delivering their
purchases to their chosen charity.
● Virtual Volunteering
The judges were struck by two innovations included by businesses entering the Africa Responsible
Tourism Awards this year − innovations generated in response to the pandemic which are likely to
become a permanent part of the travel and tourism sector. There have been many efforts to create
virtual travel experiences, whether on the internet or through the use of virtual reality.
Gold: people and places
People and places creates individually-designed placements which match volunteer skills to local
needs in 10 countries worldwide including Eswatini, The Gambia, South Africa, Madagascar and
Silver: TUI Care Foundation
Gold winners in each category will go on to compete in the Global Awards taking place at WTM London
from 7-9 November this year.
Last year, the V&A Waterfront scooped the Global Award in London.
“The V&A Waterfront was selected for the global award for their work with local communities during
Covid. We’ve got fantastic applicants this year for the Responsible Tourism Awards in Africa,” says
Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor.
This year also saw two judges’ awards, which are only awarded when two independent panels select the
same winners in any chosen category. In the history of the Responsible Tourism Awards, there have only
ever been five judges’ awards. The deserving winners were Grootbos and Transfontier Parks Destinations.