African Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM Africa reveal reach across continent with the announcement of the 2016 long list. The competition for the 2016 African Responsible Tourism Awards at Word Travel Market (WTM) Africa has started in earnest as the long list of organisations vying for the top spot at WTM in Cape Town this April is announced.

Sponsored by WESGRO and organised by Better Tourism Africa, the awards recognise inspiring African organisations that work to ensure tourism environments and benefit destinations and local people. The awards are part of a family of regional Responsible Tourism Awards which culminate each year with the World Responsible Tourism Awards which are presented at WTM in London on World Responsible Tourism Day.

The long-listed tourism businesses, organisations and initiatives come from 13 countries – covering the continent north to south and east to west. The list includes nominees from Morocco, the Gambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Ethiopia, South Africa and many more.

The long-list names over 60 tourism organisations, initiatives, businesses and projects across eight categories. These categories include:

  1. Best for Beach Tourism
  2. Best Contribution to Cultural Heritage Conservation
  3. Best Hotel for Responsible Employment
  4. Best Operator for People with Disabilities
  5. Best for Poverty Reduction
  6. Best Responsible Tourism Marketing Campaign
  7. Best for Wildlife Conservation
  8. Best for Public Sector Policy/Support
  9. People’s Choice in Responsible Tourism

The variety of organisations which have made it through to the long list this year demonstrates just how powerful a force for good responsible tourism is becoming in Africa. Each and every one of these organisations is playing an important role in championing responsible tourism. The quality of the entries is superb – we’ve seen the information in the entry forms and are excited about the possibilities,” said Heidi van der Watt, founder of the awards and director of Better Tourism Africa.

The long-listed organisations will now be put through their paces with the Awards customary rigorous questioning, which will then be shared with the judging team. Chair of Judges, Professor Harold Goodwin says

There is a strong field for the African Responsible Tourism Awards (ARTA) this year, illustrating the number and range of businesses taking responsibility for ensuring that they minimise their negative impacts and increase their positive ones. Those long listed will now be invited to complete a detailed questionnaire, we’ll take up references and make some inquiries and on judging day, we’ll identify those that demonstrate the difference that taking responsibility can make and which have the capacity to educate and inspire others to be more responsible – it makes business sense.”

The independent judging team will debate and make their own decision as to the winners, based on the evidence and information provided to them. Any support or otherwise for the long listed organisations can be sent to .

A shortlist, to be announced on 1 April, will be chosen from the long list by a judging panel made up of industry experts.

The award winners will be announced at the 2016 African Responsible Tourism Awards on Thursday 07 April 2016 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town. The awards are part of the responsible tourism programme at WTM Africa, which takes place from 6 – 8 April 2016.

The 2016 ARTA longlist

!Xaus Lodge
Abang Africa Travel
African Bushcamps
ATKV Goudini Spa
Azura Benguerra
Azura Quilalea
Baobab Beach resort
Basecamp Explorer Kenya
Cape Camino
Chameleon Backpackers
Chitabe Camp
Chobe Game Lodge
City of Cape Town
Conservation Travel Foundation
Eco Atlas
Elephant’s Eye
Elundini Backpackers
Endeavour Safaris
Epic Enabled
Etendeka Mountain Camp
Face Adrenalin/ Bloukrans Bungy
Flamingo Tours & Disabled Ventures
Gauteng Tourism Authority
Great Plains Conservation
Hermanus Tourism
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
Leriba Hotel Group
Ministry of Tourism / Morocco
Naboisho Conservancy
Naga’ ntle Development Society
National Department of Tourism/ RSA
Ngare Ndare Community Trust
Ngoma Safari Lodge
Nkwichi Lodge
North Island – Wilderness Collection
Nuarro Lodge
Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Original T-Bag Designs
Porini Camps/Gamewatchers Safaris
Proudly Macassar Pottery
QuadPara Association of South Africa
Safarilink Aviation
SaltyCrax Adventures & SAVE Foundation
Sanctuary Olonana
Sandele Eco Retreat
Sani Lodge Backpackers
Segera Retreat
Shark Spotters
Simien Lodge
Sirikoi Lodge
Stellenbosch 360 NPC
The River Club
Tortillis Camp
Travel with Rene
Uganda Marathon
Victoria Falls Safari Lodge
Wilderness Safaris
Wildlife ACT