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Tourism of tomorrow award for southern African business

Apr 08 2016 19:07
Carin Smith

Dallas – The Botswana Rhino Conservation project of Wilderness Safaris – active in Botswana and South Africa – won the environmental category of the 2016 Tourism of Tomorrow Awards.

The awards were presented at the global summit of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) taking place in Dallas.

Since 2000 Wilderness Safaris, working with Botswana’s government, began to translocate black and white rhinos back into the Okavango. During 2014 and 2015 the company facilitated the largest ever international black rhino translocation to date.  The company has now established viable breeding populations in the region.

The company says it believes in the 4Cs ethos, namely conservation, community, culture and commerce. About 85% of the staff at its camps come from local communities, for instance.

The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town was a finalist in the destination category of the awards this year. The award, however, went to Parkstad Limburg in The Netherlands. The project turned around the economic decline in this region by redeveloping a former coal mining district into a wet weather tourism destination.

At the award ceremony David Scowsill, president and CEO of the WTTC said the winners of the 2016 awards are inspirational examples of tourism that has a long term vision.

“In a world of shrinking resources, with increasing pressure on cultural heritage and local traditions, these organisations are living proof that travel and tourism can be a force for good,” said Scowsill.

Fiona Jeffery, chair of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, added that all the finalists are pioneers in their field.

“By sharing best practice across tourism businesses, private sector and governments we can ensure that tourism continues to grow responsibly and ethically,” said Jeffery.

David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront, told Fin24 community engagement and collaboration are key for businesses.

“The Waterfront is the most socially inclusive space in Africa,” said Green.

According to Jeff Rutledge, CEO of AIG Travel, headline sponsor of the awards, sustainability is an issue of global importance in all industries and all should be inspired by the achievements of the winners of the awards.

The community category was won by Expediciones Sierra Norte in Mexico, the innovation category was won by Carmacal Carbon Calculator by ANVR (The Netherlands Travel Trade Association) and the people category was won by Youth Career Initiative in the UK.

• Fin24 is a guest of the WTTC at its global summit.

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