Finalists for the 2018 African Responsible Tourism Awards announced

All Out Africa is BEYOND excited to announce that we have been announced as finalists for the ARTA tourism awards in 2018! We won gold in the “Best for Habitat and Species Conservation” category in 2017 and are eager to see if we will it take a top spot again on 18 April? Wish us luck!

Here is the offical press release about the annoucements:


Media release: Monday 09 April 2018

A luxury island in the Seychelles, a cultural experience among the Maasai in Kenya and a township experience in Namibia are among the organisations selected as finalists for the 2018 African Responsible Tourism Awards (sponsored by Wesgro and organised by Better Tourism Africa). Who will take the top spots?

With five categories as well as the much-coveted ‘Overall Winner’, the competition has stepped up a notch for the finalists announced today.

Following an intense debate on the Judging Day, which was held in Johannesburg on 9 April, the panel of nine expert judges shortlisted nine organisations from across Africa – including Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa and Seychelles. The finalists are:


The supporters of the African Responsible Tourism Awards are:

  • WESGRO @Wesgro – Headline sponsor
  • Bulk SMS @BulkSMS – Category sponsor: Best for Global Goals Reporting
  • Cape Whale Coast @Cape_WhaleCoast  – Function sponsor
  • Singer Group – Accommodation sponsor
  • MLT Corp @MLTcarhiretour – Car hire sponsor
  • Responsible Traveller @RespTraveller – Category sponsor: Best for Marine Habitat and Species Conservation


The judging draws on the expertise of carefully chosen professionals from throughout the tourism industry in Africa. The hard-working judges were:

  • Prof. Harold Goodwin: Emeritus Professor Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Founder of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism
  • Darryl Erasmus: Chief Quality Assurance Officer, South African Tourism
  • Dr. Alison Kock: Marine Biologist, SANParks
  • Thembi Kunene-Msimang: CEO – Acting and Executive of Marketing and Communications, RETOSA
  • Chardonnay Marchesi: Portfolio Director of the Travel, Tourism and Sports Portfolio: Reed Exhibitions
  • Greg McManus: Heritage Environmental Management Company and Event Greening Forum
  • Sadia Nanabhay:  Operations Manager, African Responsible Tourism Awards
  • Dawn Robertson: CEO, The Constitution Hill Human Rights Precinct
  • Heidi van der Watt: Managing Director, Better Tourism Africa and Institute of Development Studies, Massey University


The 2018 African Responsible Tourism Awards winners will be announced during WTM Africa at an awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday 18 April 2018 at 16.45 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa. A celebratory function, sponsored by the Cape Whale Coast, will follow the ceremony.

Commenting on the finalists, Heidi van der Watt, managing director of Better Tourism Africa, said:

This year’s finalists are worthy examples of changemakers who bravely use tourism to create positive change for Africa’s people and environments. From a safari camp group showing strong leadership in saying no to bottled water to a wine farm with forward-thinking work conditions – the shortlist has a lot to say about where responsible tourism on the continent is, and where it is going next.”

Professor Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judging Panel and WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor, reflected on the decisions made on the Judging Day:

“There are many excellent organisations on the shortlist for the Awards and there was much debate among the judges about each of the categories. It is an achievement to be on the shortlist and to be a finalist of the African awards as they are part of the prestigious and competitive World Responsible Tourism Awards run by World Travel Market.

The judges had in mind global standards in responsible tourism when making their decisions. Our ambition is for the Awards to challenge, inspire and educate others in the industry to take responsibility for achieving sustainability. We have inspiring Gold and Silver winners but there were some surprisingly weak categories. The judges can only award from among those who are nominated and complete the entry process. The categories for ARTA19 will be announced at the end of the Awards ceremony.”

Tim Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro, is looking forward to the ceremony:

“The African Responsible Tourism Awards is a source of pride to us, and Africa as a whole. We applaud the forward-thinking and innovative organisations that make it to the last round. They are true examples of how the tourism industry can reach new heights – in a sustainable way. We congratulate the finalists of this year’s awards and look forward to celebrating with the winners at the awards ceremony on 18 April at WTM Africa.”

The African Responsible Tourism Awards are part of the responsible tourism programme at WTM Africa. The responsible tourism programme includes panel discussions on new business models in sustainable tourism, issues around wildlife and tourism and a panel on carbon, water and certification.


Images & note to editors on proceeding pages

Official hashtag: #ARTA18

Official twitter handle: @RTAwardsAfrica


For more information, high res logos or interviews contact:

Better Tourism Africa

Sadia Nanabhay


Tel: +27 72 662 5410





Inge Dykman


Tel: + 27 21 487 4800







Notes to editors

About Better Tourism Africa

Better Tourism Africa (previously the International Centre for Responsible Tourism – South Africa), a non-profit organisation established in 2006, works alongside government, the private sector and communities in Africa to implement the objectives of Responsible Tourism as described in the Cape Town Declaration. We believe tourism should be harnessed to create better places for people to live and to visit. Our work includes advocacy, training and capacity-building, research and technical advisory services.

About Wesgro

The Western Cape is a region of unlimited potential, and this translates into unlimited opportunity. Whether you’re interested in travel, business or export, Cape Town and the Western Cape has something for you. Let Wesgro, the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape, help you uncover the opportunities.

About World Travel Market Africa

World Travel Market Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. Next event: 18-20 April 2018.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.