Friday, January 15, 2016 - 00:00

Submissions for the 2016 African Responsible Tourism Awards are now open. There are nine award categories. Scroll down for details. Think you've got what it takes to win an African Responsible Tourism Award? We're looking for the most inspiring and enduring examples of responsible tourism in the world - those holiday providers, destinations, initiatives and writers who care deeply about travel that benefits communities, travellers, and the environment alike. Click here to enter.


1. Best for Beach Tourism

At a glance: Best for beach tourism is awarded to a tourism business, organisation or initiative providing or contributing to responsible holidays in beach settings. 

Award explained: The Best for beach tourism category seeks to demonstrate that all kinds of tourism can and should be run with communities and the environment in mind. Long associated with irresponsible package holidays, this category will shine a light on beach holidays that conserve beach environments and respect local communities.

What the Judges want: Leadership in responsible tourism policies and practices in a beach setting, positive integration and relationships with local communities, and proven achievements in maintaining/ conserving beach environments.


2. Best Contribution to Cultural Heritage Conservation

At a glance:Best contribution to cultural heritage conservation is awarded to a tourism business, attraction or experience that has made a clear contribution to the conservation of cultural heritage. 

Award explained: The Best contribution to cultural heritage conservation category is looking for an inspirational example of a tourism business, organisation or attraction which is playing a clear role in the protection, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage; keeping the traditions and culture of a community at the heart of their tourism experiences. 

What the Judges want: Examples of proven, measurable contributions to the protection of cultural, historic or natural resources through tourism. 


3. Best Hotel for Responsible Employment

At a glance: The Best hotel for responsible employment is for a hotel or other accommodation that has an exemplary responsible approach to the employment and treatment of staff.

Award explained: The Best hotel for responsible employment category is looking for accommodations that create places to work which are supportive, fair and empowering. This category is for accommodations which fundamentally believe in fair wages and working conditions, and which celebrate the skills of local people; employing local staff and offering training and progression opportunities.

What the Judges want: An accommodation with a clear emphasis on fair working conditions. The winner will demonstrate a holistic approach to the welfare and skills development of its staff.


4. Best Operator for People with Disabilities

At a glance: The Best operator for people with disabilities category awards an operator which is accessible and enjoyable for all, welcoming travellers of all physical and mental capabilities.

Award explained: Responsible tourism should be accessible to all travellers. The Best operator for people with disabilities category is for attractions, accommodation or activity providers that set the standard for accessible tourism practices, and serve as an example to the tourism industry.

What the Judges want: Tourism operators who have integrated progressive policies and practices of inclusion and accessibility into the heart of the business – this is not only about wheelchair access, but about an ethos of accessibility running through the business and its activities.


5. Best for Poverty Reduction

At a glance: Best for poverty reduction is awarded to a tourism organisation with a creative and long-term approach to reducing poverty among local communities.

Award explained: The Best for poverty reduction category is one of the longest standing categories of the World Responsible Tourism Awards. With this category we are looking for tourism providers that support their activities in seeking to reduce and prevent poverty in a local community.
Previous winners include: Adventure Alternative; Reality Tours; Robin Pope Safaris; and Nihiwatu, Indonesia.

What the Judges want:A tourism organisation that can demonstrate a significant contribution to the reduction of poverty in a local community, a long-term sustainable vision for continuing their work, and providing a working example for others tourism providers around the world. 


6. Best Responsible Tourism Marketing Campaign

At a glance: The Best responsible tourism marketing campaign category is for a marketing campaign from a tourism business or organisation which has successfully championed responsible tourism.

Award explained: The Best responsible tourism marketing campaign category looks to award a tourist board, tour operators, accommodation or tourism organisation which has developed a marketing campaign successfully promoting a more responsible way to travel, educating travellers and changing travel behaviour. 

What the Judges want:An inspirational, innovative marketing campaign which has had proven, measurable success in changing attitudes to travel and encouraging responsible tourism. 


7. Best for Wildlife Conservation

At a glance: The Best for wildlife conservation category is awarded to a tourism business or initiative that preserves and carefully manages habitat and wildlife species.

Award explained: The focus of Best for wildlife conservation is on holiday providers, whether operators or conservation organisations committed to the conservation of habitats and animals in the wild and using tourism to achieve conservation objectives . This might include wildlife watching experiences, nature trails, places to stay or other holidays which otherwise benefit wildlife and habitats. Previous wildlife and habitat winners include Echidna walkabout Nature Tours, Australia; Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Chile; Zealandia, New Zealand.

What the Judges want: Integration of great holiday experiences with progressive and sustainable programmes in wildlife and habitat conservation, measures of success and ideas which can be adapted and developed by tourism providers around the world.


8. Best for Public Sector Policy/Support

At a glance: Best for Public Sector Policy/Support is awarded to a public sector department, authority or entity that has made a clear commitment and contribution to advancing responsible tourism through targeted policies, strategies, incentives, support programmes or similar initiatives. 

Award explained: The Best for Public Sector Policy/Support category is looking for an inspirational example of an arm of government (whether at national, state/provincial, district or local level) which is proactively advancing the cause of responsible tourism through either policy development, support programmes and initiatives or other incentives or schemes. 

What the Judges want: Examples of proven, measurable contributions to the advancement of responsible tourism through proactive and innovative policies or sector support specifically geared towards achieving responsible and sustainable outcomes in the tourism sector. 


9. People's Choice in Responsible Tourism

At a glance: Voted for entirely by the public, the People’s Choice in Responsible Tourism Award allows members of the public to vote for the most inspiring category winner from 2015.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 - 11:43

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Disclaimer: Any views expressed by individuals and organisations are their own and do not in any way represent the views of The Heritage Portal.