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Minister of Tourism congratulates winners at the WTM 2015
Minister of Tourism congratulates winners at the WTM 2015

The Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, has congratulated the Western Cape fishing town and popular tourist destination, Gansbaai for receiving a gold Best Destination honour at the 2015 World Responsible Tourism Awards held in London. The South African based charity, Campaign Against Canned Hunting, also took joint gold in Best Animal Welfare Initiative category. The award ceremony is part of the annual World Tourism Market which takes place over a period of 3 days in London.

The Minister also commended Bushmans Kloof for a silver Best Cultural Heritage Attraction award, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve for a silver Best for Poverty Reduction award, Founded in 2004 by Responsible Travel, the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM are a global search and celebration of the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world. Now in their 12th year, the vision for the Awards, which are open to any organisation anywhere in the world, is to surprise and inspire tourists and the tourism industry by what it is possible to achieve with Responsible Tourism, and to shine a light on the best of the best. The Best Destination for Responsible Tourism category is awarded to a holiday destination setting an inspirational and influential example for responsible tourism.

"Our award-winning places, products and programs demonstrate the leadership role South Africa is playing in developing and implementing responsible tourism," said Minister Hanekom.

"The winners of the WTM awards, and others in the sector who are striving towards greater sustainability, are maintaining our country's competitive edge in the global tourism market. Their success comes from taking a responsible approach right from the start of their planning, and then ensuring that all their products, services and activities are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable into the future.

"We must now spread these world-leading responsible tourism practices throughout the entire tourism industry," said Minister Hanekom.

"Tourists are becoming increasingly concerned about social and environmental issues, and they want to support destinations and products that take responsible tourism seriously."

World Travel Market sources senior influential figures from in and around the travel industry to offer invaluable insights and knowledge through the WTM Conference and Seminar Programme.

Southern African Tourism Services Association SATSA has extended a message of support saying that they are proud to announce that South African tourism products featured strongly in this year`s WTM and congratulate all local category finalists and winners. “We extend a special congratulations to Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) for their immense work to promote and foster Responsible Tourism in South Africa and beyond,” said SATSA.

The world responsible tourism awards has 13 categories for Poverty Reduction; Best Animal Welfare Initiative; Best Innovation for Carbon Reduction; Best for Beach Tourism; Best Hotel for Local Sourcing; Best Cultural Heritage Attraction; Best for Engaging People & Culture; Best Accommodation for Disability Access; Best Destination for Responsible Tourism; Best for Wildlife Conservation; Best Sea or River Cruise; Best Responsible Tourism blog; People's Choice in Responsible Tourism.LooLa Adventure Resort in Indonesia was announced as overall winner of the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015.


Mr Trevor Bloem - Chief Director - Communications
National Department of Tourism
Telephone: +27 (0) 12 444 6607
Cell: +27 (0) 82 771 6729