South African tourism shines at World Travel Market
13 November 2015
The South African pavilion at London's World Travel Market, held from 2 to 5
November, brought together 30 of the country's best tourism projects, including
representatives from provincial tourism agencies, as well as the cities of Tshwane,
Johannesburg and Durban, in preparation for its hosting of the 2022 Commonwealth
Top local hotels and hospitality and travel companies were also in attendance,
including Protea Hotels, Thompson's Travel, South African Airways and Rovos Rail.
The pavilion featured presentations by four local safari companies and 15 game
The Western Cape town of Gansbaai received a gold World Responsible Tourism
Award for Best Destination, while the South African charity, Campaign Against
Canned Hunting, took joint gold in Best Animal Welfare Initiative category.
Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom was one of the keynote speakers at the
event's Global Summit on tourism marketing. The minister spoke about how South
Africa's slogan, A world in one country, was proving highly effective, despite the
challenges the industry faced nationally and globally.
addition to congratulating Gansbaai and the Campaign Against Canned
Hunting for their accolades this year, the minister also commended Bushmans Kloof
for its silver award for Best Cultural Heritage Attraction. Grootbos Private Nature
Reserve won silver for the Best Poverty Reduction award. "Our award-winning
places, products and programmes demonstrate the leadership role South Africa is
playing in developing and implementing responsible tourism," said Hanekom.
With 227 323 visits from Britain to South Africa between January and
June 2015, an increase of 17% over the same period last year, the UK remains one
of South Africa's most lucrative tourism markets. Following the visa regulation
adjustments made by the South African government in October, the country hopes
to capitalise on the rest of Europe. Germany, France and the Benelux countries are
all eager tourism markets for the country.
Watch Ndabo Khoza, chief executive of South African Tourism:
Natal, at the WTM:Watch a WTM discussion on taking responsibility for wildlife and national
Shine a light on the best
Established by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism in 2004, the
World Responsible Tourism Awards highlights and celebrates the most inspiring and
enduring socially and environmentally responsible tourism projects around the
The vision for the awards, which are open to private and public enterprises and
organisations, big and small, 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.
awards source prominent experts from the tourism industry, travel
journalists, environmentalists and tourists themselves, to offer invaluable insights
and knowledge on projects from around the world that fufil the vision of the awards
and the event.
"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
market," Hanekom said in a statement released at the end of the
WTM. "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."
The minister urged the winning organisations to spread the word of world-
leading responsible tourism practices throughout both the local, African and global
tourism industry. He advised that South African companies use the marketing
strategies to target the needs and desires of the international tourist, saying:
"Tourists are becoming increasingly concerned about social and environmental
issues, and they want to support destinations and products that take responsible
Southern African Tourism Services Association extended a message of support
for the South African tourism products featured at this year's WTM, and
the country's category finalists and winners. "We extend special
congratulations to Fair Trade Tourism for their immense work to promote and foster
responsible tourism in South Africa and beyond," it said in a statement.
Source: Department of Tourism
With 227 323 visits from Britain to South Africa between January and June 2015, an increase of 17% over the same period last year, the UK remains one of most lucrative tourism markets for South Africa. The extensive South African presence at the World Travel Market in London during November 2015 has helped strengthen the national brand globally. (Image: Flickr)