March 2016 – Wilderness Safaris is delighted to be longlisted in the 2016 African Responsible Tourism Awards for no less than four categories: Best Contribution to Cultural Heritage, Best for Wildlife Conservation and (for Chitabe Camp) Best for Poverty Reduction and Best Accommodation for Responsible Employment. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony on 7 April 2016 during Africa Travel Week in Cape Town.
In addition to the above-mentioned categories, North Island in Seychelles and Segera Retreat in Kenya, both part of the Wilderness Collection, were longlisted for Best for Beach Tourism and Best Contribution to Cultural Heritage Conservation respectively.
“We are humbled and proud to have made the longlist in as many as six different categories in this year’s African Responsible Tourism Awards, something we believe truly showcases our ongoing commitment to our 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Conservation, Community and Culture. As Africa’s leading sustainable ecotourism company, we aim to provide life-changing wilderness journeys in order to build further conservation economies in Africa; and we hope this inspires other safari businesses to do the same”, says Chris Roche, Wilderness Safaris Chief Marketing Officer.
The African Responsible Tourism Awards, now in their second year, form part of the prestigious World Responsible Tourism Awards, which take place annually during World Travel Market in London. The awards aim to recognise individuals, organisations and unique destinations on the continent who are committed to responsible tourism, and to inspire positive change within the tourism industry.
“The fact that that all of the 4Cs (Commerce, Conservation, Community, Culture) are highlighted across the various categories and longlists is fantastic since it demonstrates the equal importance of each C in order to drive a sustainable ecotourism business, something that is not always recognised. We believe that conservation is as much about people as it is about the environment”, Roche added.
Wilderness Safaris works closely with its non-profit partners, Wilderness Wildlife Trust and Children in the Wilderness (CITW) to help change the face of nature-based tourism in southern Africa. The former helps to fund and oversee a number of research, monitoring and anti-poaching projects, while CITW facilitates sustainable conservation through leadership development of rural children in Africa. This is achieved in a variety of ways from operating Eco-Clubs at schools to hosting three day workshops at Wilderness Safaris’ camps.
Himba cultural interaction; Botswana Rhino Conservation Programme; Chitabe Camp guest host