Serena Hotels among those listed for African Responsible Tourism Awards

Turtle hatchery at Serena Beach

Turtle hatchery at Serena Beach

Over 30 tourism organisations including a number of hotels and lodges are in the 2017 longlist for the African Responsible Tourism Awards (ARTA).

Sponsored by WESGRO and organised by Better Tourism Africa, the awards recognise African organisations that offer a best practice example of how tourism can benefit local people, the environment and destinations. The awards are part of a family of regional Responsible Tourism Awards which culminate each year with World Responsible Tourism Day at WTM in London.

This year, the longlist names tourism organisations from Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Longlisted organisations compete in seven categories, among them habitat and species conservation, engaging people and culture, poverty reduction and a new category in 2017 – the best responsible event.

Serena Hotels who we've featured several times for their innovative responsible business and community oriented programmes are among those listed.

Heidi van der Watt, founder of the African awards and director of Better Tourism Africa said, “The quality of entries which have made it through to the longlist this year confirms the power of responsible tourism as a force for good in Africa. Each and every one of these organisations is playing an important role in championing responsible tourism. We’ve reviewed the first round entry forms, and are excited about the possibilities.”

The longlisted organisations will now be rigorously questioned and their submissions reviewed by the judging team. Chair of Judges, Professor Harold Goodwin said, “The field for the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards is even stronger than previous years - and that takes some doing! Those longlisted have been invited to complete a detailed questionnaire, we’ll take up references and make some inquiries. On judging day we’ll identify those that demonstrate the difference that taking responsibility can make, and have the capacity to educate and inspire others to be more responsible.”

The independent judging team of industry experts will debate the entries and select the shortlist and winners. The shortlist will be announced on 7 April 2017. The general public can offer support for longlisted organisations by emailing

Carol Weaving, Managing Director for Reed Exhibitions, organiser of WTM Africa, said, “WTM Africa is now firmly established on the African travel and tourism event calendar. Responsible Tourism is a cornerstone of WTM Africa and integral to the success of tourism on the continent. All stakeholders have a duty to ensure education, sustainability, and authenticity when promoting the unique experiences that Africa has to offer. We look forward to an exciting third edition of the African Responsible Tourism Awards, here in Cape Town at the CTICC at WTM Africa.”

The 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 20 April 2017 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The ceremony is part of the responsible tourism programme at WTM Africa, which takes place from 19 to 21 April 2017.

The ARTA longlist is:

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