At a special ceremony recently hosted as part of the World Travel Market Africa expo in Cape Town, Gansbaai outshone 21 competitors from around Africa by walking off with the coveted position as Overall Winner in the 2015 African Responsible Tourism Awards.

The panel of judges had this to say about this community of tourism businesses that work together to make Gansbaai a better place to live in and a great place to visit:

This is a remarkable group of tourism businesses, many of whom have won Responsible Tourism Awards individually, including Grootbos for its fynbos conservation and poverty reduction impact and Marine Dynamics for conservation and local economic development. With this overall award, we wish to recognise them for the way in which they have worked together to create a destination with an outstanding product and memorable experiences and, in so doing, brought local economic development and communal facilities to the local community.

Heidi van der Watt, managing director of Better Tourism Africa, remarked in her address that the winners in all categories had one thing in common:  

They have a vision that extends beyond the commercial – linking business success with the wellbeing of local communities and the longevity of their environments. They want to make profits with principles, communicate balance sheets alongside beliefs, and won’t undermine passion in the pursuit of professionalism. They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They are the future of tourism in Africa.

Winning this award means that Gansbaai is automatically in the run for the international responsible tourism awards to be announced during November in London.

Caption:
A proud Director: Local Economic Development and Tourism, Solomzi Madikane, Municipal Manager, Coenie Groenewald shares the awards with Executive Mayor Nicolette Botha-Guthrie during the council meeting on Wednesday 29 April 2015.

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