Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has been announced as the overall winner of the African Responsible Tourism Awards for 2019.
The Awards recognise leaders in responsible tourism in the most culturally diverse continent.
Grootbos has been recognised for its substantial growth in its conservation impacts, in delivery across the economic, social and environmental agendas. These include the Football Foundation, which provides positive role models and a safe space for local youth, reaching 9000 youth each year and providing daily sports coaching in hockey, athletics, soccer and netball and canoeing as well as female empowerment, environmental education, food for sport, grassroots soccer, HIV/Aids and water safety programmes
Speaking before an audience of over 100 tourism professionals, Heidi van der Watt, managing director of Better Tourism Africa pinpointed what makes the award winners the leaders in responsible tourism in Africa:
"Our winners have an ethos that extends beyond the commercial – linking thriving business with the wellbeing of local people and the longevity of their environments. They want to make profits with principles, communicate bottom lines that balance people, planet and profit, and won’t undermine sustainability in the pursuit of superior product quality. They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They provide hope and inspiration for the future of tourism in Africa."