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Cape Town is leading the way in Responsible Tourism, with two Cape Town Tourism members winning Gold at the World Responsible Tourism awards that took place at World Travel Market in London today.

The City of Cape Town also announced that Cape Town will be hosting the International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations in May 2015.

World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014 Winners
Hotel Verde, known as the greenest hotel in Africa, won the Best City Hotel Gold award and the V&A Waterfront won the Best Destination Gold award at the 11th Responsible Tourism Awards held at World Travel Market London today.

Other South African finalists also received awards. Mdumbi Backpackers based in the Eastern Cape received an accolade winning the Best for Poverty Reduction Silver award, and SAASA (South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance - Monkeyland, Birds of Eden & Jukani) won a Gold award for Best Animal Welfare Initiative and the overall World Responsible Tourism award.

The awards have become the global benchmark for responsible tourism leadership. They recognise the essential role that tourism can play in benefitting citizens and enriching the perspectives of travellers worldwide. Candidates for the awards are nominated by the public and the travel industry, and there is a rigorous judging process to ensure that winners are accountable and deserving of their honours.

Cape Town Tourism, CEO, Enver Duminy, congratulated the winners on the recognition they had achieved; “These Cape Town Tourism members have proven themselves to be up there with the world’s best. We salute their innovation and integrity, and can all learn from their journey.”

International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations 2015
Furthermore, the City of Cape Town revealed that it will play host to the 11th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, to be held from 13 to 15 April 2015. The conference, a collaboration between the City of Cape Town and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, will form part of Africa Travel Week, incorporating WTM Africa. The announcement was made at the World Travel Market in London, which is being attended by Cape Town Tourism.

Delegates to the International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations will be well timed to attend Africa Travel Week (13-17 April 2015), which includes the International Luxury Travel Market Africa, International Business Travel Market Africa and WTM Africa. In addition, the organisers of the conference have announced that the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards will be held during Africa Travel Week.

Says City of Cape Town Mayco Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Garreth Bloor; “Cape Town is a pioneer in responsible tourism. It was here that the 1st International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations was held in 2002 and that resulted in the establishment of the Cape Town Declaration. This was the game changer and catalyst for our tourism role-players to achieve sustainable development through responsible tourism practices.  Together with our tourism partners, we have achieved a lot on this front but there is still more that needs to be done. We will continue to strive towards this goal of responsibility and build on the brave choices made along the way. We look forward to hosting next year’s conference, and affiliated awards, in the Mother City.”

Cape Town also launched its new dedicated responsible tourism website www.responsiblecapetown.co.za at World Travel Market today.