Business case for responsible tourism under the spotlight at WTM Africa

Responsible Tourism will be on the global industry agenda at this year’s WTM Africa.

The show has schedule a series of dedicated events to cater for one of the most important debates in the travel world. This includes a two-day Business Case for Responsible Tourism Conference in addition to panel discussions and the African Responsible Tourism Awards.

These platforms can help tourism businesses identify opportunities to help them grow, understand the role they play in the tourism ecosystem and deliver opportunities to be a more responsible participant in the global tourism economy. 

Panel discussions

Two back-to-back panel discussions will take place in the Conference Theatre on Wednesday 10 April from 14:30.

How can Travel and Tourism best reduce the carbon emissions of our industry?
Moderated by WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor, Prof. Harold Goodwin

  • Calvin Boia – Marketing & Brand Manager of Verde Hotels
  • Rene Laks – Managing Director, Sub Saharan Africa of Solarus
  • Andrea Nicholas – Managing Director of Green Tourism, UK
  • Lorraine Jenks – Founder CEO of Hotelstuff/Greenstuff

What should the tourism sector be doing to effectively promote wildlife conservation?
Moderated by Prof. Goodwin

  • Glenn Phillips – Managing Executive of Kruger National Park
  • Jane Edge – Former Managing Director Fair Trade Tourism
  • Dr. Harriet Davies-Mostert – Head of Conservation of Endangered Wildlife Trust

African Responsible Tourism Awards

The African Responsible Tourism Awards will follow this debate, from 16:45-17:30, in the Conference Theatre.

The Awards are an Africa-wide search of the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences. Winners are those that contribute toward preserving, respecting and benefiting both destinations and local people.

For 2019, the public were able to nominate tourism businesses and organisations they felt were deserving of awards. As usual, there was a strong showing from Cape Town. Six local tourism businesses have been longlisted.

Business Case for Responsible Tourism conference

The two-day Business Case for Responsible Tourism event runs from 09:00-11:30 on both Thursday 11 and Friday 12 April.

The conference will explore the impact that Responsible Tourism can have on the bottom line, simply by doing better business. A range of businesses from across the African continent will share their responsible business approaches. They will detail how the switch has contributed to their business.

Past winners, and the newly-announced 2019 Africa Responsible Tourism Awards winners, will share their responsible business journeys as part of the programme.

Dr Harold Goodwin says that the opportunity to hear from African Responsible Tourism Awards winning-businesses is one not to be missed. “There are four panels addressing the business case, all with different examples. There are also panels on carbon emissions and how they can be reduced, with speakers from industry – and a panel on wildlife conservation with speakers from national Parks and conservation.

Megan Oberholzer, Travel Tourism & Sports Portfolio General Manager at Reed Exhibitions says that the industry has been working hard to embrace their role within the parameters of responsibility for the environments in which they operate. But there’s always more work to be done. “The Business Case for Responsible Tourism conference is an opportunity for role-players in the continental industry to convene and share ideas. It’s going to offer an unprecedented opportunity for #WTMA19 to drive positive change in the way visitors explore our great continent”.