responsible travel
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South Africa hosted the hugely popular World Travel Market Africa 2018 last week, welcoming travel professionals from across Africa and the world eager to meet, network and consolidate business.

One of the key events during WTM Africa was the announcement of the winners of the auspicious African Responsible Travel Awards, an event dedicated to profiling tourism and travel businesses set on improving the sustainability of the industry.

Wilderness Safaris scooped the coveted Overall Winner position at the Awards for reducing its use of plastic water bottles across the Group by 75% since 2012, the consequent savings in plastic waste and the greenhouse gas emissions that result from transporting bottled water, as well as for its transparent reporting in its Annual Integrated Report (AIR).

The other winners of the Awards were:

Best for Global Goals: Wilderness Safaris Botswana (Gold), Spier (Silver), Basecamp Explorer (Highly commended)

Best for Decent Work and Inclusion: Spier (Silver), PEAK East Africa (Silver)

Best Responsible Cultural Experience: Basecamp Explorer (Silver)

Best for Innovation in Water Management: Wilderness Safaris Southern Africa (Silver)

Best for Aquatic Species and Habitat Conservation: North Island Seychelles (Gold), Marine Dynamics (Silver), All Out Africa (Highly commended)

Heidi van der Watt, Managing Director of Better Tourism Africa describes the Award winners as leaders in responsible tourism in Africa, saying “They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They provide hope and inspiration for the future of tourism in Africa.”

Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judging Panel, said: “As in the World Responsible Tourism Awards, the judges looked for winners who might educate and inspire others, challenging the industry to achieve more by demonstrating what can be done by businesses and organisations to realise the ambition of responsible tourism. That ambition is simply put: to use tourism to make better places for people to live in.”

The Awards came as the world prepared to celebrate Earth Day on 22 April. On this day, people not only spread awareness of the need for conservation but also take action to protect the environment. This year, the focus of Earth Day was on plastic pollution, with numerous tourism players vowing to go plastic-free in solidarity.

Also at Amadeus, sustainability continues to be a core focus. One of our core beliefs is that true long-term travel industry sustainability requires continuous checks that our operations and commercial endeavours are compatible and actually foster a more sustainable future.

Amadeus has ranked among the Corporate Knights’ 2018 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World. Only the top 2% of companies in the world are recognized for their sustainability performance on the Global 100.

For the sixth consecutive year, Amadeus has also been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) World and DJSI Europe.

At Amadeus, we believe all stakeholders in the travel industry need to be actively involved in understanding and nurturing sustainability in order to meet today’s requirements without compromising the needs of tomorrow.