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Swaziland picks up 2 wins at the Africa Responsible Tourism Awards

June 8, 2017 Accolades No Comments Email Email

The African Responsible Tourism Awards were established in 2014 to celebrate and inspire change in the African tourism industry.  The Awards rest on simple principles – that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people.

Swaziland is a country recognised internationally for its efforts in responsible tourism, so it’s no surprise that they managed to win not once, but twice, at the 2017 African Responsible Tourism Awards.

Best for Habitat & Species Conservation: All Out Africa

Reasons for winning: With references from universities in Swaziland and Florida attesting to All Out Africa’s contribution to both research and education on habitats and species the judges were particularly impressed by All Out Africa’s social-entrepreneur approach to solving the problem of insufficient ecological information and capacity to enable successful conservation. Over the last 12 years All Out Africa has enabled 500 international volunteers to contribute meaningfully to conservation through data collection and supported and trained over 100 local students in field-based conservation and ecological research. They have supported the education of 15 local students at MSc level and more than 1000 undergraduate students from both local and international universities.

Best Responsible Event: MTN Bushfire

Reasons for winning: A three-day festival held annually in the scenic Malkerns Valleys of Swaziland attracting 25,000 participants from across the globe (in 2016 from 62 countries) to enjoy and experience a rich texture of arts, cultures, crafts, and food markets. Over the last 10 years the festival has grown in international recognition and used its cultural and economic success, the festival creates employment for 1200 Swazis making a significant contribution to the local economy. The festival’s call to action #BRINGYOURFIRE, has stimulated a personal and collective commitment to social programmes: the Schools Festival (2000 Swazi students and teachers annually), the Arts Round Table (that brings together international and local artists) funding for Young Heroes (an Aids Orphan support programme) and BoMake Rural Projects which benefits rural Swazi women. Bushfire sparked the FireFest Route, which now involves Azgo (Mozambique), Zakifo (Durban, SA) Africa Day (Johannesburg, SA) and Sakifo (Mother festival to Zakifo, held in Reunion Island.)

Yet more evidence that despite its small size, Swaziland’s diverse and extensive tourism operations and activities are leading the way in Responsible tourism in Africa.

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