North Island, a luxury private island resort in Seychelles, has won gold at this year’s African Responsible Tourism awards.
The award ceremony was held last Wednesday evening, at the WTM Africa travel and tourism trade show in Cape Town, South Africa.
North Island scooped the gold award in the ‘Best for Aquatic Species & Habitat Conservation’ category.
The Managing Director of North Island, Seychelles, Bruce Simpson, said: “This prestigious award comes at a momentous time in North Island’s history. As we celebrate 21 years of luxury sustainable tourism, we could not be more proud to have been recognised for our ongoing commitment to our Noah’s Ark island rehabilitation programme. We will continue to push the boundaries of marine conservation and endeavour to be a role model to others across the world.”
Established in 2014, the African Responsible Tourism Awards aims to celebrate and inspire change in the African tourism industry.
Awards were also presented to winners in other categories: Decent Work and Social Inclusion, Responsible Cultural Experience, Best for Innovation in Water Management, and Best for Global Goals.
Wilderness Safaris, an operator of safari camps, lodges and experiences in seven African countries, which won gold in the ‘Best for Global Goals’ and silver in the ‘Best for Innovation in Water Management’ categories, was also announced the overall winner and grabbed the main prize at the 2018 African Responsible Tourism Awards.
To note that North Island, Seychelles is also part of the exclusive portfolio of the South African eco-tourism company, Wilderness Safaris.
Wilderness Safaris was recognized for its efforts towards better and sustainable practices in tourism, and the judges were impressed by Wilderness Safaris’ (Botswana) success in driving down the consumption of bottled water, hence cutting down on plastic waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Their efforts have set the bar for other tourism partners to follow suit, as the call now is for vigorous action to reduce water consumption across the tourism industry.
The Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro, headline sponsor of the awards, said the winners have set an example, which is helping to promote sustainable tourism.
“The winners provide leadership in their respective sectors throughout Africa and effectively contribute to growing tourism in a sustainable manner,” he said.
On his part, Harold Goodwin, the chair of the judging panel, said the judges searched for winners who educate and inspire others, challenging the industry to achieve more.
“In the World Tourism Responsible Tourism Awards, the ambition is simple – use tourism to make better places for people to live in. This also benefits the industry: great places to live are great places to visit,” he added.
The African Responsible Tourism Awards are part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards, organised by the World Travel Market (WTM) London.