3 March 2011

2011 Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards open for entries

The annual Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards have become the benchmark for responsible tourism practice in South Africa.

Brett Dungan, CEO of FEDHASA. Brett Dungan, CEO of FEDHASA.

Over the past 10 years, Imvelo has found and recognised world-class examples of responsible tourism practice. - Brett Dungan, FEDHASA CEO

Since it's launch 10 years ago, the Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards have gone from strength to strength and last year attracted a record 219 entries.

Organised by the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA), in association with the Department of Tourism, Absa, the Department of Water Affairs, the Industrial Development Corporation, Eskom, and Don’t Waste Services, the Imvelo awards are open to any type of tourism or hospitality business in Africa.

FEDHASA CEO Brett Dungan says the awards are in line with the responsible tourism guidelines for the South African hospitality industry, and the UN World Tourism Organisation's code of ethics. The Heritage Environmental Rating Programme also supports the awards.

Dungan says Imvelo has created significant awareness of environmental management issues in the tourism industry: 'over the past 10 years, Imvelo has found and recognised world-class examples of responsible tourism practice.'

Awards will be made in the categories Best Social Involvement Programme, Best Practice Economic Impact, Best Overall Environmental Management System, Best Single Resource Management Programme, Most Empowered Tourism Business, and Investor in People.  An overall Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards winner will also be selected. 

In addition, a Chairman's Award could be made at the discretion of the FEDHASA chairman to any Imvelo entrant – or any other organisation in the tourism industry – that made a significant contribution to responsible tourism over the past year.
Entries should reach the organisers by 31 August 2011. A panel of specialists in responsible tourism practice will judge them and finalists will be visited personally to verify and evaluate their entries.                                               

Winners will receive their awards at a ceremony to be held in Johannesburg on World Responsible Tourism Day on 9 November 2011.