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November 12, 2009

Cape Town wins global Responsible Tourism Award

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Cape Town won the 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award in the Best Destination category

The City of Cape Town is pleased to announce that Cape Town has won the 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award in the Best Destination category.

The award was presented to Executive Deputy Mayor Alderman Ian Neilson, on behalf of the City of Cape Town, at an awards ceremony on World Responsible Tourism Day – November 11 – at the World Travel Market in London.

“It was a great honour for me to receive this award on behalf of the people of Cape Town and its tourism industry,” said Neilson. “It means that it is not only our city’s splendid natural beauty that makes Cape Town a great tourist destination, but also the fact that we have a leading tourism and hospitality industry. Cape Town is ready to greet the world during 2010.”

Neilson went on to congratulate Cape Town Tourism, the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa, Southern Africa Tourism Services Association and the Southern African Association for the Conference Industry, as well as their members and all players in the tourism industry.

“Thank you for working together with the City to put our Responsible Tourism Charter in place,” he said. “This award is yours.”

Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold said, “Cape Town Tourism is thrilled with the news that Cape Town has won the 2009 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award in the Best Destination category. Being the first city to win in this category is an incredible achievement and testament to Cape Town’s ability to lead the way in terms of global responsible tourism. We are very proud to be part of team Cape Town and commend the City of Cape Town, our partners and the tourism industry for your commitment to this initiative.”

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Executive Director of Economic, Social Development and Tourism, Mansoor Mohamed

According to Nombulelo Mkefa, Cape Town Director of Tourism, it is the City’s responsibility to create an enabling environment for responsible tourism and encourage industry to work towards a more sustainable destination.

To this end, “the City’s responsible tourism strategy is intrinsically linked to a range of other sector policies, programmes and initiatives aimed at the development of a sustainable, attractive and successful city,” Mkefa explained.

She also offered her congratulations to team Cape Town: “To my team, well done! But now the work begins. The world is watching!

“Congratulations, Cape Town!”

About the Responsible Tourism Awards

The awards were founded in 2004 by responsibletravel.com, which runs the awards in partnership with the Daily Telegraph, Geographical Magazine – the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society – and World Travel Market. Virgin Holidays became a headline sponsor of the awards in 2007 and has continued to support them since then.

The central tenet of the awards is that all types of tourism – from niche to mainstream – can and should be operated in a way that respects and benefits destinations and local people. The awards recognise individuals, companies and organisations in the travel industry that are making a significant commitment to the culture and economies of local communities and are providing a positive contribution to biodiversity conservation.

About the World Travel Market

Staged annually in London, this global event for the travel industry is a four-day, business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to UK and international travel professionals. It is where global travel trade representatives meet, network, negotiate and conduct business under one roof.

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