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May 12, 2013

Uthando South Africa wins at Indaba 2013

At the heart of responsible tourism is a new generation of responsible travellers who are seeking real, meaningful and authentic experiences and are in tune with responsible lifestyle practices such as buying fair-trade products and experiences, and supporting community tourism.

Cape Town has been working towards being a responsible and sustainable city and destination for many years and we have again seen an increase in responsible tourism awareness, products and practices at Indaba 2013.

Not only are the demand for ethical and sustainable travel products increasing, but visitors to the Cape Town stand at Indaba had the opportunity to vote for a responsible tourism project they deemed most deserving to win a R20 000 cash prize from the City of Cape Town and R15 000 in marketing support from Cape Town Tourism.

The four short-listed responsible tourism projects were:

Votes were calculated following an activation where voting was done through a project-specific voting leaf – as denoted by its colour. As votes increased the colourful Responsible Tourism Tree blossomed and the winner began to emerge.

It was a close call but the winning project was Uthando (Love) South Africa, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation with a certificate from Fair Trade in Tourism. The aim of Uthando is to raise funds and other forms of assistance for community development projects in South Africa and one of the ways that they do this is by offering community tours in townships. Uthando offers tailor-made, interactive cultural tours visiting projects that receive funding and other forms of assistance from Uthando and its benefactors.

For example, Uthando plans to kit out the Better Choice Gumboots Dance Project with new uniforms so that they can attract more business. They will also offer a scholarship for a student at Dance for All, a company which provides children in historically disadvantaged communities with the opportunity for enjoyment, empowerment and self-improvement through dance.

James Fernie from Uthando was delighted with the win: “I wholeheartedly thank the many tourism partners who have so vigorously embraced the philosophy of responsible tourism, and who have made this wonderful award to Uthando possible. If every business and person could implement genuine fair trade and responsible business practices we would revolutionise our world and rise to the plethora of significant challenges facing humanity. The prize money will be hugely appreciated and very well spent by the selected projects. I look forward to sharing the developments of the projects over the next year.”

Active voting at the Cape Town stand – visitors waiting to cast their votes.

Bloggers from Uncornered Market, Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott, casting their votes.

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