Africa Travel Week
ATW Awards Importance

Why awards matter for your tourism brand

It’s more than just a certificate

While robust marketing strategies, stellar reviews and testimonials are a game-changer in cementing your brand credibility, there’s another way to stand out from the crowd: winning awards.

“Not all awards are created equal, so it’s important to be discerning with which awards you apply for,” says Olivia Gradidge, Marketing Manager Travel, Tourism & RX Africa Marketing. “The award and award category you pursue must offer you more than just a certificate or logo on your website. It needs to be credible enough to build your authority and distinguish you as an industry leader.”

If you want to earn an accolade that matters in 2024, applications for the highly-anticipated WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards are now open until 1 March.

Commenting on why this high-value award is so desirable is Harold Goodwin, Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership. He says: “We set very specific award categories and always ask for hard evidence of why that applicant feels they deserve to win. We also make sure that judging is done by people who have a strong knowledge of sustainability in that area.”

If winning an award is something you’ve considered but never fully pursued, here are several reminders on why awards, such as the WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards, matter for your tourism brand.

  • Increase your credibility

Awards offer third-party validation and help establish your market leadership. Even if you’re a well-established business, winning a reputable award is a great addition to your achievements. It demonstrates to your existing and potential customers that, even after all these years, you’re still working hard and you’re still relevant.

  • A boost in employee morale

Who doesn’t want to be part of an award-winning team? Awards do more than help grow your business. They also boost employee morale and foster a sense of confidence, and pride. By constantly raising the bar higher than industry competitors, you have a better chance of hiring and retaining talented individuals eager to work within your organisation.

  • Networking and prospecting

Winning awards equals free exposure, reach, and publicity. Participating in awards ceremonies or related events can also unlock invaluable networking opportunities with like-minded professionals. Engaging in awards can get you in the same room with industry leaders and south-after partners. This can lead to valuable business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.

  • Promote good practice

Awards honor exceptional initiatives and individuals leading by example, which in turn, promotes good practice and service excellence. By taking part in well-regarded industry awards, you are contributing to a long-standing commitment to promoting positive change. Furthermore, awards matter because they create leaders and mentors that other businesses can learn from and admire, raising the standard across the sector.

With a new year fast approaching, the team at Africa Travel Week is urging tourism businesses to make a strategic effort to enter reputable awards competitions, particularly those associated with WTM Africa, running from 10 – 12 April 2024.

“If you want to earn an accolade that matters, the WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards 2024 submission closing date is 1 March 2024,” Gradidge adds. “Don’t underestimate yourself, and don’t hesitate to pay it forward by encouraging someone you admire to submit an application. They could walk away with a reputable award celebrating their efforts in making tourism more sustainable.”

Interested participants are encouraged to submit their applications via the WTM Africa website here.

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.