Africa Travel Week

Why sustainable tourism should be driving your choices

At this year’s ILTM Africa (International Luxury Travel Market Africa) event, part of Africa Travel Week and WTM Africa, we saw how small changes can have a big impact.

Not only did we announce the winners of the WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards 2023 – celebrating responsible tourism advocates who promote the very best practices in sustainability and responsibility in the tourism industry – but we also walked the talk.

We joined hands with The Joinery and other partners to put sustainable tourism suppliers front of mind and literally in the hands of our guests at ILTM Africa 2023.

We wanted to show that even relatively small decisions, such as those surrounding our event gifts and other corporate items, positively contributed to the planet and its people. These moments, these decisions and these choices really do matter.

Why should you partner with and showcase sustainable tourism options for your clients?

Conversations about effectively balancing investment goals with sustainable tourism practices took centre stage at this year’s ILTM Africa event. We saw first-hand how Africa’s movers, shakers and decision-makers are passionate about this, knowing that not only is sustainable tourism good ethically, but it also benefits one’s business.

Speaking at Africa Travel Week, Megan Oberholzer, Portfolio Director: Travel, Tourism & Creative Industries Portfolio for Reed Exhibitions South Africa, said: “Now more than ever, the spotlight is on Africa and its potential economic growth. We couldn’t be more thrilled to provide a platform for key decision makers who are passionate about African sustainability and are looking to invest.”
Global stats echo the need for putting sustainable travel top of mind – especially for luxury clientele. A recent report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Group revealed that 69 per cent of travellers are actively seeking sustainable travel options for 2023 – and that number is even higher within the luxury travel market.

According to Virtuoso’s 2022 sustainability survey, more than 80% of respondents said the pandemic has made them want to travel more responsibly, with 70% agreeing that sustainable travel enhances their holiday experience and 78% believing it to be important to choose not only sustainable destinations but also sustainable tourism companies.

Your high-end clients are looking to tick the boxes for sustainable travel – and they will look to you to help them do this.

A few simple things to look out for when choosing sustainable tourism partners:

  • Look for a history of sustainability.
  • Look for certifications proving their climate change, carbon emission and other policies.
  • Do they make every effort to employ and upskill locally?
  • Do they use locally produced food and seasonal ingredients as much as possible?
  • Renewable energy sources?
  • Do they showcase local talent, products or similar?
  • Do they choose digital instead of paper?
  • Do they focus on job creation and empowering the underprivileged and minority groups?
  • Are they passionate about preserving local traditions and cultures?
  • Do they support authentic local experiences and small businesses?
  • Are they restoring balance through regenerative travel?

ILTM Africa sustainable tourism partners this year:

The Joinery supplied the utterly gorgeous gift bags at the event. The Joinery’s vision is of social and economic empowerment, knowing that they are investing in a legacy by supplying responsible, sustainable products crafted by African artisans. For example, their handmade tote bags are made from five recycled plastic bottles that would have been destined for landfill.

Did you know that you can even prioritise sustainability by making the ‘right’ choices regarding what wine to drink? Painted Wolf Wines iinvestily business producing delicious wines that invests in African wild dog conservation and social upliftment for communities surrounding key African wild dog populations. With each bottle you buy, you support the approximately 6,600 African wild dogs that remain in the world today. The company plans to donate R1 million to conservation per year by 2026.

E’Yako Green creates local jobs by recycling PVC marketing waste into handmade bags and other corporate gifts. The brand also works with a local NPO Training Trust to provide income for skilled female artisans to create traditional shweshwe shirts and lanyards, keeping this beautiful African tradition and product alive.

Healing Earth’s eco-conscious organic skincare products show that you don’t need to skimp on beauty or luxury to prioritise people and the planet over profit. The brand promotes unique African ingredients that have been used for healing over centuries. They also pioneer vinotherapy in South Africa (wine-infused therapy skincare).

Let’s continue to work towards making the tourism industry more responsible and sustainable, one step at a time!

About ILTM Africa
ILTM Africa is all about niching down and providing a platform for buyers and pan-African exhibitors to showcase Africa’s most luxurious travel experiences. We are confident that next year’s show will be filled with #MomentsThatMatter, surpassing all expectations. 

If you work in tourism media, we’d love to see you there. If you would like to apply for a hosted media slot, please click here. 

#ILTMAfrica #MomentsThatMatter #ImagineAfrica #ThisIsLuxury  #SustainableTourism

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.