Best Responsible Attraction

  • The Best Responsible Attraction category is awarded to a tourism attraction that is setting an inspirational and influential example for the implementation and measurability of responsible tourism activities. It is managed in a way that minimises potential negative impacts and benefits the host community and all involved.

  • Gold: Two Oceans Aquarium (South Africa)

    It is rare to find an aquarium that exhibits ONLY species from its own geography and not rely on exotics to attract visitors. The Two Oceans Aquarium showcases the diversity of the oceans off southern Africa and raises awareness of threats to ocean life and responsible use of marine resources. Plastic in the ocean and sustainable seafood are key topics. Conservation and sustainability-oriented messaging is included in exhibit signage, daily talks, media platforms, and speaker evenings.

    As could be expected, the conservation and research of marine and coastal species is a major focus. A sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release programme, seal monitoring and disentanglement project in the Waterfront, and support for SANCCOB and Shark Spotters though donations of a portion of visitor fees, are but some of the related programmes.

    An environmental management system directs the operation of the attraction that draws 500 000 visitors per year. Performance against targets for water and energy consumption, waste production and carbon emissions are monitored and documented in annual sustainability reports. Performance is independently audited annually.

    Educational programmes about marine life, coastal habitats and sustainable living are not limited to the Aquarium building - three outreach programmes reach more than 35,000 children, mainly from disadvantaged areas, per year. Various environmental campaigns and activations and campaigns increase conservation awareness amongst the general public. These include beach clean-ups, Rethink the Bag and Home to Ocean campaign and participation in Plastic Free July.

    Gold: Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary (South Africa)

    Panthera Africa provides sanctuary to rescued big cats and educates the public about the reality that animals in captivity face. Educational visits, volunteer and ambassador program, school outreach program, presentations to tourism sector stakeholders and social media are used to raise awareness and support ethical decisions about animal interactions.

    The Education Centre under development will add an additional dimension to the visitor experience that may well warrant an award once fully established.