V&A Waterfront wins at the World Responsible Tourism Awards in London


2 November 2021

The V&A Waterfront clinched the global award at the highly contested World Responsible Tourism awards held in London on Monday, 1 November 2021. The Waterfront is one of a handful of winners of the overall Global Award (award levels go from One to Watch, Silver, Gold then Global).

The awards, which forms part of the World Responsible Tourism Day celebrations, aims to recognise destinations that most strongly “educate, inspire and challenge others to spread good practice”.

The V&A’s Award was given in recognition of the Waterfront’s efforts to sustaining employees and communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  In the category judges looked at the work done by businesses and organisations in the travel and tourism sector to sustain their employees and the communities in which they operate. The aim of this category is to recognise and draw attention to those who successfully helped others, employees and neighbours alike to weather the Covid-19 storm.

Speaking about the award, V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said, “From the start of the Covid-19 pandemic we knew we had a responsibility to support the many individuals and households who depend on us for their livelihood, particularly the micro enterprises such as our tour operators as well as the crafts and design stores at our Watershed market. Our effort was to ease their financial burden beyond rent relief while we also pushed ahead with projects that would create new markets and jobs such as our Makers Landing space and our Joy from Africa to the World festive décor campaign.

“It is a great honour to be recognised for what we have done. An Award of this stature is a significant win not just for the Waterfront, but for Cape Town and for our entire tourism industry as it proves that we can hold our own against the best innovative and trendsetting destinations in the world. The timing of the Award could not have been better as it coincides with international tourism beginning to open up. We hope it attracts international travellers back to our city.”

In 2014, the Waterfront won the World Responsible Tourism Award for Best Destination for Responsible Tourism. 2022 also marks the 20th anniversary of the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, to which the Waterfront was a signatory.

Nominations for the awards came from clients, the public or partners.

According to WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor Harold Goodwin, “Every year remarkable new responsible businesses and destinations are discovered and recognised through the Awards. We have had an excellent response to the Awards this year — with some inspiring, innovative and scalable solutions to the challenge of sustainability. There are many destinations and businesses around the world taking responsibility and making a difference and the ambition of the Global Responsible Tourism Awards is to encourage businesses to learn from the leaders and to be inspired to do what they can to make tourism better — better for our environment and local communities.”

A WTM Responsible Tourism’s Platform for Change is currently being developed to show businesses and destinations the proven solutions which have been tried and tested.