Sustainability and responsible tourism will be one of the key focus areas of WTM Africa 2023, which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from April 3-5. According to a press statement, WTM Africa will lead the way when it comes to sustainable conferencing and events and in an innovative approach, this year’s edition will feature a ‘Sustainability Village’.
The organisers say that the Sustainability Village is a new and unique walk-through hub which will feature a variety of eco-focused pop-up exhibitors, each showcasing what they do through interactive displays and communicating how they can assist other businesses in prioritising the environment and the support of local communities. The pop-up exhibitions include Growing Paper, Painted Wolf Wines, How Many Elephants, E’Yako Green, and Uthando among others, say the organisers.
The statement adds that WTM Africa will, once again, host the Responsible Tourism Africa Conference, as well as the Responsible Tourism Awards, in 2023. Further to this, the event will lead the way when it comes to sustainable conferences in Africa with the launch of a dedicated sustainability village.
“We love the opportunity to create functional bags and other items out of pre-used materials and to share our work at WTM Africa. We hope we can play a role in inspiring companies and teams to feel, think and live the art and business of sustainable tourism,” says Carey Moran, owner of E’Yako Green.
The statement says that Growing Paper, specialising in 100 pc recycled plantable and biodegradable handmade paper products, will not only be a featured pop-up within the Sustainability Village but are also the innovative minds behind the event’s vegetable seed badge holders/pouches. Each attendee will also receive a recycled PET lanyard.
The statement adds that RX Global team, the organisers of the event, intend to reclaim any collected badges in a variety of collection boxes and plant the ‘Growing Paper’ in a community garden, helping local residents to start and nurture a sustainable food source for their families.
“In today’s world, sustainability is at the forefront of many people’s minds. As consumers become increasingly aware of the impact of their choices, they’re looking for eco-friendly alternatives in all aspects of their lives, including their travels,” says Roxanne Schumann, founder of Growing Paper.
“We are thrilled to be participating in the Sustainability Village at WTM Africa and believe our product is an innovative solution aligned for the industry. By incorporating this socially and environmentally meaningful solution into their supply chain, tourism businesses can show their commitment to sustainability, provide unique experiences for their guests, and promote their brand in a positive and memorable way,” she adds.
The launch of the Sustainability Village follows a sustainability pledge from the show’s event organiser RX Global. The UN Sustainable Development Goals guide RX Global’s Sustainability Pledge. The company is committed to minimising any negative environmental impact while continually seeking ways to contribute positively to sustainable development. Attendees are encouraged to visit the village to sign their own similar pledge, says the statement.
Along with attending the Responsible Tourism conference and exploring the sustainability village, visitors are also encouraged to attend the Responsible Tourism Awards, which will be hosted on April 4, spotlighting various travel suppliers and their sustainability stories and successes.
“It is so important to be celebrating the work being done and showcasing the options available to the industry. There are many easy changes suppliers can make to better serve their clients and the environment,” says Olivia Gradidge, RX Global Marketing Manager, Travel and Tourism.
“After all, aside from the gratification that comes with doing their part, prioritising the wellbeing of our planet sends a much stronger message to a supplier’s clients than any marketing approach ever could,” she adds.