Cape Town, 8 April 2016 – Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront took pride of place as the only South African, and only one of three nominated destinations in the world, at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ Destination Awards held at the 16th WTTC Global Summit in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, 7 April.
With Parkstad Limburg in the Netherlands emerging the frontrunner, David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront said this was nonetheless a defining moment for the business: “The fact that we were nominated by an organisation the stature of the WTTC, alongside destinations such as Parkstad Limburg and Swiss Parks Network in Switzerland is testament to the fact that our offering is comparable with the best in the world.
“While the V&A Waterfront is fortunate to boast many attractions, that alone is not enough to distinguish ourselves as an international tourist destination. It requires a holistic, sustainable vision for development, protection of historical assets and an inclusive approach that is as welcoming of locals as it is of visitors. These key strengths have enabled the Waterfront to hold its own on a global tourism platform.“As the custodians of one of the world’s best waterfronts, we strive to offer locals and visitors alike a world-class destination that nevertheless remains true to its historic roots.
“We are also honoured to have received a note of congratulations from Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete, on behalf of the National Assembly in Parliament, for having been the only South African destination to be nominated for the prestigious award.”
Sixty two countries across all continents submitted applications for this year’s awards. At the first of the three-stage judging process, a committee of independent expert judges evaluated each application against sustainable tourism criteria, including community development, preservation of cultural and natural heritage, and innovative solutions for sustainable practices. The second stage saw an on-site evaluation of each finalist by the judges, who assessed each destination according to the business practices highlighted in their award applications.
David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC said: “Tourism is a force for good and it is by sharing best practices, and by educating our peers about sustainability that we can ensure the growth of our sector is managed responsibly. The Awards, which are now in their 12th year, will again demonstrate how tourism businesses can bring positive change to communities by protecting livelihoods and the environment.”
The V&A Waterfront was also the winner of the highly contested international award for ‘Best Destination for Responsible Tourism at the World Travel Market in London in 2015. The Award was granted in recognition of the Waterfront’s commitment and leadership in not only preserving the heritage of the property, but also its forward thinking in terms of sustainable development.