The Imvelo Responsible Tourism awards were initiated to coincide with the World Summit on Sustainable Development that was held in South Africa in 2002. They recognise tourism and hospitality businesses that make a real, measurable and sustained contribution to Responsible Tourism. To be made for the eleventh time this year, the Imvelo awards have had a huge impact on tourism in South Africa, creating significant awareness of environmental management issues in the industry.
The awards are in line with the National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism, the Responsible Tourism guidelines for the South African hospitality industry and the UN World Tourism Organisation’s code of ethics. Imvelo is supported by the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme. The Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA) is the custodian of Imvelo. The main Imvelo partners for 2012 are Absa, the Department of Tourism, the Department of Water Affairs, Eskom, the Industrial Development Corporation and Don’t Waste Services.
Hospitality and tourism establishments or businesses, irrespective of size, can enter any of the following Imvelo award categories:
Best Social Involvement Programme – Download Score Sheet
The judges are looking for the business that has made the most effort to ensure the integration of its activities with its local community. Your entry should focus on the extent to which you are involving your community in your business activities and the extent to which your community benefits socially from your business activities.
Best Practice – Economic Impact – Download Score Sheet
The economic impacts of tourism and the effect that your business has on its local community are the focus of this category. The judges need to understand the extent to which your business contributes to the economic benefit of the community and your ability to quantify the impacts that you have on the community.
Best Overall Environmental Management System – Download Score Sheet
This category aims to determine the extent to which you are managing your environmental impacts as a business in a sustainable and responsible manner. The judges are looking for a system that encompasses and integrated approach to environmentally sustainable and responsible business practice.
Best Single Resource Management Programme – Download Score Sheet
Three awards will be made in this category, one each for water management, energy management and waste management. Each category must be entered separately.
Most empowered tourism business – Download Score Sheet
To qualify for this category, your entry should reflect and communicate the extent to which your business has addressed the issues of empowerment and has contributed to a globally competitive, demographically representative tourism industry.
Investing in people award – Download Score Sheet
The need for well trained, educated and developed individuals in the tourism industry is the focus of this award. The judges will consider the extent to which you have taken practical steps to develop the human resource component of your business, specifically the efforts that have been made in excess of any national minimum standards or guidelines.