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WHICH CATEGORY IS RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS – Employing and Upskilling Local Communities and Increasing Local Sourcing

LATA Responsible Tourism Awards


The LATA Responsible Tourism Awards champion the best work in responsible tourism across the continent – for members and non-members alike.

We are sharing the winning case studies recently announced at the WTM Africa Responsible Tourism Awards, giving you tangible examples to inspire you and help see which category to enter your business.

The final categories to highlight are Employing and Upskilling Local Communities and Increasing Local Sourcing

Click here for more information and the entry form.

The deadline for entries is 10 May

You can read our previous post  on Nature Positive and Combatting Climate Change here and a post on Making Travel Inclusive and Championing Cultural Diversity here.



Tourism creates diverse employment opportunities, and local employment has long been recognised as a very important way of ensuring that local communities benefit from visitors and tourism businesses. However, there are still many challenges; employment inequalities, instability through seasonal variations and lack of growth opportunities, to name a few. We are looking for tourism businesses that are making a conscious effort to recruit, train and promote local people to provide long-term stable employment and opportunities for local communities.

Gold Winner: Grootbos Lodge & the Green Futures College – South Africa 

Grootbos has been conserving a growing part of the fynbos overlooking Walker Bay since 1994, generating funds for conservation and upskilling and empowering people in its neighbouring communities. The lodge upskills, trains and mentors its staff and supports and promotes local producers. Through the Grootbos Foundation, it provides free skills and business training for employment and ‘economic dignity’ for local people. Its Green Futures College covers the training costs, uniforms, transport, food, stipends and childcare for 20-24 unemployed people each year. The Grootbos Foundation, funded by the business and other donors, has provided fully funded training to 92 horticulture graduates since 2003, 115 hospitality graduates since 2014, entrepreneurship training for 849; seed funding and mentorship to 189 independent small businesses, and trained 20 female biodiversity stewards now working in two independent contractor teams in the local landscape. This citation cannot capture all that has resulted from the efforts of a tourism enterprise on the fynbos, largely devoid of the charismatic megafauna found on safari and in the ocean.



As one of the world’s leading sectors of consumption, tourism provides many economic benefits, including employment and business opportunities. Far too often, the money does recirculate with the local economy location or provide any benefit to the local people or environment. Tourism businesses can grow the local economy by spending on local goods and services and procuring services and products locally. We are looking for businesses that have local purchasing practices in place and are actively working to create and promote local businesses and sole traders through their own supply chain and encouraging visitors to buy locally produced crafts and souvenirs.

Gold Winner: Okavango Gin

Okavango Gin was founded out of a love and passion for the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta … by a handful of like-minded naturalists, safari guides, botany enthusiasts and hospitality experts. Using locally harvested Mophane seeds and traditional Marula Beer sourced from local women in Gweta, distilled off-grid, with gin bottle sleeves sewn locally and recycling gin bottles in Botswana this new gin has the authenticity of the Delta and is a souvenir to remind travellers of their wilderness experience at home. Recognising the “need for a more innovative approach to tourism, beyond the “bums in beds”, Okavango Gin has demonstrated how a quality local product can displace imported brands, becoming the house gin of most lodges in the Okavango Delta. The business started with one full-time working director it now directly employs six and creates additional employment in its supply chain and distribution, in 2023 revenue grew 75%. 

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