Daar kan geen twyfel bestaan dat Gansbaai “Goud” is vir sover as wat dit Toerisme betref nie. As een van 22 finaliste in die African Responsible Tourism Awards 2015is twee toekennings aan Gansbaai gemaak: Goud as die “Best Destination for Responsible Tourism”, asook Algehele Wenner, wat ‘n uitmuntende prestasie en enorme trots vir Gansbaai is. Met hierdie toekennings is Gansbaai outomaties een van die finaliste vir die World Responsible Tourism Awardswat gedurende November vanjaar in die Wêreld Handelsentrum in London sal plaasvind.
Die aanvanklike hoeveelheid inskrywings was 1,500, waarna die lys na 121 verkort is en daarna is ‘n kortlys met 22 inskrywings opgestel. Nog twee Goud Wenners vir Gansbaai is Grootbos Privaat Natuurreservaat in vennootskap met Grootbos Foundation vir “Best for Poverty Reduction” en Marine Dynamics vir “Best for Wildlife Conservation”, waarop die gemeenskap eweneens baie trots kan wees. Drie Goues vir hierdie omgewing, met Gansbaai as Algehele Wenner is nie te versmaai nie.
Die beoordelaars het die volgende kommentaar gelewer: “This is a remarkable group of tourism businesses many of which have won Responsible Tourism Awards individually, including Grootbos for its conservation of the fynbos and its poverty reduction impact, and Marine Dynamics for conservation and local economic development. The judges want to recognise them for the overall award for the way in which they have worked, together to create a destination, with outstanding product, memorable experiences and brought local economic development and communal facilities to the local community. They have demonstrated what tourism can do to make better places to live in and great places to visit.”
Individuele kommentaar deur die beoordelaars oor die drie Goue Wenners van hierdie omgewing, verdien die nodige vermel-ding en spreek vanself:
Gansbaai Toerisme: “Since 1995 Gansbaai Tourism has worked to create awareness of and market the area as a tourism destination. The cluster of businesses in the area, some of them with international reputations, have worked together to develop an exemplary destination, a quality guest experience which has conserved fynbos and marine wildlife, created significant direct and indirect employment and they are now working together to quantify their environmental impacts.”
Grootbos: “Grootbos is no stranger to winning Responsible Tourism Awards. What stands out is the long history of interventions that amplify each other.
The programmes of the Grootbos Foundation focus on improved livelihoods through self-reliance, development of viable enterprise development, gender balance and empowerment of women. Impacts are well quantified and information about projects easily accessible to the willing reader.”
Marine Dynamics: “Marine Dynamics provide very high quality shark cage diving experiences. They operate in a sector where there is rightly a lot of criticism of current practice. Marine Dynamics are industry leaders, a commercial operation which operates to the highest conservation standards, where every trip has a marine biologist aboard to provide interpretation and collect data for scientific research. An operator that makes a significant contribution to conservation and the local economy.”
Comments by Gansbaai Tourism Bureau:
“This is a very exciting award for Gansbaai and with our immediate entry into the World Responsible Tourism Award it certainly puts Gansbaai on the world stage. To win the overall award was an unexpected bonus and we are grateful for all those practicing the principles of responsible tourism: sus-tainable development, i.e. economic growth, environmental integrity and social justice that we were able to highlight in our submission. Gansbaai Tourism is proud to represent Gansbaai!” Glenda said the following: “Thanks to Brenda for completing the 3,000 word entry form with plenty of photos and a strong motivation - our appreciation to all our members who practise responsible tourism and belong to Fair Trade - these were all included in the motivation.”