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Tanzania travel company comes out on top in responsible tourism survey in Africa

Tanzania travel company comes out on top in responsible tourism survey in Africa

Africans can gleam with pride as sustainable and responsible tourism in the natural resource-rich continent is on the rise with a local travel company being recognized as the best in practice, offering a ray of hope.

Asilia emerged at the top of the list of all the hospitality companies in a recent survey of responsible travel companies in Africa, raising the profile of tourism industry on the continent.

The travel company operates 15 luxurious camps and lodges in Tanzania and 5 camps in Kenya, and has been recognized for its outstanding compliance with responsible tourism practices, outshining other properties in 8 African countries.

The survey found that Asilia has 48 percent of its properties certified at the best-practice responsible tourism level, announced by the Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) that reviewed the certification of safari lodges and camps in 8 African countries, namely South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Madagascar.

Ten properties – Sayari, Oliver’s, Little Oliver’s, Namiri, Olakira, Dunia, Namiri, Ubuntu in Tanzania, and Naboisho and Rekero in Kenya – have been independently audited against best-practice criteria set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

The review assessed safari camps and lodges that are independently audited against best practice criteria set by the GSTC and are certified or recognized by the FTT.

Fair Trade Tourism is one of the most recognized certification marks in the world, with 90 percent recognition in the UK, 87 percent in Switzerland, 85 percent in the Netherlands, 72 percent and 63 percent in Germany.

Nearly 60 tour operators globally are approved to package Fair Trade Holidays which are required to have over 50 percent bed nights in the FTT-certified establishments.

Jeroen Harderwijk, Co-founder and Managing Director of Asilia, said: “We are extremely proud to be singled out by Fair Trade Tourism as a leading responsible tourism company in Africa. Making a positive impact is integrated into all our management routines. What gets measured gets done. The great benefit of certification schemes like Fair Trade is that they help to benchmark performance so that together we can continue to raise the bar.”

In addition, Asilia remains the only safari company in Africa to be certified by the Global Impact Investment Rating System (GIIRS). Ranked at the Platinum Level, Asilia is in the top 10 of impact companies worldwide.

Asilia, the first Sustainable Safari/Lodge Company in Africa to receive a 5-star rating for sustainability from GIIRS, was recognized as one of the “Best Companies for the World” in 2013 and awarded the 2014 Tourism for Tomorrow Business Award.

The company is thrilled at being rated the most committed to responsible tourism standards in Africa, according to a Fair Trade Tourism review of certified safari lodges and camps.

It believes that by making bold, and often pioneering, investments into areas that are ecologically and economically vulnerable, these areas can be turned into viable conservation economies, benefitting both people and nature alike currently and for future generations.

“We work closely with communities, authorities, NGOs, and industry partners to achieve the best possible long-term outcomes for all concerned,” the Asilia boss concluded.