By Watmore Makokoba
Regional safari operator, Wilderness Safaris has won the prestigious 2017 Virtuoso Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award in recognition of their commitment to sustainable business and environmental management.
Wilderness Safaris which operates in eight African countries namely Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, and Zambia won in the Preferred Partner category.
This coveted award was announced at an exclusive event held at the Bellagio on 18 August 217 during the 29th annual Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas.
Now in its seventh year, the Virtuoso Sustainable Tourism Leadership Awards recognises a Hotel and a Preferred Partner that demonstrate outstanding leadership and commitment to sustainable tourism principles and practices.
The company’s received the award for its continued reduction in the use of fossil fuels for their energy needs, further investing in solar energy with 11 Wilderness Safaris camps now operating 100% on solar power.
“We truly value the support we receive from our partners within the Virtuoso travel network and are honoured to have received this prestigious award as recognition of our commitment to our 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation.
“I would like to dedicate this award to all at Virtuoso for the role you are playing in sustainability. Thank you to all of you who are taking care of the only home that we have, “ said Craig Glatthaar, Wilderness Safaris US Business Unit Manager while accepting the award.
Albert Herrera, Senior Vice President, Global Product Partnerships for Virtuoso said, “Wilderness Safaris demonstrates a superior commitment to product excellence, expert knowledge and outstanding client service, all qualities highly valued by this network.
Herrera said the award places Wilderness Safaris in a very exclusive category as Virtuoso’s most celebrated partners and leaders within the industry.
In 2017, the Wilderness Group spent BWP10 million directly on biodiversity conservation and participated in 52 active research and conservation projects across seven countries in partnership with the Wilderness Wildlife Trust.