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Garden Route operator wins Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award

Garden Route operator wins Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award

15 September 2019

The 18th annual presentation of the Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards has taken place on Sunday, 15 September 2019 during the Opening Ceremony of the 80th Skål World Congress held onboard the Royal Caribbean ‘Symphony of the Seas’. 

The Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards were launched in 2002 to spotlight best practices in terms of sustainable and responsible Tourism around the world, enhance the visibility and grant recognition to entities from the Tourism Industry.

A total of 56 entries from 25 countries from all over the world have this year competed.

Three prominent and distinguished judges have independently evaluated the entries received according to leadership criteria in sustainability that encompass tangible, measurable benefits to the environment, enhance business, and the society and communities in which they operate.

The judges were Tomás de Azcárate y Bang, President of the Responsible Tourism Institute (Spain), Mario Hardy, CEO of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA; Thailand) and Samantha Bray, Managing Director of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST; USA).


SAASA, the South African Animal Santuary Alliance has won in the category Major Tourist Attractions.  The award was collected by Lara Mostert, Marketing Manager of SAASA.

The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance strives to improve the lives of caged primates, birds and other wildlife.  The sanctuaries affiliated with SAASA are the Garden Route based Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, Birds of Eden and Jukani Wildife Santuary as well as KwaZulu Natal based Monkeyland KZN.  All sanctuaries adhere to a strict no-touch policy.

Other categories included Community and Government Projects, Countryside and Wildlife, Educational Programmes and Media, Marine and Coastal, Rural Accommodation, Tour Operators & Travel Agents and Urban Accommodation.  SAASA was the only South African winner.


Skål International is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry. Its members, the industry’s managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to Do Business Among Friends.