• SA Tourism’s annual marketing awards returned in an updated format at a glittering ceremony held this evening at Madison Restaurant, presented by broadcaster Natasha Kaplinksky 
  • Creativity and Innovation in JMAs (Joint Marketing Agreements) title awarded to: Travelbag (Gold), Travel2 (Silver) and Africa Collection (Bronze)
  • Alison Whitfield from Ethos Marketing recognised with the Special Recognition/ Khanya Award
  • Judging panel comprised leaders in the field including social media specialist and Travel Perspective co-founder Steve Keenan, TTG’s Special Projects Editor, Abigail Challenor and South African Tourism’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jan Hutton. 

Now in its sixth year, South African Tourism’s (SA Tourism) annual Ubuntu Awards re-launched this evening, Monday, 4 November, on the inaugural day of WTM.  Presented by celebrated broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky, at a glittering ceremony held at Madison Restaurant on the roof terrace of One New Change overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, the cocktail reception brought together trade partners who sell South Africa to thank them for their work and celebrate their achievements. The evening was hosted by SA Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Thulani Nzima, with a special appearance by Minister of Tourism in South Africa, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

With the event last held in 2011, this evening’s awards returned marketing achievements to the fore with a new and fresh concept that provided recognition across the board. The following tour operators, selected from a shortlist of six, scooped the coveted Ubuntu Awards for their work generating new and innovative ways of promoting South Africa as a compelling destination to the consumer: 

  • Most Creative JMA: 
  • Gold – Travelbag
  • Silver – Travel2
  • Bronze – Africa Collection
  • Khanya Special Recognition Awards – Alison Whitfield from Ethos Marketing 

From over 20 contenders, the final six shortlisted tour operators were picked based on the following judging criteria: 

  • creativity and innovation
  • the quality of the marketing campaigns’ execution
  • the campaigns’ success
  • engagement with the trade
  • return on investment
  • consumer interest generated. 

The judging panel comprised a number of leaders in the field including social media specialist and Travel Perspective co-founder Steve Keenan, TTG’s Special Projects Editor Abigail Challenor and South African Tourism’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jan Hutton. 

Keynote speeches by SA Tourism’s CEO Mr Thulani and Minister van Schalkwyk acknowledged the key roles played by the evening’s audience of trade partners and the intrinsic value of partnerships and collaborations as the key to South Africa’s success, and highlighted why 2014 will be the year to visit the country.

Thulani Nzima, CEO for South African Tourism, said:

‘In 2012 tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom (UK) to South Africa grew by 4.2% from 420,483 in 2011 to 438,023. For us to have achieved the extraordinary success we have in this market, we rely on our travel trade partners to be frontline ambassadors for our destination. The Ubuntu Awards is our way of recognising UK tour operators’ success in promoting our country as a premier global destination, and we are immensely proud to have presented the accolades to this evening’s winners. Congratulations to all!’

Guests at the cocktail reception also enjoyed a preview exclusive of excerpts from INALA: A Zulu Ballet, a ballet production telling the story of South Africa from past to present, which will debut at the Edinburgh International Festival next summer, before arriving at Sadler’s Wells in September 2014. 

This year’s focus for South African Tourism at WTM (stand AF300) will be on the country’s culture and heritage tourism offering during 2014 – as the country enters a milestone year. Next year will mark 20 years since Mandela became president, heralding the beginning of democracy in the country. Also in 2014, South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town, has been chosen to follow as the World Design Capital taking the baton from Helsinki. The two events will present an unrivalled chance to showcase South Africa’s unique offering today – and highlight why visitors should make the country their number one choice for 2014. 


Issued by Kallaway on behalf of South African Tourism

For further information contact:

Juan Herrada at SA Tourism                           Daniela Marchesi and Susannah Glynn at Kallaway

Tel:  020 8971 9350                                          Tel: 020 7221 7883

Email:                           Email: 


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About South Africa

Nearly half a million tourists from the UK are drawn to South Africa each year, lured by its rich history, vibrant contemporary culture, scenic beauty and wildlife. The country’s iconic attractions include Mvezo, the birthplace of Nelson Mandela, cosmopolitan Cape Town and the 5.2sq mile Kruger National Park. South Africa was the first country in the world to include Responsible Tourism as part of government policy and for almost 20 years has acted as a major driving force for change in the sector. The visitor to South Africa can expect an unparalleled authentic experience, accommodation which is sustainable as it is stylish and affordable getaways which don’t cost the Earth.

About South African Tourism

South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination.