South African Tourism’s (SA Tourism) Ubuntu Awards will be re-launched during this year’s WTM this evening, Monday 4th November. With the event last held in the 2011, the awards return to the stage with a new and fresh concept that provides recognition across the board. Celebrating new and innovative ways of promoting South Africa as a compelling destination to the consumer, the evening will be hosted by SA Tourism’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Thulani Nzima, along with a special appearance by Minister of Tourism in South Africa, Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Now in its sixth year, the Awards ceremony will be presented by celebrated broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky.

Held at Madison Restaurant on the roof terrace of One New Change overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral, the cocktail reception will champion trade partners that sell South Africa in the following categories:

Most Creative JMA [Joint Marketing Agreement]’ (for which there are a gold, silver and bronze award), ‘Best Newcomer’ and the Khanya Special Recognition Award. The judging panel will comprise a number of leaders in the field including social media specialist and Travel Perspective co-founder Steve Keenan, Travel Trade Gazette’s (TTG) Special Projects Editor Abigail Challenor and South African Tourism’s own Chief Marketing Officer, Janine Hutton.

From over 20 contenders, the six shortlisted tour operators for the coveted Ubuntu Awards will be 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; and consumer interest generated.

“Tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom (UK) to South Africa grew by 4. 2% from 420,483 in 2011 to 438,023 in 2012. For us to have achieved the extraordinary success we have in this market, we rely on the travel trade to be frontline ambassadors for our destination. The Ubuntu Awards are our way of recognising UK tour operators’ success in promoting our country as a premier global destination,” says Chief Executive Officer at South African Tourism, Mr. Thulani Nzima.

Steve Keenan, social media specialist and Travel Perspective co-founder (formerly online travel editor at The Times), says “I am delighted to be asked to help judge South African Tourism’s Ubuntu Awards. South Africa is renowned in the industry for its innovative approach to social and digital media, pushing the envelope when it comes to tourism marketing. The Awards reward such innovation in both online and offline marketing, both to consumers and the travel trade, and it will be a privilege to learn more about the tour operators helping push South African Tourism’s marketing to new levels.”

Abigail Challenor, Special Projects Editor at TTG, adds “We have a long-standing relationship with South African Tourism and continue to be impressed by the variety of marketing campaigns that are being implemented by all UK tour operators in the region. We are thrilled to be part of the Ubuntu Awards’ judging panel, as we truly believe it is a choice long-haul destination for the UK with something for everyone to enjoy.”

Guests at the cocktail reception will also enjoy 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.

SA Tourism will be exhibiting at this year’s WTM, at stand AF300 – with a major focus on 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                                      

Tel: 020 8971 9350                                                


Daniela Marchesi and Susannah Glynn at Kallaway 

Tel: 020 7221 7883


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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.