The finalists in the 2012 Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards programme, organised by the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA) in conjunction with the National Department of Tourism, have been announced.

Imvelo, running for the eleventh year, awards tourism businesses that demonstrate sustained responsible practice in their operations in terms of their natural, social and economic environments.

A total of 39 tourism businesses made it to the finals in this years awards programme.

The finalists are African Impact, African Safari Lodge Foundation, Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, Beacon Island Resort, Calabash Tours, Cape Grace Hotel, Cape Town International Convention Centre, City Lodge Hotels, Da Vinci Hotel and Suites in Sandton, Drakensberg Sun Resort, Garden Court Blackrock, Garden Court Hatfield, Garden Court Polokwane, Garden Court Sandton, Kamogelo Guest House near the Pilanesberg, Intercontinental Sandton Towers, Kievitskroon, Kondowe Game Reserve in Limpopo, Maliba Mountain Lodge in Lesotho, Open Africa, Oude Werf Hotel, Prince Grant Golf Estate and Lodge on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, Protea Hotel Bloemfontein, Red Carnation Hotel Collection, Riverside Sun Resort on the Vaal River, Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton Sun Hotel, Scan Display, Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel, So We Too, a unique Soweto tour experience, Sun International Zambia, Sun City Resort, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, Tongabesi Lodge in Zambia, Tsogo Sun Group, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, Vineyard Hotel and Spa, White Shark Adventures and Zalala Beach Lodge and Safaris in Mozambique.

Imvelo which means nature in South Africas Nguni languages – encourages industry members to accept voluntary guidelines promoting responsible tourism. The awards are in line with the National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism and the UN World Tourism Organisations code of ethics, and are supported by the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme.

Awards will be made in the categories Best social involvement programme, Best practice economic impact, Best overall environmental management system, Best single resource management programme for energy, water and waste, Most empowered tourism business and Investor in people. An overall Imvelo winner will be selected.

A Chairmans Award could be made at the discretion of the FEDHASA chairman to any Imvelo entrant or any other organisation in the tourism industry that made a significant contribution to responsible tourism over the past year.