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The Kingdom of Eswatini

Ngwenya Glass Wins Award at WTM Africa

We are delighted to share that Ngwenya Glass, one of Eswatini’s most unique tourist experiences, won the Best for ‘Local Sourcing, Craft and Food’ award at this year’s WTM Responsible Tourism Awards.

Ngwenya Glass creates handmade glass ornaments and tableware using 100% recycled bottles. With a furnace that melts between 600kg and 1 ton of glass per day, they employ 59 talented Swazi artisans who produce around 1,500 products daily. Their heat source combines used cooking oil, mainly from KFC, and paraffin in an 85/15 blend.

Celebrating their 36th year, their products can be found on all seven continents. Previously voted Eswatini’s best tourist attraction, they welcome around 50,000 international tourists annually to experience the factory, shop, and 13 boutique stores offering local crafts, chocolates, and gins.

Sustainability is central to their ethos. They harvest rainwater, use recycled packaging, and generate 160kW of solar power. Their efforts to create a positive environmental impact include organising weekly clean-up campaigns and supporting conservation efforts. They contribute to the local community by sponsoring a SWAGAA counselor, assisting an orphanage, and building facilities for a village clinic.

The World Responsible Tourism Awards are very prestigious awards; they are not easy to win. However, every year remarkable new examples of responsible businesses and destinations are “discovered” and recognised through the Awards. The awards aspire to recognise businesses and destinations creating shared value with local communities that others could adapt and adopt similar initiatives. Tourism businesses can, by engaging themselves with local producers and encouraging their clients to do so, enrich the visitor experience and the local community.

“This award shines the spotlight on Eswatini’s conscious efforts to uphold sustainable and responsibletourism. We congratulate Ngwenya Glass for this recognition and are confident that it will go a longway in promoting Ngwenya Glass as a tourist hotspot in Eswatini, as well as give momentum to ourcollective destination marketing initiatives,” said Sboniso Madlopha, Head of Marketing for the Eswatini Tourism Authority.

In a statement issued by Ngwenya Glass on their website, they expressed gratitude to their community of partners who continue to support their ethos.“We are so honoured to have won this award. We have to thank [you] our partners, supporters, customers and friends for being on a sustainable, conscious [and] responsible journey with us for the last 36 years!”

Find out more about Ngwenya Glass here.