Cape Town Joins the World in Noting World Responsible Tourism Day.
The World Travel Market (WTM) leads on this year’s World Responsible Tourism Day (7 November) through a wealth of debates and presentations on conscious tourism practice, as well as the awarding of the 2012 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards.
Speaking from WTM, the CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold, said that the South African tourism industry is embracing Responsible Tourism; “Cape Town has been setting the benchmark since 2002, when the city hosted the Cape Town Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations. Cape Town Tourism has also recently partnered with Fair Trade in Tourism (FTT); a non-profit organisation that promotes sustainable tourism development and facilitates a tourism Fair Trade certification programme. The partnership aims to bring Cape Town’s tourism sector into contact with a tangible, audited programme towards a complete responsible tourism transition.”
Responsible Tourism is defined as tourism ‘that creates better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit’. One of the key challenges for Responsible Tourism identified at WTM is that of broadening access to destinations, particularly for the physically and economically disadvantaged. The conference also looked at ways in which various destinations were regulating and communicating their Responsible Tourism practice.
South Africa hosts its very own Responsible Tourism Awards each year, called the Imvelo Responsible Tourism Awards. These awards recognise tourism and hospitality businesses that make a real, measurable and continual contribution to Responsible Tourism and they have played a critical role in creating awareness around environmental management issues within the industry.
Finalists and winners for 2012 are from around the country, with this year’s overall winner named as the Riverside Sun Resort, on the banks of the Vaal River. In Cape Town and the Western Cape, finalists for 2012 include:
Best practice Responsible Tourism examples for Cape Town include:
The Vineyard Hotel and Spa: Has implemented an environmental policy with a number of green initiatives. The recycling programme is such that the Vineyard now recycles 92% of its waste with only 8% ending up in landfills.
The Cape Town International Convention Centre: Has a dedicated environmental task team that advises on trends and issues in environmental management, as well as promotes the greening of events with the NOW (Nurture Our World) initiative.
AWOL Tours: offers hiking and cycling tours in Cape Town, which also allows for genuine and real interactions between locals and tourists, besides the obvious eco-friendly aspect of non-mechanical travel.
Green Cab: Green Cab is a green road transport initiative that has reduced its carbon footprint by converting the petrol component of its fleet to run on dual-fuel and the diesel component on Biodiesel, which achieves a saving of fifteen to twenty percent in carbon emissions.
Du Toit-Helmbold concludes; “Not only is responsible travel better for the world, it’s far more interesting and memorable. It’s the future of travel and everyone must stand up and be counted amongst those willing to participate.”
via Cape Town Joins the World in Noting World Responsible Tourism Day | Cape Town Green Map.