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September 25, 2013

#LoveCapeTown’s Vineyard Hotel Demonstrates Responsible Tourism

The Vineyard Hotel&Spa in Newlands has been a pioneer of responsible tourism in #LoveCapeTown for years.

The Vineyard Hotel , one of #LoveCapeTown’s top hotels in Newlands, is also a pioneer in responsible tourism, offering eco-friendly hospitality in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.
In honour of World Tourism Day on Friday 27 September, 2013 and the theme ‘Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future’, we interviewed Onwaba Qwabig, Group Sustainability Administrator of The Vineyard Hotel & Spa, to find out how responsible they are and why they #LoveCapeTown.

The Vineyard is one of the City of Cape Town's endorsed Responsible Tourism pilot projects.

“Responsible tourism is taken very seriously by the Vineyard Hotel & Spa. Education of all the staff, the introduction of energy and water saving devices and a waste separation and recycling program are some of the many ways that the Vineyard Hotel & Spa is making its contribution towards a cleaner, safer and more sustainable planet”, says  Qwabig

What is The Vineyard doing to celebrate World Tourism Day and its theme Tourism and Water?

These are some of the initiatives we have in place to reduce our water consumption and our impact on the environment:
• Water-efficient showerheads have been installed throughout the hotel, reducing consumption from 18 to between 9 and 7.5 litres per minute, while also reducing the amount of energy required to heat the water.
• All taps in rooms and restrooms are aerated
• Dual-flush toilets are available in all renovated rooms and public areas
• Waterless urinals
• A new water efficient laundry is in operation, where water from the last rinse is used for the first next wash
• There is a towel and linen policy in all rooms encouraging guests to have their linen and towels washed only upon request to save on water
• Compared to last year we are making savings of up to 14%
• We maintain the section of the Liesbeek River that runs through our property, removing all refuse

Practicing responsible tourism is important to our organisation because…

We value sustainable growth, profitability and success - long-term success through partnerships with employees, guests and the community.
Our green vision is: We work in harmony with the environment and the community, and in partnership with our stakeholders.

Please tell us about the most successful outreach programme The Vineyard has been involved in.

We have two:

Alien Clearing Project: We are involved in an environmental community program called Adopt a Plot. We adopted an 8.5 hectare plot in Silvermine - a part of Table Mountain National Park. We organize monthly clean ups to clear our plot of alien vegetation, allowing the natural fynbos to flourish and water to filter back into the streams. We involve staff from the hotel, family and friends to carry out this project.

Kids of the Cape: Our “Kids of the Cape” fund was established in March 2007 and is registered as a Non-Profit Organisation with the South African Department of Social Development. A committee, comprising of Hotel Employees, who have been elected by colleagues from their respective hotels, oversee the running of the social investment initiative. Funds are raised by the hotel guests, who are asked to add a small donation to their account, which is then matched by the hotels. This initiative assists local children's community projects in the greater Cape Town area. Some of our beneficiaries include: Atlantic Hope, Amy Biehl Foundation, Woodside Special Care Centre, Baphumelele Childrens Home, Aquarius School Feeding Project, Anthea Pieters Safe House and SA Children’s Home.

Please tell us about any exciting Responsible Tourism developments/projects you have planned for  the year?

We have the installation of 20kW solar PV panels producing 110kW per day, planned for installation in October/November 2013.

What are your Top 5 water spots in #LoveCapeTown and why?

Fish Hoek Beach: The water is warmer than the Atlantic Ocean beaches .The beach is very popular with swimmers and surfers. This is a very family orientated beach with plenty of space for beach games, swimming and exploring.

Rondevlei Nature Reserve: The reserve offers a unique eco-experience. It is a protected area comprising of a wetland and a lake. The reserve is a home to bird species, reptiles, mammals, and the only hippos in the Cape Peninsula.

Cape Point beaches: Cape Point beaches are covered in endemic fynbos. The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. It is home to Africa’s flora. These beaches fall within the Cape Floral Region World Heritage Site.

Noordhoek beach: Farm atmosphere and ideal area for horse riding.

Liesbeek River: the Liesbeek River is home to many species of birds and the occasional otter.  

Why do you #LoveCapeTown?

The Mother City offers beautiful gardens, parks and nature reserves with unique fynbos, beautiful mountains, many excellent beaches and of course, diverse and interesting people.

Follow the Vineyard Hotel & Spa on Facebook  and Twitter.Follow their green initiatives at Living Green .

For more information on World Tourism Day, you can visit http://wtd.unwto.org/.

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