Cape Town sows the seeds for greener tourism pastures

Responsible or ‘green’ tourism as it is sometimes referred to, is making sense to more and more tourism businesses in Cape Town. A shift that was recently acknowledged by the Ethisphere Institute of New York, when they named Cape Town as one of ten cities in the world most likely to become centres of sustainability by 2020.

Cape Town is by definition a place of great natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage, with mountain, sea, natural parks and remarkable cultural experiences forming an integral part of its tourism attraction. “We know that this natural and cultural inheritance is both our heritage and our future,” says Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold,” There is a place in tourism for a sustainable economic model through which the people of this country can also grow and profit.”

Cape Town is particularly mindful of the legacy opportunities presented by The 2010 FIFA World Cup and has taken active steps to address a number of environmental, economic and social challenges ahead of its role as a host city. To this end, a variety of projects are planned to consolidate the nine Green Goals, which Cape Town has set itself for 2010. These include minimizing the 2010 carbon footprint, conservation of water resources, recycling, energy efficiency, indigenous landscaping, green building practices, responsible tourism, local procurement, skills development and the communication of these goals to both Capetonians and visitors.

The greening programme borrows from Germany’s 2006 World Cup Greening model, during which, organisers made efforts to reduce the event’s greenhouse gas emissions by increasing energy efficiency and using renewable energy sources wherever possible.

Beyond 2010, Cape Town is committed to increasing awareness around responsible practices and sustainable lifestyle. The recently released 2009 Trip Advisor survey found that 73% of US residents planned to visit a National Park in their vacation time, whilst 61% wished to visit a beach. The same report found that 32% of the Americans interviewed intended on making environmentally conscious choices in their travel decisions this year. This is up 6% on last year’s response. Europe exhibits similar travel trends.

Fair Trade Tourism South Africa reports that the total number of FTTSA certified tourism products in the Western Cape has grown from one to seventeen since 2003. This accounts for nearly half of the national certification. Cape Town Tourism’s recent partnership with the FTTSA organization seeks to encourage a broader sustainable tourism benchmark that addresses proactively the dark side of tourism of exploitation of women, children, local communities and the environment.

“The golden rule of tourism is built around involvement, participation, relationship and partnership. It is about the Tourism Industry actively taking hands with local communities, listening to their needs and working side by side to ensure that the environment and indigenous cultures are preserved, whilst allowing responsible travellers to come and experience a holiday of a lifetime” says Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Town Tourism.

ENDS

Released for Cape Town Tourism by
Rabbit in a Hat Communications
Contact : Sascha Polkey
sascha@rabbitinahat.co.za
+27 21 447 3198
+27 83 414 0552

Cape Town Tourism
Contact : Mariette du-Toit Helmbold (CEO)
mariette@capetown.travel
+ 21 27 487 6800
+27 83 225 5955

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