Responsible Tourism

Dear tourism stakeholders,

I am convinced that no business can be sustainable if it is not managed responsibly. This should be part of everyone’s everyday lifestyle. It does not necessarily have to cost money. Living responsible actually saves you money on the long run. It saves the environment and improves the lives of animals, insects and people.

Please read Heidi van der Watt’s  introduction below.

Heidi is an International Sustainable Tourism Specialist who is the founder of Better Tourism Africa (formerly the International Centre for Responsible Tourism – South Africa) and owner of EDGE Tourism Solutions, based in South Africa.

Heidi has helped shape South Africa’s vision as a responsible tourism destination. She developed a National Strategy for Responsible Tourism for the Department of Tourism, played a key role in the development of the Responsible Tourism Guidelines, and managed the development of Cape Town’s Responsible Tourism Policy and Action Plan and the national Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism. Heidi holds leadership positions in a number of African organisations, including the Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance Africa and the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme.  Heidi is also a Director of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and a member of the WTM Responsible Tourism Advisory Panel.

Kiewiet van Rooyen:  Tourism Manager

Would you like to know how to be more responsible? Follow this link

DR THEUNS VIVIAN - Speaker RT Outreach 31 October 2017

Theuns Charles Vivian is an academic, writer, entrepreneur and administrator with a specific focus on tourism and entrepreneurship.  He was born in Cape Town and obtained his first degree from the University of Stellenbosch in 1984 (BEcon) where after he obtained a BCom honours degree from Unisa in 1987 and a MEcon degree from Stellenbosch University in 2000.    
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Abang Africa Travel

Born in the Philippines and growing up there, in Ecuador and in Holland, you might say that travelling is in my blood. I started adult life out as a landscape architect. After a couple of years I decided to exchange cultivated nature for the real thing and started working as a tour guide. Mostly in Africa – all along the East side from Addis Abeba down to Cape Town - but also in Latin America, the Middle East and more exotic destinations like Cambodia, Mali and Iran. In Mali I did interviews and photos for a book about the Dogon tribe, in fact the first book ever written by a Dogon about themselves. 
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Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse

BK is a beautiful 5 room guesthouse on a large wheat & sheep farm & reserve in the Swartland, and when it first started in 1997, it hadn’t heard of Responsible Tourism. But even so, its values, ethos & mission statement all spoke to the triple bottom line of economic growth, environmental integrity & social justice, and continues to do so today.
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Candice Mostert - Environment Presenter at RT Outreach 2017

Candice Mostert runs a project called Waste-ED that functions as both an NGO and business. Her work looks at educating communities on better-managed waste streams, finding alternatives to single use or hazardous materials and implementing systems that can create a more harmonious cycle between wasters and waste users leading to zero waste. One of the largest aspects of her work is introducing the Ecobrick and using this plastic bottle, stuffed with non recyclables as a well insulated building brick to build much needed structures within South Africa and surrounds to empower people with building skills and an up cycling mindset  
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Club Mykonos Resort

The captain of the Club Mykonos ship hails from the windy city of Port Elizabeth which ensures that he feels right at home in the gusty town of Langebaan. Jon has been with Club Mykonos for 7 years and his passion, energy and drive have been the influencing factors behind many of the changes that the resort has undergone. Being a true leader he always has time for his staff and never says no to a challenge.
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FruitLips was founded in February 2014 by Liebre Eigelaar and Elouise Josephs. All products made by FruitLips is flavouring, colourant and preservative free. The goal is to produce high quality products for the niche markets. Staff from FruitLips are from the Piket-Bo-Berg community, born and bred.We create job opportunity for people that believe they can do more than just being another number on a fruit farm.
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Green Girls in Africa - Louise De Waal

Born & bred in Holland, lived & worked for 18 or so years in England and now Louise is living her dream in Cape Town – probably the most beautiful spot in the world. She has always had a passion for travelling, meeting new people from different cultural backgrounds, learning about a country’s history and discovering new landscapes, but got bitten by the Africa bug big time after having worked as a volunteer in Tanzania. With an academic background and PhD in environmental science, environmental issues and sustainability are part of her believe system and lifestyle.
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Hotel Verde

Samantha has 23 years of hospitality experience and is currently the General Manager of Hotel Verde, Africa’s greenest hotel. This 4-star eco hotel is situated 400m from Cape Town International Airport. Samantha is committed, positive, exceptionally organised with acute business acumen and has a specific focus on growth, profitability and overall pioneer on sustainable hospitality management.
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Indie Ale

Bernard & Susan Kruger are a husband and wife team from Porterville in the Western Cape.  They own and run a start-up craft brewery ( and have recently taken ownership of their small family farm, Kleine Liefde.   
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Khwa ttu

Michael Daiber studied anthropology at the University of Stellenbosch in the 80’s, he has worked with San communities for 23 years. His assignments most often involved in fulfilling the challenge of finding a harmonious balance between the dynamic and challenging community needs while achieving the goals of an emerging tourism game farms. His work involved assisting and supporting the community to develop various cultural activities including guided walks, cultural performances to generate income, while maintaining a high a standard of hospitality service.
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Jeremy's passion for life is evident in everything he tackles. His passion for sustainable living and for people combines well in the industry we have organically grown to be in. Having grown up with a mother who was involved with the grow campaign in Soweto and who use to grow food on her pavement so that passers by could pick, he has soil, food and people in his blood. Broadening peoples' knowledge of sustainable living is part of his life. Having grown up on a farm this life comes naturally to Riëtte, and as the youngest of nine children, the love for people is second nature.
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Lisa Scriven

Through her involvement with Better Tourism Africa and as the Director of Levelle Perspectives, Lisa has worked with over 80 different tourism businesses throughout southern Africa to implement management and operational systems that incorporate the principles of responsible tourism.
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Marine Dynamics

A native of Gansbaai, Wilfred Chivell knows the reefs, rocks and wrecks along the Gansbaai coastline like the inside of his home. His passion for conservation has placed the greater Dyer Island region on the international map and he has presented numerous talks and interviews on marine conservation.    
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Ocean View House

I always enjoyed the Hospitality Industry and from when I was a teenager I helped working in my uncles Restaurants, and earned extra pocket money, waitressing in Cafs and at weddings. After studying Hotel management at Cape Technikon in Granger Bay I went on to work for Protea Hotels and since 2005 I am managing Ocean View House, which is my family’s business since 1995.    
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Responsible Tourism Outreach 31 October 2017

The “Responsible Tourism Outreach” has a vision of promoting sustainable living, as well as the Development of a sustainable Destination. We feel that we can learn and be inspired, about the development of Cape Town as a sustainable destination, with Environmental, Economic and Social Development.  
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Transfrontier Parks Destinations- Glynn O'Leary

Job Title : Co-founder and Chief Executive Company Name : Transfrontier Parks Destinations About Glynn is a co-founder and Chief Executive of Transfrontier Parks Destinations  
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Ulrich Donaggi- Speaker at RT Outreach 31 October 2017

Ulrich Donaggi, born and bred #Weskus resident, is a trained accountant who has quit auditing bank statements in favour of counting beans, so to speak.  As co-Founder of the fresh goods and organic community market in Hopefield, The Mill Country Fair, he has married passion for people with passion for the environment.
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Wilfred Williams

Wilfred Williams has been the Programme Manager for Tourism Management Services at CapeNature since 2008. His main task at CapeNature is to manage the implementation of new tourism infrastructure as well as manage the transformation and upgrading of existing facilities and infrastructure. Wilfred has over 20 years of experience in developing and managing projects. Since 2008 CapeNature has introduced some amazing products into the market including the Holcim Award-winning Oudebosch at Kogelberg Nature Reserve.       
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Wilna Botha

Wilna Botha is the founder and CEO of Africa!Ignite, a not-for-profit rural development agency that is based in KwaZulu-Natal and that focuses on development of women and youth, on craft and tourism entrepreneurship, and on story-telling.   Since 2012, Africa!Ignite has piloted and refined WOWZULU Responsible Tourism as a model for creating ‘sustainable’ tourism destinations that incorporate commercial, community-based and wilderness components, underpinned by principles of social, environmental and economic sustainability. WOWZULU operates in 7 tourism nodes across KwaZulu-Natal, and has been recognised by the national Department of Tourism as a role model for sustainable tourism.  
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Travel Responsibly in die Weskus

Most people travel for fun but increasingly travellers are becoming aware of how tourism contributes to global warming, destruction of the environment, erosion of cultures and poverty – and so there’s a worldwide call to travel more mindfully. Thankfully, travelling responsibly doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on how enjoyable your travels are, and in many cases you will have a better time by finding better ways to travel.

By choosing socially and environmentally responsible accommodation, tour operators, activities, transport and places to eat, you can ensure that your trip contributes to conservation efforts and the well-being of communities.  And, you’ll discover that because these tourism operators put you in touch with nature, bring you closer to the people, cultures and creativity of the places you visit, and serve food that simply tastes better, travelling responsibly makes for excellent experiences.
Here are some ways in which you can be a responsible tourist during your visit to our region:

Choose responsible tourism businesses

Choosing businesses that operate responsibly is a simple but significant way of travelling responsibly. Many tourism businesses claim to be "green" or "eco-friendly" – but how can you know that they are really environmentally and socially responsible?  A responsible tourism operator will have a responsible tourism policy, or at least a page on their website saying how they operate responsibly. Businesses that are certified by Fair Trade Tourism are also a good choice because they have met stringent conditions to get certified.  Next time you’re planning to travel to the West Coast, also take a look at our #GoGreenWeskus directory to choose products that will help you make a difference.

Be water and energy-wise

Water is scarce in most parts of South Africa and all of the country has water restrictions. Do your bit to save water by having a shower instead of a bath, limiting your shower to seven minutes, not letting water run unnecessarily, and closing taps properly.  You can also help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses that are released by your trip – switch off air-conditioners and lights when you leave your room, unplug cell phone and camera chargers when not in use, and ask your accommodation not to change  supply fresh towels daily. Walk, cycle and use the bus explore our towns.

Support local artists and producers

The West Coast is bursting with artistic talent, and whether it’s a wire-animal from a street vendor or a painting from a modern art gallery, there’s something for everyone. These purchases not only give you a memento of your visit, they support local artists. Remember though that buying ivory products is illegal in South Africa, and while you can bargain with traders, still pay a fair price.  The many wineries, breweries, farmstalls and markets in our region offer fresh produce, preserves and honey, craft beer and wines, environmentally friendly cosmetics and much more. Whether you’re shopping for groceries, a snack for the road or a memento of your trip,  you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Don’t give money to beggars

It’s natural to feel compassion for beggars, vagrants and children living on the streets, but it’s best not to give them money. If you really want to help, rather donate to organisations that provide meals, shelter and other services to the poor and homeless. This way you’ll know where your contributions are going and that you are making a real difference.
Your travel choices make a difference!