Travel is about sharing experiences and few tour operators enable guests to immerse themselves in South Africa’s extraordinary mix of culture and creativity better than Coffeebeans Routes.
Established in 2005, Coffeebeans has created a formidable reputation as a cultural and creative tour operator, by focusing on stories. As founder and creative director Iain Harris puts it: “We build experiences around stories because everybody has them. In South Africa, where most of the population was legislated into silence, our stories can be equalisers. And this is African tourism’s great opportunity.”
Coffeebeans Routes prioritises creativity. They create travel experiences around South African stories – contemporary, urban, African experiences that provide nuanced insights and complexity. They offer experiences in Cape Town and Johannesburg, working with a network of locals, from tourist guides, cooks, musicians, fashion designers and artists, to architects, spiritual leaders, brewers, winemakers, historians, and everything in between.
Using tourism as a key to unlock economic potential, Coffeebeans enables visitors to explore the country’s cultural diversity and legacy, and they manage it by creating sustainable development. Their approach to sustainable tourism practice is to focus on social justice, while in parallel implementing tangible sustainable tourism projects.
Says Iain: “Environmental impact starts with social justice. If radical social and economic disparities are reduced, if society becomes more equal, environmental sustainability is a natural byproduct. So the starting point for us is social justice, and our biggest impact is through a responsible approach to how we engage with people, communities, and stories, and how positioning new narratives at the heart of tourism starts to level imbalances. When we start to take ownership of the environments we live in (given that so much has been taken away, making us indentured tenants rather than curators), we naturally minimise impact on the natural environment.”
Coffeebeans Routes storytelling tours have become so successful that they have been the recipient of many award accolades, including the African Responsible Tourism Awards.
Travel. Enjoy. Respect. #IYSTD17
For more information connect with Coffeebeans Routes via the links below: