Fair Trade Tourism has partnered with TourismTattler.com in supporting Africa’s contribution to the aims and aspirations of the UNWTO 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development (#IYSTD2017).
Through a series of features published throughout this year under the theme of ‘Africa’s Sustainable Tourism Gems’, Tourism Tattler will be profiling a selection of Fair Trade certified tourism businesses who meet, and in many cases exceed, sustainable tourism practices.
Commenting on the partnership, Ntlotleng Manale, Marketing Manager at Fair Trade Tourism said: “Africa has a wealth of sustainable tourism programmes through its certified clients in place and Fair Trade Tourism is proud to have played a leading role in ensuring the development and upkeep of many of these programmes, specifically in South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar. The UNWTO Global Sustainable Tourism Council goals and criteria indicate what should be done, not how to do it or whether the goal has been achieved – that’s where Fair Trade Tourism comes in.”
Officially launched at the FITUR International Tourism Fair in Madrid, Spain, on 18 January 2017, the #IYSTD2017 initiative aims to establish twelve months of global action aimed at advancing sustainable tourism contribution towards the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Sustainable Tourism Consumption
The UNWTO has been appointed to lead the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP) Sustainable Tourism Programme (STP) – a collaborative platform to bring together existing initiatives and partnerships and facilitate new projects and activities to accelerate the shift to sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in tourism.
As an implementation mechanism, the vision of the 10YFP STP is for a tourism sector that has globally adopted SCP resulting in enhanced environmental and social outcomes and improved economic performance.
Sustainable Tourism Guidelines
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council has developed criteria and suggested indicators for Hotels, which aim to provide a common understanding of sustainable tourism and provide a benchmark for the minimum standards that a hotel should aspire to reach. Download the GSTC Hotel Criteria at www.gstcouncil.org.
Fair Trade Tourism’s role in Sustainable Tourism
All Fair Trade Tourism certified properties, products and services have met stringent criteria focusing on:
• Fair wages and working conditions,
• Fair operations, purchasing and distribution of benefits,
• Ethical business practices,
• Respect for human rights, culture and the environment,
• The Fair Trade Tourism Certified label is the mark of global best practice in sustainable tourism across Africa.
By using Fair Trade certified members, travellers or members of the travel trade, are assured that the tourism business which carries this label has been assessed by an independent, third-party auditor, adheres to the Fair Trade Tourism standard, which is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and is committed to fair, responsible and sustainable tourism.
Selecting a Fair Trade Tourism-certified business also provides assurance that local travel benefits communities and economies as the business is operated ethically in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Fair Trade Tourism also recognises like-minded certification programmes in other African countries through mutual recognition agreements with the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label; Eco Awards Namibia; Responsible Tourism Tanzania, Eco Tourism Kenya and Botswana’s Ecotourism Certification Programme.
As a non-profit organisation, Fair Trade Tourism is considered the leader in sustainable, responsible tourism in Africa. It grows awareness about responsible tourism, assists tourism businesses to operate more sustainably and facilitates the Fair Trade Tourism certification programme in South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Fair Trade Tourism certification is available for the following categories of tourism businesses:
• Tourism facilities (such as spas and conferencing),
• Food services (such as restaurants),
• Activities (such as day trips and tours),
• Attractions (such as museums or botanical gardens),
• Volunteer programmes.
View the Fair Trade Certified properties already featured as ‘Africa’s Sustainable Tourism Gems’ on the UNWTO #IYSTD2017 official website at www.tourism4development2017.org