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Sustainable Tourism

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE TOURISM?

Tourism businesses and stakeholders are increasingly required to implement sustainable tourism practices.  Businesses that do not implement these practices, face escalating business costs and must answer to increasingly aware and informed tourists, who want to know that businesses use eco-friendly products, source their goods from local producers, pay fair wages to their staff, reduce their environmental footprint through e.g. energy and water saving, separate, manage and recycle their waste and so on.   Tourists can influence the move towards more sustainable business practices by supporting the businesses that do implement and communicate responsible practices.

Sustainable businesses are businesses that have adopted these basic principles and more

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), says that sustainable tourism is a tourism that “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”.  In other words, sustainable tourism is a tourism that finds the balance between brining prosperity to local communities, delivering quality and good service to the tourist and looking after the natural environment.

WHAT IS THE N3 GATEWAY DOING IN RELATION TO SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

The N3 Gateway aims to make tourism work optimally as an economic enabler, a job creator and a vehicle to reducing negative environmental impacts and increase positive social impacts along the N3 corridor.  Through its marketing initiatives, the N3 Gateway creates greater awareness amongst tourists and tourism stakeholders of the role that they can play in supporting a sustainable tourism industry.  The N3 Gateway works in partnership with its members to build member capacity and to help  identify and develop projects that will facilitate sustainable tourism development.  The N3 Gateway efforts include:

  • Building partnerships with tourism stakeholders and members within the N3 corridor;
  • Growing and strengthening its member base to include more SMMEs, emerging enterprises and community based co-operatives;
  • Implementing projects that utilise infrastructure (e.g. cycle routes and hiking trails)  to catalyses sustainable job creation;
  • Identifying development opportunities and implementing projects that respond to these opportunities;
  • Increasing the geographic spread of economic development opportunities; and
  • Providing better market exposure for businesses that have adopted sustainable business practices.

WHAT CAN YOU AS A TOURIST DO?

  • Do your homework.  It is often difficult to determine which businesses are more responsible than others.  However, you can ask your hosts what they are doing with regards to responsible tourism, sustainable tourism or eco-friendly practices.  Responsible businesses will most likely have some kind of policy or information on their websites about their sustainability practices.
  • Support businesses that implement sustainable business practices.  Use the above graphic as a guideline
  • Support local industries when shopping for gifts, groceries, spa treatments, arts, crafts and other goodies.  Always ask where the products were produced.  The closer to where you are, the better;
  • Tip appropriately:  Make sure you not only tip the people you can see (e.g waiters), but also those you can’t see (e.g. chefs, housekeepers).  They are all important in making your visit fantastic;
  • Give feedback on social media including the N3 Gateway Twitter and Facebook pages. This should include praises for those businesses that make an effort or are doing amazing things and constrictive suggestions for those who don’t;

Refer to the N3 Gateway website for regular updates.  We will add information on businesses that implement sustainable business practices over time.

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