Day 2 of the Travel Indaba was led with a business conversation about responsible tourism in South Africa. Alongside various delegates, SA Tourism CEO, Sisa Ntshona shared experiences about managing and running business operations successfully in the country.
Ntshona reiterated the importance of working together to uphold an excellent standard of tourism on the continent, in order to compete globally.
The Chief Marketing Officer of Wesgro, Judy Lain was involved in the recent global campaign to inform the world that Cape Town is still open for business despite the water shortages.
“We provide incentives to promote responsible tourism. Things like the responsible tourism awards are some of the measures we have to encourage more people to get on board.” She said.
Lain mentioned that the drought crisis taught people to change their relationship with water. “From our Wesgro perspective, our job is to bring tourists. We faced a lot of backlash from community about bringing tourists into their communities during a crisis.”
She added that their job was to highlights the benefits of tourism while encouraging visitors to save water like a local.
“Sharing the problem with tourists and inviting them to be a part of the solution has been an effective method. These issues affect all of us, we need to encourage people to be part of the solution.”
Lain also mentioned that millennial traveller is a responsible traveller. “They want authentic experiences and doing things as the locals do them is an experience that appeals to the consumer. If they can live like a local, they can save like a local.” She said.
The Fair Trade Tourism’s board member, Jane Edge referred to a conference they hosted that focused on the impact of waste on the environment, as a result lot of tourism stakeholders pledge to support and take measure to fight the issue.
“Responsible tourism is about mitigating the long term negative impact. With over 1.8 billion people travelling in 2018, we need to have measures in place instead of reacting when issues arise.”