• Sabi Sabi

    Photo credit by Sabi Sabi Game Reseve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

  • Tswalu

    Photo credit by Amakhala Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa

  • IMG_3851

    Photo credit by !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre, Western Cape, South Africa

  • Amakhala

    Amakhala Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Newsletter: July 2012


Sustainable Tourism Network Southern Africa (STNSA) Annual Conference

On 10 May 2012, the Sustainable Tourism Network Southern Africa (STNSA) hosted its 1st Annual Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Durban, South Africa. The objectives of the conference were to:

  • Discuss opportunities for regional certification cooperation based on lessons learned from regional and/or international experience; and
  • Learn about current sustainable tourism initiatives that create opportunities for sustainable tourism certification in Africa.

The event was attended by 46 delegates from 8 SADC countries. Attendants included representatives from sustainable tourism standard-setting organisations, sustainable tourism certification bodies, business development service providers, tourism boards, and international donor institutions. Network membership stakeholder countries represented were Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania. Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) has been the elected secretariat since 2007.

Sustainable Tourism Network Southern Africa Re-launched    

On 11 May 2012, the Sustainable Tourism Network Southern Africa (STNSA) hosted its fourth Annual Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Durban, South Africa. The purpose of this meeting was to evaluate the four-year history of the STNSA and define a new programme of work in response to current trends in the sustainable tourism certification environment and the needs of sustainable tourism certification organisations in Africa. The meeting was attended by 26 delegates representing 7 countries from southern and East Africa. The main outcome of the meeting was the agreement to re-launch the STNSA as the Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance Africa (“the Alliance”), a reflection of the founding members’ decision to ensure the network represents the interests of the African continent as a whole as opposed to remaining focused on the southern African region. The structure of the Alliance was re- evaluated and a clearly defined work plan intended to address the needs of its members was approved. For more information click here.

Vote for Africa

Alliance members who are also members of the Global Sustainable
Tourism Council (GSTC) supported nomination of Heidi van der
Watt, of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT)
South Africa, and Jennifer Seif, of Fair Trade in Tourism South
Africa (FTTSA), to the GSTC Board of Directors. The GSTC is a
global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism practices
around the world. The GSTC is currently active in all the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) regions.

The Alliance is proud to announce that Jennifer Seif has been selected as the Certification Representative to the GSTC Board of Directors. Heidi van der Watt has been elected to the GSTC Board of Directors. Thank you to all the GSTC members that voted!

Eco Mark Africa Workshop  

On 6 and 7 June 2012, the Alliance Secretariat (FTTSA) and Chairs of the Alliance Advocacy and Lobbying and Standards and Sharing of Best Practice Portfolio Committees (PFCs) participated in an Eco Mark Africa workshop held in Centurion, South Africa. Eco Mark Africa is an African initiative, funded by the GIZ that aims to develop a certifiable sustainability standard as well as a recognition system for other sustainability standards in Africa, functioning as a quality assurance mechanism.

The workshop aimed to finalise draft threshold criteria that address ecological, social and climate-relevant requirements for four sectors:

  • Tourism
  • Agriculture
  • Fisheries
  • Forestry

Working groups were established to finalise a draft standard for each sector. The Alliance gave a presentation at the workshop and was an active participant in the tourism working group. The Alliance appreciates the opportunity to participate in this initiative.

1st Alliance Executive Committee Meeting

The first Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting took place on 6 July 2012. The EXCO is comprised of the Alliance Chair, Vice Chair and Secretariat. EXCO meetings will be held on a quarterly basis. The role of the Chair and Vice Chair are to provide guidance and advice on strategic issues, to raise awareness of the Alliance as well as to provide the Secretariat with support in relation to successful delivery of the Alliance’s annual wok plans.


National Department of Tourism signs Universal Accessibility Declaration

On 16 May 2012, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms Tokozile Xasa, and tourism role-players signed and adopted the Universal Accessibility Declaration. Positioning South Africa as a Universally Accessible (UA) destination will enhance its global competitiveness. Universal Access in tourism responds to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) Global Code of Ethics. So far 800 establishments country- wide have been graded for universal accessibility out of a total of 5,728 properties. The remaining establishments have been provided with recommendations as to how they can improve their facilities in order for them to achieve UA status. For more information click here.

Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) Trust officially Registered

Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) is a non-profit organisation that aims to encourage and promote a more sustainable tourism industry within Tanzania. RTTZ was formally registered as a Trust on 7 June 2012 and will provide various services or functions to support the tourism industry in Tanzania to manage its businesses in a sustainable manner. These services include providing internationally accepted standards and guidelines as well as implementing a sustainable tourism certification programme. Damian Bell, Executive Officer of RTTZ, was quoted as saying, “This is a very exciting moment now that we are finally registered as an official body. Years of work and networking by some key organisations and individuals has finally paid off and we have an organisation that can provide the international market with a product that they feel is important, it is what they want; Responsible Tourism in Tanzania.” For more information visit RTTZ.


Tourism for Tomorrow Award

The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are aimed at recognising best practice in sustainable tourism within the Travel & Tourism industry worldwide. Given the growing concern about natural and cultural resources, these Awards are particularly important to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and provide the Council with the opportunity to promote and partner with industry leaders in responsible tourism, highlighting the prime examples of best practice. An independent panel of judges, including some of the world’s most authoritative experts in sustainable development, and a stringent application process involving on-site verification visits by these experts, has earned the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards growing levels of respect among key audiences – the industry, governments and the international media. Each year, winners and finalists are honoured at a special ceremony during the Global Summit. The 2013 Call for entries will commence in September 2012 and will be open until 26 November 2012.


International Trade Centre (ITC) Standards Map

The International Trade Centre (ITC) provides on-line tools, tailored market research and trade analysis, and conducts training programmes in market analysis for trade policy makers, trade support institutions and the business community in developing countries.

ITC developed the “Standards Map” that provides online access to ITC’s most detailed database on private standards and presents academic, scientific papers and research articles discussing private standards issues in global value chains. The Standards Map operates in a web-based interactive environment and enables comparisons of private standards requirements at various levels of analysis, from social and environmental general requirements to very detailed criteria and indicators on food safety issues, carbon emissions measures and specific requirements for labour rights and gender issues. The Standards Map covers private or “voluntary” standards: these standards are developed by non-governmental entities, including non-governmental organisations, industry associations and companies, among others. As such, compliance to these standards is not legally required by national governments or multilateral regulations as opposed to public standards and non-tariff measures. For more information click here.


Apply for STCAA Membership

Organisations that fall within any of the categories indicated in the table below are invited to apply for membership to the Alliance.

1. Certification scheme owners and certification bodies based in Africa

2. International and/or regional certification scheme owners and certification bodies involved in tourism certification in Africa
3. Business development service providers (BDSPs) in Africa providing services to tourism businesses and/or certification schemes

4. Tourism boards and tourism ministries responsible for creating an enabling environment for sustainable tourism certification / seeking to position their responsible destinations in the African marketplace

5. Regionally focused organisations with a stake in sustainable tourism certification in Africa

Interested organisations or persons wishing to apply for membership should contact the Secretariat at: secretariat[at]sustainabletourismalliance.net to obtain an application form. Our website revamp is underway. Once complete, prospective members will be able to apply online.

Open Call for Applications: Prequalification of Tourism Experts

The Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism (GPST) has opened an application process for individuals/firms interested in becoming registered experts for the organisation. Senior experts in tourism, environment and/or sustainable development are invited to apply. Whilst expertise is required to address the 7 priority themes of the Global Partnership, other tourism and environment-related expertise will also be considered.

The Call is open to eligible individual consultants and consulting firms. All candidates submitting an application must meet the eligibility criteria. The Call will be open until 30 September 2012. Based on the pre-qualification criteria, the Coordinating Office of the Global Partnership will evaluate and select the experts who will be listed in the database. The Coordinating Office will not accept any further submissions after the stipulated deadline. Please note that unsuitable applications will not be considered.

Click here to download the application guidelines
Click here for the individual consultant application form
Click here for the consulting firm application form.

World Tourism Day

The theme for World Tourism Day (WTD) 2012 is ‘Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development’. Official celebrations will take place in Maspalomas, Spain on 27 September 2012. This year’s theme aims to highlight tourism’s role in a brighter energy future; a future in which the world’s entire population has access to modern, efficient and affordable energy services. Tourism, one of the world’s largest economic sectors, has already taken important steps towards this future – improving energy efficiency and increasingly using renewable energy technologies in its operations. These steps are creating jobs, lifting people out of poverty and helping to protect the planet. Be part of World Tourism Day 2012! Take part in the photo competition, go to online energy school, let us know how you will be celebrating and keep checking back for more information on WTD activities and celebrations.

Accelerating Sustainable Tourism Initiative re-launched

The IDH Tourism programme was recently re-launched as the Accelerating Sustainable Tourism initiative in partnership with MVO Nederland, CBI, ANVR and Travelife. This initiative aims to mainstream the sustainability sector through implementation of training programmes for inbound tour operators and the certification of hundreds of accommodations in six different destinations (Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya and Thailand) by 2013.The Initiative will also raise awareness amongst outbound tour operators and travel agents in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and other EU countries, to increase the demand for sustainable tourism. For more information on this initiative, contact Soren Stober on sstober[at]abta.co.uk.


Getaway Travel and Tourism Conference, Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg, 30 August 2012

The second annual Getaway Travel & Tourism Conference aims to provide a platform for tourism role players to share their expertise and skills in an on- going initiative to improve the South African tourism landscape. Speakers will interrogate a broad range of subjects pertinent to the industry, including inbound tourism trends, Africa’s political landscape as it pertains to tourism, environmental issues, e-marketing and foreign exchange regulations. For more information visit Getaway conference.

Travel & Tourism Business Exchange Southern Africa, Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Johannesburg, 2-4 September 2012

Formerly known as the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Conference Southern Africa, the Exchange is a joint initiative between the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and five of its member associations. “The main objective of hosting a joint industry conference is to facilitate industry cooperation and to reduce the proliferation of conferences within the sector,” says TBCSA Chief Executive Officer Mmatšatši Marobe. “By convening one conference at the beginning of Tourism Month 2012 we aim to create a central platform where members can address industry specific issues, as well as the challenges and opportunities which impact on the entire sector.” To find out about registration and the conference programme, contact Boitumelo Moleleki on +27 (12) 654 7525 or tumi[a]tbcsa.travel.

Sports and Events Tourism Exchange, Exhibition and Conference,International Convention Centre, Durban, 12-14 September 2012

An event proven to be of international standing after the extremely successful inaugural show held in Cape Town in 2011, this will again focus on the world-class standard of facilities and services South Africa has to offer as a host for all top-level international events – sports, concerts and other. The main objective of the conference is to provide a platform to exchange information and ideas that contribute to building and enhancing the sport tourism and event industries in South Africa. The conference programme includes panel discussions that will be anchored by keynote 
speakers who are specialists on their relevant fields. For more information click here.

5th Annual E-Tourism Africa Summit, Cape Town International Conference Centre, 13 – 14 September 2012

The E-Tourism Africa Summit will bring together some of the world’s leading experts on online tourism (including Trip Advisor, Wanderfly, Expedia, and Facebook developers), and a host of new speakers. Two new sessions being added this year will cover ‘Facebook Campaigning for Tourism’ and ‘Mobile Travel Apps’. This year’s summit will focus strongly on the use of social media to leverage online bookings. For more information visit E-Tourism Africa Summit.


Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s Open Forum: The Value of Sustainable Tourism, Washington Hilton, Washington DC, 26 September 2012

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Open Forum is targeted at organisations/individuals that are interested in sustainable tourism. The forum will provide an opportunity to learn about the GSTC and new advancements in the field of sustainability. Topics for discussion include measuring sustainability, economic impact, marketing & promotion, and more. To register visit, GSTC.

International French Travel Market (IFTM)Top Resa, Paris Porte de Versailles, 18 – 21 September 2012

IFTM Top Resa is France’s leading international business-to-business tourism exhibition, the industry’s event for networking, doing business, innovating, and keeping abreast of market developments, covering all sectors: leisure, corporate, and events. For more information, click here.

Pan-African Conference on “Sustainable Tourism Management in African National Parks and Protected Areas: Challenges and Opportunities”,

Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), Tanzania, 15 – 18 October 2012 

The first Pan-African conference on “Sustainable Tourism Management in African National Parks and Protected Areas: Challenges and Opportunities aims to encourage a professional approach to better position “park tourism” as one of the core components of overall national park management in Africa and to acquire an overview of the current challenges in terms of demand and supply chain. Invitations will be sent to relevant targeted participants listed below:

  • National Tourism Administrations,
  • Regional and local authorities,
  • Public (Government) authorities in charge of Environment, Forestry, Wildlife, Agriculture, etc.
  • Public authorities in charge of transport,
  • National park managers (public and / or private ) and related institutions and networks,
  • Scientists and experts who collaborate with National Parks,
  • Relevant national and international private operators (transport, tour operators, accommodation facilities, tour guides, etc.)
  • Potential investors, and
  • Donors, NGOs, foundations.

For more information click visit the Pan African conference.

Did you know?

Tourist arrivals to SA increased by 10.5% overall in the first quarter. A total of 2,267,807 tourists arrived in January, February and March. Overseas arrivals grew by 17.8%. Tourist arrivals from regional African tourist markets achieved growth rates of 7.9%, with Angola up 48.5%, Nigeria growing 26.7% and Tanzania increasing 31.4%. For more information click here.

Alliance members are encouraged to send us their stories and events for the next newsflash edition to secretariat[at]sustainabletourismalliance.net

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