Tourism is one of the world’s largest service industries. Due to its nature and size, tourism-related activities often contribute to environmental and social problems that damage destinations and communities, especially the poor.
Travelling sustainably can ensure that your holiday benefits local communities and economies. By electing to stay at or use the services of a sustainability-certified tourism product, you can be assured that your travel will benefit local communities and economies, and that the business is operated ethically and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
Enjoy your travel on the African continent!
Please consult some of the following websites for information on what you can do before and during your travels to Africa to optimize the impacts of your travel!
- Green your vacation
From the Rainforest Alliance
- Is your holiday green – or just greenwash?
From Lonely Planet
- Tips for responsible travel
Find certified tourism products
Although travellers are increasingly interested in sustainable travel, they are limited by the few options available. In this section we provide you with links to help travellers find certified tourism products.
Botswana Tourism Organisation
The Botswana Ecotourism Certification System, covers more than 240 standards encompassing the following: environmental management, cultural resources protection and community development, socio-economic responsibilities and fundamental ecotourism criteria.
Eco Tourism Kenya
The certification programs focus is to recognise best practices in environmental conservation, responsible resource use and socio-economic investment among tourism accommodation facilities by awarding qualified applicants assessed under the scheme with a Bronze, Silver or Gold eco-rating certification based on their performance.
Eco Awards Namibia
Eco Awards Namibia is a mark of distinction for accommodation establishments that are planned and managed according to eco-friendly principles. The programme promotes the selective and careful use of our resources, promoting reducing, recycling and reusing. In the process an establishment can improve its profitability, often with very little additional expenditure.
Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label
The Seychelles sustainable tourism certification programme is designed to inspire more efficient and sustainable ways of doing business, looking at issues that relate to the natural environment as well as human and economic resources on which future success depends.
Fair Trade Tourism (FTT)
FTT awards the use of special label to qualifying businesses as a way of signifying their commitment to Fair Trade criteria including fair wages and working conditions, fair purchasing, fair operations, equitable distribution of benefits and respect for human rights, culture and environment.
FTT certifies tourism products in South Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
GREEN TOURISM ACTIVE
GT Active is a sustainability management company offering leading sustainability assessments and certification for the hospitality industry. It is a Global Sustainable Tourism Council recognised standard, a member of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and an auditor member of Green Globe International.
GT Active has certified tourism products in South Africa, Kenya and the Seychelles.
Heritage Environmental Management Company
Heritage’s certification programme provides tourism businesses with an effective environmental management system designed to reduce and limit the environmental impact of the businesses. Heritage offers a hands-on environmental approach for businesses on resource management that delivers financial returns and at the same time enables businesses to position themselves as environmentally responsible.
Heritage has certified tourism products in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and Namibia.
Responsible Tourism Tanzania
This certification programme was established in consultation with the tourism private sector in Tanzania to address the local environmental conditions, while also encompassing social and economic factors – otherwise referred to as the ‘triple bottom line’.
Tourism enterprises using this label have examined their business practices according to sustainability criteria. They have applied and evaluated quantitative and qualitative environmental and social criteria. The companies have written a sustainability report according to the standards of TourCert and have designed a programme for improvement. Companies with this label have committed to continuously improve their sustainability performance.
TourCert certifies tourism products in in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.