06 June 2011 by Julienne du Toit

A Good City to Live In is a Good City to Visit

Cape Town is an exquisitely beautiful city that attracts almost every foreign tourist that flies into South Africa. Not content with the kudos, the city has has decided to use the example of responsible tourism to help transform itself.

Of course, tourism is a very intimate industry. It works from person to person, as much as from place to place.

So it makes sense to model city development on such a human-scale industry. As local tourism fundi Sheryl Ozinsky says, a city with a good responsible tourism industry is a good city to live in too.

Responsible tourism prioritises environmental, social and financial bottom lines, demanding best practice where possible. Help uplift and train your employees, minimise your impact on the environment and be meticulous in your financial governance.

It’s a good recipe to run a city by, reckons Sheryl, and I think she’s right.

But Capetonians are also the first to admit they’re nowhere near where they’d like to be, even though they won in the the Best Destination category of the international 2009 Responsible Tourism Awards, the same year the city implemented the policy.

Cape Town’s responsible tourism policy and action focuses on conserving the city’s endangered fynbos habitat, saving energy, green building guidelines, better water and waste bylaws, a smart living and smart events handbook and the development of a new public transportation system.

It will be interesting to see what a Responsible City really looks like once its policies start to show results.

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