Fair Trade in Tourism
Did you know?
Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa's standards are aligned to global best practice.
Fair Trade is a concept most people link to commodities like coffee or bananas.
Any goods with a Fair Trade label come with the noble assurance that workers are treated well and paid a living wage, that business practices are ethical and transparent, and that environmental stewardship is encouraged.
South Africa, though, is the first and only country to apply this concept to tourism operators and destinations. Since 2003, the Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) certification has become a sought-after label for those who choose a more socially and environmentally responsible way of travelling and exploring the country.
By the second half of 2011, more than 66 operators and destinations around South Africa had been certified by FTTSA, and there are rigorous annual inspections to make sure standards are upheld.
FTTSA-accredited operators vary from township bicycle tours to golf courses and boat-based whale-watching; from voluntourism programmes to luxury guesthouses.
Among the first operators to be certified was Calabash Tours in Port Elizabeth. Owner Paul Mediema has long been passionate about this new way.
"We're seeing a shift in tourism. There's a real green consciousness rising in the world. It's no longer enough to sit by the pool, drift around and drink pina colada. Travellers want to engage more. They're thinking about how they live, how they travel, how they can do something constructive."
Simply staying at a destination accredited by FTTSA ensures that you are making a positive difference, supporting responsible travel through social, economic and environmental best practices.
Fair wages and good working conditions are among the first things FTTSA assessors and the trademark panel seek. Others include local employment and procurement, training and empowerment of staff, the promotion of local tourism attractions, and respect for human rights, culture and the environment.
"South Africa has been a great country in which to pilot Fair Trade in Tourism. It has excellent environmental principles already in place, and community-based tourism here is much further advanced than most other countries," says Jennifer Seif, founder of FTTSA.
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Who to contact
Fair Trade in Tourism SA
Tel: +27 (0) 12 342 2945/ 3642