20 June 2012

XO Africa develops Fair Trade Tourism holiday packages

XO Africa, a Cape Town-based DMC focusing on the French market, is the latest tour operator to developed certified Fair Trade Tourism holiday packages.

The Peech Hotel in Johannesburg is Fair Trade Tourism certified The Peech Hotel in Johannesburg is Fair Trade Tourism certified

The question is no longer whether to be part of Fair Trade Tourism or not. We have been in South Africa for a while now and, as a key operator, have a responsibility to take the lead for the future of people and the environment. - Sebastien Charrieras, XO Africa director

XO Africa has developed two dedicated Fair Trade Tourism holiday packages that will primarily be promoted to its partners in France. The first package is expected to be on the market by September 2012.

Its ‘Bush & Nature’ package features Fair Trade Tourism-certified products including The Peech Hotel in Johannesburg, Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park, and Tswalu Kalahari private game reserve in the Kalahari.

The 'Cape Countryside' package includes Antrim Villa (a Cape Town guest house),  Bartholomeus Klip (a Victorian farmstead near the Cape winelands), Jan Harmsgat Guest Farm and Farm 215 (both in the Overberg).

XO Africa joins a pioneering group of local and international tour operators that have developed and certified Fair Trade Tourism holiday packages.

The Fair Trade Tourism certification programme is endorsed by South African Tourism. It was developed by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) in close consultation with South African and international tourism industry professionals, as well as Fairtrade International and other experts.

Fair Trade Tourism holiday packages guarantee that the holiday benefits both workers and owners of tourism establishments. Certification requires long-term trading relationships, full prepayment and binding cancellation agreements.

FTTSA also monitors price levels and contractual agreements to ensure they are fair and are being followed. This helps to ensures a fair deal, especially for small and emerging tourism businesses.

A fair trade development contribution is also channeled directly into a central fund and used for development projects across South Africa.

XO Africa has shown complete dedication to fair and responsible tourism by submitting its internal operations and contractual relationships to a thorough audit against FTTSA standards.

Sebastien Charrieras, XO Africa director, said: ‘The question is no longer whether to be part of Fair Trade Tourism or not. We have been in South Africa for a while now and, as a key operator, have a responsibility to take the lead for the future of people and the environment.’

Katarina Mancama, FTTSA marketing manager, said FTTSA was very excited to be partnering with XO Africa to introduce South Africa's Fair Trade Tourism to the French market.

‘XO Africa offers top quality coupled with a thorough fair trade ethos that we believe will appeal to French holiday makers. This will help to position South Africa as the first choice for discerning and ethically-minded holiday makers,’ she commented.