Monday, August 3, 2015

Fair Trade Tourism. A new era dawns?

Fair Trade Tourism and Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label sign Mutual Recognition Agreement

Responsible tourism in Africa was boosted by the signing of a Mutual Recognition Agreement between Fair Trade Tourism and Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label this week. The agreement between the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the South African based Fair Trade Tourism, enables six of the island nation’s leading hotels to be marketed under the Fair Trade Holiday brand.

There is Fair Trade coffee...

Fair Trade produce...

And even Fair Trade products.

Fair Trade Tourism was the next logical step.
The six hotels under Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label are:
         Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Casino, Mahe

       Banyan Tree Seychelles Resort, Mahe

         Constance Ephelia Resort, Mahe

         Hanneman's Holiday Residence, Mahe

         Kempinski Seychelles Resort, Mahe

         Heliconia Grove, Praslin

All stand testament to the efforts made by the Seychelles Government to incorporate mainstream sustainability practices into tourism operations in order to help safeguard the country's rich culture and sensitive biodiversity.

The Mutual Recognition Agreement announced this week will allow approved tour operators to incorporate these Seychelles properties into Fair Trade Holidays - holiday packages that represent global best practice responsible tourism. It also represents a step towards standardizing responsible tourism criteria on the continent under the auspices of the Sustainable Tourism Certification Alliance Africa.

Fair Trade Tourism is a South African NGO promoting responsible tourism in Africa. It grows awareness about responsible tourism to travelers, assists tourism businesses to operate more sustainably and facilitates a globally recognised certification programme. Its certification standard was the first in Africa to be recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council in 2011.

"Our agreement with Seychelles represents a significant step in our mission to expand in Africa, and follows on the heels of our recent expansion into Mozambique and Madagascar," said Fair Trade Tourism Managing Director Nivashnee Naidoo at an event to mark the signing of the agreement in Sandton yesterday. “Over the coming months we expect to expand more broadly throughout the region.”

Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label (SSTL) is a tourism certification programme under the auspices of the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Seychelles Tourism Board. It evolved from the Government's ground-breaking tourism growth strategy, known as Vision 21, which states that tourism shall be developed for the optimum social and economic benefit of the Seychellois people, while maintaining a commitment to the protection of the natural environment and biodiversity. In order to be certified by SSTL, a hotel needs to demonstrate that it has adopted a defined number of sustainable business practices.

Janice Bristol, quality and standard officer at the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and Culture, said the partnership with Fair Trade Tourism was extremely important in advancing the Seychelles sustainable tourism agenda. "The Seychelles is delighted to be a part of the Fair Trade Tourism portfolio and happy to contribute to advancing its expansion throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean islands," she said.

Jane Edge, a director at Fair Trade Tourism
 was recently on my "Travel & Things" radio show.
Contact details:
Nivashnee Naidoo
Fair Trade Tourism Managing Director

Jane Edge
Fair Trade Tourism Director

Information supplied by Fair Trade Tourism.
Images, unless otherwise stated, from Google Images.


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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Heia Safari Ranch...a sad farewell

I first visited Heia Safari Ranch in 1976,
when the road from Johannesburg was still gravel.
Over the past 39 years, I have watched the property grow. 
 When my Blog started in 2010, one of the first postings that I published
 was about this property.
Since then,I have written more than 300 postings.

It is therefore with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to
Gaby (whom I have known since she was 15!) and

And Bianca,her daughter, who I have known since her birth.
Bianca was part of my team that climbed Kilimanjaro in 2014.
Mother and daughter are about to embark on their new journey.
All all of us who know and love them, wish them well.

Heia will continue under new ownership,
but those of us who have been guests, then friends
and finally family, Heia will never be the same.
I wish the new owners all the best with their vision

These are some of my favourite images from the property over the years
It took me years to get to photograph a lightning storm.
And it finally happened at Heia.

Probably THE most iconic image of the property.
The Zebra drinking from the pool, as they have done since day one.

The property is home to several species of Aloe

A great place to watch the sunset

The image that was the turning point of my Heia postings.

Zonkie...who shuffled off this mortal coil...eventually.
He had been at Heia for as long as I can remember

Lake Heritage and the Franz Richter Dam.
The largest hand build stone dam in Africa

The sound of mating Impala rams...
Sounds much like a predator if you have not heard the call before

There is a plethora of insect life as well.
Like this Monarch Butterfly

Or this stunning Red Dragonfly.

My all time favourite view of Lake Heritage.

Full moon in the bush.

The rondavels...iconic and specific to Africa.

And inside...
A great weekend getaway!

This posting is also bitter sweet for another reason,

In 2007, shortly after my wife and I got married at Heia,
the owner and visionary behind the concept of this property,
 Franz Richter was murdered.

In 2013,the recently returned Paul Schulte, met a similar fate.
Both gave so much to the property, 
and ended up paying the ultimate price
RIP to you both.

This posting is brought to you DESPITE
Eskom load-shedding...
Thank you to BP fuel and a home generator!


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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Travel & Things, the broadcast. 01/08/2015

Listen to the broadcast here:
Who else have been guests on my radio show?
Use this link to have a look.

"Travel & Things" is rebroadcast on a Wednesday night
 between 19h00 and 20h00
This was the line-up for "TRAVEL & THINGS" that aired between 10 and 11am on
SATURDAY, 01/08/2015

1485am broadcasts live from its Johannesburg studio
and nationally on DStv audio channel 869.
Radio Today (@Radio2Day) also streams via its website:
AND on cell phones:

Mark Kaplan, owner of the Munro Boutique Hotel 
chatted to me about this exciting property

The Michael Olivier minute 
Food lover and wine guru, Michael will continue to chat about what is new and "hot".

Phindile Mavundla,
Buffalo City metropolitan municipality Tourism Programme Manager
told me about this almost forgotten tourist destination

We have all heard, and perhaps bought, Fair Trade products. 
Jane Edge filled me in on Fair Trade Tourism

And finally, I shared recipes with Simon McDonnell,
from Clik bags.
AND we chatted photography.

This posting is brought to you DESPITE
Eskom load-shedding...


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