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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