The recently hosted World Travel Market was themed around responsible tourism and the Drakenstein Local Tourism Association (DLTA) used the opportunity to gauge to what extent their members were engaging in responsible tourism practices.
According to DLTA general manager Annelize Stroebel, it was encouraging to see that tourism role players in the region were actively embracing responsible tourism. “Obviously we would like to encourage all our members to focus on responsible tourism as this guarantees the sustainability of our future in tourism. We commend our tourism partners, who have adopted these practices and encourage others to follow their example,” mentions Stroebel.
Responsible tourism activities range from social to ecological strategies. Preferential employment to unqualified youngsters, in-service training, skills development and community involvement include some of the core practices of establishments such as Wellington Country House, Imbuko Wines, Bontebok Ridge Reserve and The Hurst Campus. Both Bosman Family Vineyards and Diemersfontein have implemented joint shareholding and co-ownership agreements with their workers.
Ecological responsibility forms the cornerstone for several other Wellington-based members, including Linton Park with its intensive conservation efforts with renosterveld rehabilitation, waste water management and alien vegetation removal projects. Upland Organic Wine and Brandy Estate have been committed to organic farming principles for over seventeen years, while Jacaranda Wine and Guest Farm also employ organic practices in their vineyards. Bartholomeus Klip has received several commendations for its conservation efforts.
In Paarl, several tourism members are involved with animal conservation programmes, including Painted Wolf Wines and Ashia. Job creation and programmes to eleviate unemployment are strong focus areas for Nederburg Wines through their Qhubeka project. Other Paarl business going the green route include Babylonstoren and Elli Organic Boutique. Both Fairview Wine and Cheese and Druk-my-Niet are certified members of the Biodiversity in Wine Initiative.
Cascade Manor is a Fairtrade property committed to sustainable tourism, while KWV enthusiastically support local community projects. Bergrivier Brewery regularly supports clean-up initiatives along the Berg River from source to sea, especially the river bank running through their property and has been involved with the iconic Berg River marathon for the past three years.