Tourism is big business in this country. From a multinational hotel in the most affluent of Cape Town neighbourhoods to a small family-oriented B&B in a small township in the east of Gauteng. South Africans are friendly and lovely, we are fun and party like no other, we sing and we dance; this is why the world keeps coming back. This year's United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is Tourism and Sustainable Enenrgy: Powering Sustainable Development.
The UNWTO is a United Nations agency that promotes responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. According to the UN events page this years theme "theme aims to highlight tourism’s role in a brighter energy future; a future in which the world’s entire population has access to modern, efficient and affordable energy services."
Our country has a long history of conservation tourism in a bid to protect our national parks and animals. What has always been a constant and has continued to grow over the years is responsible tourism that gives back to the communities within which it operates. By creating employment, conserving the attractions for future generations and ensuring that the areas grown is all part of sustainable tourism.
The theme for this year's focuses a great deal on sustainable energy, which is why I thought to put together a little list of how your next local trip can contribute to the cause.
The accommodation you chose to support should reflect your ideals and hopes for our country's future and the future of the tourism industry. A guest house that uses solar power assistance to take a load off on electricity demands and sources its fruits and veggies (and meats) from local farmers has the right ideas.
2. Mode of travel
Did you know that trains have lower carbon footprint than both planes and cars? What's even better is using local public transport when you get to your destination; not only is do you share your carbon footprint but it's also a great way to experience the local culture and pace of life.
3. Support sustainable
Make the effort to find eco-friendly and pro-environment tour operators and accommodation such as the ones listed here.
It's all up to us to save the future for coming generations. And I think the Lae Bloomer would be proud of me!
Happy green jetsetting!