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Responsible Tourism Practices by South African Tour Operators

Authors:
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 1
RESPONSIBLE TOURISM PRACTICES BY
SOUTH AFRICAN TOUR OPERATORS
Survey results from participants at the 2006 Tourism Indaba
Dr Anna Spenceley
www.anna.spenceley.co.uk
annaspenceley@hotmail.com
Tel/Fax: +27 (0)31 2085523
February 2007
International Centre for
Responsible Tourism –
South Africa
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 2
CONTENTS
1. Overview....................................................................................................................................................................... 3
2. Introduction...................................................................................................................................................................5
2.1 Responsible tourism in South Africa..................................................................................................................6
3. Method ..........................................................................................................................................................................7
4. Results...........................................................................................................................................................................8
4.1 Impacts on local communities ............................................................................................................................ 8
4.2 Donations to charity.......................................................................................................................................... 11
4.3 Partnerships....................................................................................................................................................... 13
4.4 Training.............................................................................................................................................................14
4.5 Impacts on the local natural and cultural environment.................................................................................... 15
4.6 Purchasing.........................................................................................................................................................18
4.7 Responsible tourism policies ............................................................................................................................19
4.8 Monitoring impacts...........................................................................................................................................20
4.9 Tourist demand ................................................................................................................................................. 21
4.10 Other comments................................................................................................................................................ 21
5. Discussion................................................................................................................................................................... 22
5.1 Responsible tourism among South African tour operators.............................................................................. 22
5.2 Limitations of the survey.................................................................................................................................. 23
5.3 Implications for responsible tourism in South Africa...................................................................................... 23
6. References...................................................................................................................................................................24
7. Appendix 1: Tour operator Questionnaire.................................................................................................................25
8. Appendix 2: Tour operators participating..................................................................................................................31
9. Appendix 3: More information on responsible tourism ............................................................................................ 31
Tables
Table 1: Consumer attitudes to environment and sustainable tourism ................................................................................. 5
Table 2: Proportion of responsible suppliers used by tour operators..................................................................................19
Figures
Figure 1: How tour operators impact on local communities................................................................................................ 8
Figure 2: How tour operators impact on local communities................................................................................................ 9
Figure 3: Factors necessary for local people to benefit from tour operators ..................................................................... 10
Figure 4: Barriers to tour operators bringing benefits to local people ...............................................................................11
Figure 5: The way that tour operators donated to charity .................................................................................................. 12
Figure 6: Type of charities tour operators donate to ..........................................................................................................12
Figure 7: How tour operators donate to charity..................................................................................................................13
Figure 8: What operators meant by partnership ................................................................................................................. 13
Figure 9: Characteristics of partnerships ............................................................................................................................14
Figure 10: Training provided to staff and others................................................................................................................15
Figure 11: Examples of where your company has had a positive impact on the local natural and cultural environment15
Figure 12: Positive impacts on the local natural and cultural environment....................................................................... 16
Figure 13: Factors necessary for the local natural and cultural environment to benefit from tour operators................... 17
Figure 14: Barriers to benefiting the local and cultural environment................................................................................ 18
Figure 15: Form of responsible tourism policy .................................................................................................................. 19
Figure 16: Reason for producing a policy ..........................................................................................................................20
Figure 17: Reasons for not producing a policy...................................................................................................................20
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 3
1. OVERVIEW
In 2001 a survey was published by Tearfund on the responsible business practices reported by 65
UK-based tour operators (Gordon, 2001). This survey revealed that most tour operators had
examples of where their operations were making a positive difference to the lives of local people.
At that time, the report noted that responsible and ethical tourism issues were not mainstream, but
the move was certainly in that direction (Gordon, 2001).
The aim of this research was to replicate the 2001 Tearfund study in South Africa. The objective
was to evaluate the extent to which South African tour operators were practicing responsible
tourism activities, given the context of a post-apartheid country that has considerable poverty
problems, but a country that has had responsible tourism guidelines since 2002.
Twenty South African tour operators attending Indaba 2006 participated in the study by completing
a self-administered questionnaire on issues regarding local benefits, donations, partnerships,
impacts on the natural and cultural environment, training, policies and tourist demand for
responsible tourism.
Nearly all of the respondents reported delivering positive interventions in local communities. These
included economic benefits such as employment, use of local services and products, and also
providing benefits to local education, health and conservation initiatives. However, barriers
included safety and crime concerns, access and problems relating to capacity – such as skills,
language, lack of experience and understanding, lack of product, and inconsistent quality.
Responses to the issue of providing donations to charity were interesting because although many
were philanthropic (providing a proportion of tour fees, materials, supplying volunteers or
organising events), a couple indicated that they would rather assist people through ‘trade’ rather
than ‘aid’. This route provides more sustainable and market-related benefits.
Partnerships were clearly important to nearly all of the operators, and were characterised by win-
win situations where parties work together and cooperate. Partnerships required trust, good
communication, commitment, and holding similar views of consumer needs.
Three-quarters of the operators indicated that they contributed positively towards the local natural
and cultural environment by conserving wildlife and natural areas, providing education (on cultural
and environmental issues), supporting local art forms, using environmentally sensitive products and
monitoring the impacts of their partners. Only a few were using energy saving, recycling or water
conservation interventions though. Respondents indicated that they needed projects to support and
more information about options to improve the environment. Barriers to contributing included
access, lack of government assistance, skills and training, and low levels of awareness.
About half of the operators purchase products and services based on social and environmental
factors, and some even monitor their suppliers’ sustainability. Some use tourism products certified
by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa, and also community-based tourism enterprises.
Responsible tourism policies were held by about half of the operators, who would have a set of
principles, a written code for tourist behaviour or a set of aspirations. Many indicated that the
policy was integral to their company policy, and several had a policy in order to show customers
and suppliers that they were serious about responsible tourism. Of those who did not have a policy,
about half intended to develop one in the future, while a similar proportion stated it was not a
priority.
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 4
About a quarter of the operators were monitoring their impacts in areas where they operated, but
about half said that they kept stakeholders and their clients informed of what they were doing in
destinations.
The operators were not yet experiencing significant demand from tourists for responsible products.
Only a quarter indicated that their clients requested information about their Corporate Social
Responsibility practices, and only three operators said that this gave them market advantage over
other companies. It will be very interesting to see if this proportion grows in the future.
Despite only half of the operators having read the South African responsible tourism guidelines, the
majority were implementing one or more of the responsible tourism guidelines. Most frequently,
they were providing local economic benefits through employment and the use of local products and
services. However, there were clearly constraints to providing local benefits, not least safety
concerns, and levels of education and training.
If South Africa is serious about implementing its policy on responsible tourism, then there is
clearly a great deal of work to be done in the tour operator sector. The operators who
responded here are likely to be some of the more responsible in the sector (hence their effort
to participate). In addition, more needs to be done to educate the tourist about responsible
tourism, in order to grow the market for more ethical products. A major survey of tourists in
South Africa would provide information on the level of awareness and understanding, and demand
for responsible holidays.
_____________________
International Centre for Responsible Tourism - South Africa (ICRT–SA)
International Centre for Responsible Tourism - South Africa (ICRT–SA) is a sister organisation to
the International Centre for Responsible Tourism in the UK (see www.icrtourism.org). The ICRT-
SA is a Section 21, non-governmental, non-profit, citizen-based organisation. Its mission is to
contribute to economic development, social justice and environmental integrity through the
development and promotion of Responsible Tourism. The ICRT-SA aims to do this by:
influencing public institutions, the tourism industry, donors and tourists to integrate the
principles of responsible tourism into their policies, operations and activities
communicating the principles of responsible tourism by capacity building, education and
awareness programmes to the broadest possible constituency
initiating and undertaking research to develop knowledge to support the implementation of
responsible tourism
creating an network of individuals, institutions and the tourism industry who support the
objectives of the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations.
The research presented in this report was undertaken by Dr Anna Spenceley on behalf of the ICRT-
SA, and funding for the data entry and reviews of material were provided by Heidi Keyser of ICRT-
SA. Valuable comments were made on a draft of this report by Dr Harold Goodwin and Heidi
Keyser.
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 5
2. INTRODUCTION
The tourism industry is highly competitive and tour operators are under increasing pressure to
differentiate their products. Research suggests that once the main criteria for a holiday are satisfied
(location/facilities, cost and availability), clients will make choices based on ethical considerations
such as working conditions, the environment and charitable giving (Gordon, 2001). Some examples
consumer studies in the UK, USA and Germany indicating increased levels of awareness and
demand for responsible tourism are described in Table 1.
Table 1: Consumer attitudes to environment and sustainable tourism
Issue Proportion of
sample
Source and sample size*
Importance of environmentally sensitive policies and practices
More likely to book hotels with a good
environmental attitude
87% British
60% Australians
54% Americans
IHEI study, cited in Anon (2002)
(n=300 travellers at airports in UK, Australia
and US)
Important that their holiday does not damage the
environment
71% Stueve, Cook and Drew (2002)
(n=4300 adults in the USA)
Importance that the holiday should not damage
the environment
2000 – 85%
2002 – 87%
MORI study for ABTA, cited by Goodwin
and Francis (2003)
(n=963 British public in 2000; n=713 in 2002)
At least fairly important to use a company that
accounts for environmental issues when arranging
holidays and business trips
1995 – 52%
1997 – 61%
Martin and Stubbs (1999) (British Public)
Importance of socially responsible policies and practices
More likely to book holiday using company with
a written code guaranteeing good working
conditions, protection of the environment and
support of local charities in the tourist destination
1999 – 45%
2001 – 52%
Tearfund (2001; 2002)
(1999: nationally and regionally representative
sample of n=2032 adults in the UK; 2001
n=927)
Knowing that they had booked with a company
with good ethical practice made their holiday
enjoyable
24%
Mintel (2001)
(n=2028; UK holiday makers=1636) July
2001
Important that holidays benefit people in the
destination (e.g. through jobs and business
opportunities)
2000 – 71%
2002 – 76%
MORI study for ABTA, cited by Goodwin
and Francis (2003)
(n=963 British public in 2000; n=713 in 2002)
Respect towards the ways of living and the
traditions of the local host population is the most
important criteria when booking a holiday
95% Forschungsinstitut für Freizeit und Tourismus
(FIF), Müller and Landes (2000)
(German tourists)
* The sample size is indicated where known
Source: Spenceley (2003)
In 2001 a survey was published by Tearfund on the responsible business practices reported by 65
UK-based tour operators (Gordon, 2001). The Tearfund report considered four areas of ethical
tourism: bringing benefits to local communities, charitable giving, partnerships and responsible
tourism policies. This survey revealed that most tour operators responding had examples of where
their operations were making a positive difference to the lives of local people. However, problems
encountered include time and financial pressure on the industry and the quality of local services.
Operators frequently mentioned the lack of good-quality services, which was coupled with few
operators doing much to help with training and building the capacity of local service providers.
Finally, many respondents complained that they could not afford to change, as it cost too much
money and took too much time. At that time, the report noted that responsible and ethical tourism
issues were not mainstream, but the move was certainly in that direction (Gordon, 2001).
The aim of this research was to replicate the 2001 Tearfund study in South Africa. The objective
was to evaluate the extent to which South African tour operators were practicing responsible
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 6
tourism activities, given the context of a post-apartheid country that has considerable poverty
problems, but a country that has its own responsible tourism policy.
2.1 Responsible tourism in South Africa
In 1996 the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) published its White Paper
on the Development and Promotion of Tourism, which recognised that tourism had largely been a
missed opportunity for South Africa, but which also considered that tourism could provide the
nation with an ‘engine of growth, capable of dynamising and rejuvenating other sectors of the
economy’. A foresighted part of the paper promoted the development of responsible and
sustainable tourism growth. The key elements of responsible tourism were (DEAT, 1996):
Ensure communities are involved in and benefit from tourism;
Market tourism that is responsible, respecting local, natural and cultural environments;
Involve the local community in planning and decision-making;
Use local resources sustainably;
Be sensitive to the host culture;
Maintain and encourage natural, economic, social and cultural diversity; and
Assessment of environmental, social and economic impacts as a prerequisite to developing
tourism.
Following the White Paper, DEAT also produced national Responsible Tourism Guidelines, which
included targets for the tourism sector and emphasised the need to address the triple bottom line of
sustainable development (economic, environmental, and social sustainability). They include
guidelines relevant to this research including (DEAT, 2002):
Exercise a preference for business and land tenure arrangements that directly benefit local
communities and/or conservation;
Develop partnerships and joint ventures in which communities have a significant stake, and
in which they have a substantial management role (accompanied by appropriate capacity
building). Communal land ownership can provide equity in enterprises;
Buy locally made goods and use locally provided services from locally owned businesses
wherever quality, quantity, and consistency permits. Monitor the proportion of goods and
services the enterprise sourced from businesses with 50 kilometres (km) and set a 20%
target for improvement over three years; and
Recruit and employ staff in an equitable and transparent manner and maximise the
proportion of staff employed from the local community. Set targets for increasing the
proportion of staff and/or of the enterprise wage bill going to communities within 20 km of
the enterprise.
Consider developing and marketing fairly traded tourism products.
Use local guides, and encourage them to continually improve their quality, to ensure that the
community speaks for itself and to increase the revenues going into the local community (by
higher fees for quality tours). Monitor and report this economic contribution to the
community and set targets to increase it annually.
Encourage visitor behaviour that respects natural heritage and has a low impact upon it.
In 2002 it was envisaged that tourism industry groups will take the guidelines and develop sub-
sector guidelines that are applicable to their business, and that codes of best practice would be
derived. Through such a voluntary systems, it was hoped that enterprises would achieve market
advantage over their competitors by being demonstrably ‘responsible (Spenceley, 2003).
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 7
As a tool to assist the tourism sector, a Responsible Tourism Manual for South Africa was published
by DEAT in 2002. This aimed to provide ‘mainstream’ as well as community-based tourism
enterprises (CBTEs) with information about responsible tourism and the opportunities that it
presented for improving their business performance. Specific to South Africa, and in line with
international best practice, the manual provided a range of practical and cost-effective responsible
actions available to tourism businesses, and referred to many useful sources of information that
could guide their implementation of responsible business activities (Spenceley et al, 2002).
Also in 2002, South Africa hosted the first conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, just
prior to the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. The Cape Town Conference
was attended by 280 delegates from 20 countries, and resulted in a declaration that called upon
tourism enterprises to “ . . . adopt a responsible approach, to commit to specific responsible
practises, and to report progress in a transparent and auditable way, and where appropriate to use
this for market advantage” (Cape Town, 2002).
By 2002 South Africa had a strong policy basis for responsible tourism, and it was hoped that this
would be followed by concrete and tangible evidence of activities and results of good practice.
However, although both the responsible tourism guidelines and manual are freely available on
DEAT’s website (www.environment.gov.za), there is concern that little has been done to put them
into practice. Therefore, one of the objectives of this survey was to gauge their impact among
South African Tour Operators.
3. METHOD
The questionnaire used by Tearfund in their UK survey (Gordon, 2001) was largely retained, but
adapted in light of the UK findings, and also in relation to specific South African considerations.
The questionnaire was reviewed by members of the ICRT South Africa before distribution, and the
final version can be found in Appendix 1.
To maximise the level of participation by tour operators, over 100 were approached at Tourism
Indaba in May 2006 to discuss the research. Operators were given a flyer briefing them of the
research objectives, and at that time 77 operators agreed to participate. The ICRT South Africa was
also referred to another 23 companies who might be interested in participating.
On 13 September 2006 questionnaires were emailed to representatives of the 100 tour operators,
and they were requested to respond by 6 October. A reminder email was sent out to operators, and
an extension was given until 25 October to encourage more participants.
In all, twenty operators returned completed questionnaires (20% of the sample), and a list of these
enterprises is included in Appendix 2. This report provides an analysis of their responses. The
majority of tour operators participating in the survey, 75%, were small (<5000 tourists per year) and
the remaining 25% were medium sized. (5000-100,000 tourists per year). 50% of the operators had
read DEAT’s responsible tourism guidelines.
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 8
4. RESULTS
The results are presented under the following themes:
Impacts on local communities;
Donations to charity;
Partnerships
Training;
Impacts on the local natural and cultural
environment;
Purchasing;
Responsible tourism policies;
Monitoring impacts; and
Tourism demand.
4.1 Impacts on local communities
For the purposes of this survey, local communities were considered to be the settlements that are
closest to the locations where they operated. When asked in general about their impacts on local
communities (Question 1), operators reported a wide range of examples. Most frequently, their
actions involved organizing visits to local projects or attractions, where they could buy local goods,
providing training, and using local guides (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: How tour operators impact on local communities
0123456
Assist religious projects
Community maintenance
Community trans port
Coordinate volunteers to projects
Distribute tourist donations
Support local arts
Help poor children
Support local conser vation project
Work w ith local organisations
Build community infras tructure
Development local tourism products
HIV projects
Use fair trade / responsible products
Local guides
Tourists buy local products / services
Training / technical support
Tourists visit local projects/ attr actions
Number of Tour Operators
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 9
Many tour operators reported that they also used local services and products and employed local
people (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: How tour operators impact on local communities
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Contribut e to improving local health conditions
Contribute to local conservation
Contribute to local education
Customers stay in locally-owned accommodation
Customers stay in locally-run accommodation
Employ local people
Purchase local products
Use local service providers
Number of Tour Operators
One operator stated that they were, “… working together with different local Black Economic
Empowerment operators and community projects. We send clients and visitors to unique locations
with specialized local operators. In this way we increase money flow & development of tourism in
rural, deprived areas and to the communities directly. Where possible we use sustainable and
responsible tourism destinations (Fairtrade certified accommodations & excursions and Fairtrade
certified farms to visit and NACOBTA [Namibian Community Based Tourism Association]
excursions, projects and accommodations) and support projects in their needs – coordinate
volunteering work if needed or we link the projects with financial & training / technical support if
required.”
Another reported, “We not only monitor environmental sustainability of [our] partner companies,
but also aim to include various socially responsible products into the tour packages where
possible.”
One operator said, “I have developed a tour that takes tourist into our local communities and to
people I have developed economically in their own small tourism business. I therefore do the
marketing for them and bring the bulk of their business to them where they own 100% of their
business and retain 100% of the income from the tourism. They also do not pay for the marketing”
Regarding the scope of benefits, an operator said, “Tourists stay in the local accommodation, buy
artifacts, visit local community projects and pay entrances to sightseeing areas that filter down to
the local communities. Our tours run countrywide therefore the benefits are national.”
16 operators reported that some of their tour price remained in the local area. Of these the maximum
was 100%, the minimum was 2%, and the average was 55.4% (Question 2). A range of factors
were considered necessary for local people to benefit from tour operators (Question 3). These again
included the use of local services, purchasing local products and services, providing opportunities
for tourists to spend money locally and creating partnerships with local groups (see Figure 3).
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 10
Figure 3: Factors necessary for local people to benefit from tour operators
0 2 4 6 8 101214161820
Government support for responsible operators
Operator’s understanding of destination
Trust of operator by local groups
Good communication with loc al groups
Informed clients with good attitudes to local
people and environments
Interest ing and commercially viable product
Long-term part nerships with local groups
Tourists can spend money locally
Local people are employed
Local products are purc hased
Local services are used
Number of Tour Operators
A wide range of barriers faced by tour operators bringing benefits to local people were reported
(Question 4). The most frequently reported problems were safety, crime (and the perception of
crime), accessibility and location, and poor marketing (see Figure 4).
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 11
Figure 4: Barriers to tour operators bringing benefits to local people
01234
Bank charges
Beaur acracy
Begging
Ex pectations
Money mo ti vated
Po li t i c s
Racism
Consistent quality
Lack community unders tanding of touris m
Lack experience
Language
Communication
Funds / investment
Lack produc t
Lack skills/ tr aining / education
Poor marketing
Ac cess / location
Crime / perception of crime
Safety
Number of Tour Operators
4.2 Donations to charity
Sixteen enterprises indicated that they donated money to charity (80%), while 4 did not (20%)
(Question 5). Activities included distributing a percentage of the tour cost to a charity, and buying
services or products from charities (see Figure 5).
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 12
Figure 5: The way that tour operators donated to charity
0123
From clients to beneficiaries
% profit to charity
Tim e
Donate products
Buy charity products / services
% of tourist fee to charity
Donate
Number of Tour Operator s
Seventeen enterprises said that clients were not charged additional fees that were used towards
donations (85%) while two enterprises did (10%) (Question 6). The type of charities they donated
money to (Question 7) included those in local destinations, charities located in South Africa (and
working in South Africa), and South African charities working overseas (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Type of charities tour operators donate to
02468101214
Charity in South Af rica w orking overseas
Charity in South Af rica w orking in South A frica
Charity in local destination
Number of Tour Operators
Eight operators reported that a proportion of their post-tax profits were donated to charity. There
was a maximum of 19% reported, and an average of 3.4% (Question 8). Also, sixteen operators
stated that they encouraged their clients to give to charity (89% of respondents), while two did not
(11%) (Question 9). Many operators donated clothes or organized fundraising events (see Figure 7).
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 13
Figure 7: How tour operators donate to charity
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Give to charities in South A frica
Give to project on visit
Give to charity that local enterprise has set up
Optional money on invoice donated to charity
Organize f undraising ev ents
Give food, c lothes
Number of Tour Operators
Some also provided in kind contributions such as assisting in local schools or facilitating volunteers
on local projects. One operator noted “We have two successful volunteer work programmes where
participants raise a set amount of funds per person which is used to buy materials to do the work.”
However, said that they did not like to use a donation approach, and stated, “By staying overnight at
local community home stays, by visiting uplifting local tourism destinations, people do positive
“trade” instead of “aid” or charity. They start up a commercial activity increasing economic
growth”
4.3 Partnerships
Fourteen operators used the word ‘partnership’ to describe the relationship with some of their
suppliers (73.7%), while five did not (26.3%). Their definitions of partnership (Question 11) most
frequently included win-win situations where both parties would benefit, and the characteristic of
working together (see Figure 8).
Figure 8: What operators meant by partnership
01234567
Service expect ations
Contract
Tru s t
Use their services
Cooperate
Relat ionship
Work ing together
Win-win situation / bot h benefit
Numbe r of Tour Operators
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 14
One operator stated, “The effectiveness and reliability of suppliers have a direct bearing on
customer satisfaction and future business – my suppliers are therefore an extension of my business
or business partners”.
Another noted, “We cooperate with local (tour) operators, specialists in their field, where possible
fairtrade in tourism accredited and/or following responsible tourism guidelines. We cooperate with
“wheels” companies, guides, accommodations. These cooperations are partnerships as we build a
future together. We also help them in doing bookings and guide the local operators to grow in a
sustainable manner.”1
The characteristics of their partnerships often involved trust, good communication, a long term
commitment, similar views of consumer needs, providing advice and accountability (see Figure 9).
Figure 9: Characteristics of partnerships
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Directed by the local community
Time spent together
Written agreement
Verbal agreement
Joint planning / decision making
Meet local needs/focus on poor
Listening
Financial openness/accountability
Providing advice
Same view of needs of customers
Long term commitment
Good communication
Trust
Number of Tour Operators
4.4 Training
Types of training operators provided for their staff and others (Question 12) included customer
service, understanding consumers, skills development, information technology and product
development (see Figure 10).
1 For more information on Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa see www.fairtourismsa.org.za
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 15
Figure 10: Training provided to staff and others
0246810121416
Paper w ork/lic ensing
Health and saf ety
Management skills
Mar k e ti n g
Env ironment/c onservation
Pr oduct development
Information technology
Skills d evelopment (e. g. co oking, guiding, f irs t aid etc)
Understanding consumers
Customer servic e
Number of Tour Operators
4.5 Impacts on the local natural and cultural environment
Operators had a series of examples of where their company has had a positive impact on the local
natural and cultural environment (Question 13). These included education (particularly cultural or
conservation education), using environmentally sensitive products, and monitoring the
sustainability of their partners (see Figure 11).
Figure 11: Examples of positive impacts on the local natural and cultural environment
01234
Local business developm ent
Religious heritage enhanced
Use local guides
Train local people
Local purchasing
Monitor sustainability partners
Bringing tourists to local
communities
Use culturally / environmentally
sensitive products
Local education
Conservation / cultural education
Number of Tour Ope rators
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 16
Some comments from operators included:
“By bringing people to the area’s where there is very little set up. The communities have seen the
potential and with our help have set up sustainable operations and with our ongoing support have
managed to develop economically viable operations.”
“We have helped build schools & churches, painting, maintenance, skills, supplies, AIDS, etc. We
work through local organisations or missionaries so that there is follow up and support."
“We always encourage our clients to buy local goods in order help in fighting unemployment and
poverty.”
“We monitor environmental sustainability of our partner companies and aim to include these into
the tour packages where possible.”
When asked specifically about the type of impacts they had on the environment, many said they
conserved wildlife and natural areas, supported local art, and helped to conserve or restore historical
sites (see Figure 12).
Figure 12: Positive impacts on the local natural and cultural environment
0246810121416
Conservation of buildings
Use of r enewable energy
Water cons ervation
Waste recycling
Ener gy saving
Conservation/res toration of histor ical sites
Env ironmental education
Support for keeping loc al ar t forms alive
Conservation of natural areas
Conservation of w ildlife
Number of Tour Operators
A number of factors were cited as necessary for the local natural and cultural environment to benefit
from tour operators (Question 14). They needed projects to assist, information about options to
improve the local environment, government support, and money (see Figure 13).
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 17
Figure 13: Factors necessary for the local natural and cultural environment to benefit from
tour operators
0246810121416
Support from conservation groups
Support from conservation area management
Mon ey
Government support
Information about options to improve the local environment
Projects to support
Number of Tour Operators
When asked what barriers they faced to benefiting the local and cultural environment (Question 15),
one operator observed that it was, “Difficult to explain to clients (travel agents and customers) to
choose “fair” holidays if price competition is harsh on accommodation & excursions which are
nature & cultural unfriendly – in many cases there is no measure to stimulate the growth of
sustainable tourism and growth in tourism is the only goal. This makes implementation of
sustainable measures difficult (for example – lead free gasoline only introduced in South Africa in
2006, public transport still not widely available) and costly and choice limited.”
Other problems included access, lack of government assistance, awareness, and education, training
and skills (see Figure 14).
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 18
Figure 14: Barriers to benefiting the local and cultural environment
012345
Quality
Sustainability
Competition w ith non-f air products
Lack incentives
Lack infras tructure
Language
Communic ation
Community tourism not taken s eriously
Selfishness
Not address ing basic needs
Safety
Limited products
Educ ation/ training/ skills
Aw ar eness
Lack government assistanc e
Access
Num ber of Tour Operator s
Two operators had already replicated their models of benefiting natural and cultural resources
elsewhere. However, one operator was sceptical of superimposing successful models from one
location to another (Question 16). Some had a more general approach, and one operator noted, “Our
practices are not a company policy in particular; they are more a way of doing business for us and
thus could be implemented by anyone.”
4.6 Purchasing
Nine of the operators said that they selected their suppliers (accommodation, catering, etc.) based
on their social and environmental policies and practices (45%) while the remainder did not (11
enterprises: 55%) (Question 18). Two operators indicated that they monitored companies’
sustainability, and two others said they applied these policies where possible. However, other
companies stated that it depended on their clients’ needs (2 enterprises) and that such products had
never been offered (2 operators).
Operators were asked what kind of characteristics their suppliers had, (Question 19), and a high
proportion were reported to be environmentally friendly (average of 82.3%), locally based (78.1%)
and socially responsible (75%). Nine operators commented on the use of Fair Trade in Tourism
South Africa (FTTSA) products who on average used 25% FTTSA products on their tours (see
Table 2).
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 19
Table 2: Proportion of responsible suppliers used by tour operators
Type of supplier Average
(%)
Min
(%)
Max
(%)
No.
responses
Environmentally friendly 82.3 30 100 11
Locally based 78.1 10 100 16
Socially responsible 75.0 0 100 10
Star-graded 69.6 0 100 14
Approved by an environmental body 41.0 0 90 10
Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) companies 35.1 0 65 14
Approved by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa 25.2 0 100 9
Have their procurement rated by a BEE rating agency 15.8 0 40 6
One operator commented “. . .where possible and applicable we use accommodations & excursions
accredited by Fairtrade in Tourism and or NACOBTA [Namibia Community Based Tourism
Association]. If these are not available we ask for responsible tourism guidelines implemented &
we promote sustainable tourism.”
Only two of the twenty operators had entered an award for responsible tourism practice (10%)
(Question 20), despite the annual Imvelo Awards hosted by the Federated Hospitality Association
of South Africa (FEDHASA).
4.7 Responsible tourism policies
Nine of the eighteen operators responding to the issue of responsible tourism policies said that they
had one (50%) (Question 21). The policy was generally in the form of a set of principles, a written
code of conduct for tourists, or a written set of aspirations, or an unwritten code of practice
(Question 22: see Figure 15). One operator stated that they had a written code for tourist behavior
in cooperation with the travel agent, and also a memorandum of understanding with FTTSA to
support their projects, and make their excursions of as high quality as possible.
Figure 15: Form of responsible tourism policy
012345 678
Series of activities
Unwritten code of practic e
Written aspirations
Written code for tourist
behaviour
Set of princ iples
Number of Tour Operators
Reasons for producing a policy (Question 23) included that it was integral to their company
principles, to show their suppliers the strength of their policies, and to educate staff and tourists (see
Figure 16).
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 20
Figure 16: Reason for producing a policy
0123 45678 910
Reaction agains t mainstream
tourism
Remind staf f of company
principles & values
To educate tourists
To show suppliers strength of
polic ies
Integral to principles of the
company
Number of Tour Operators
Most of those who did not have a policy at the time, intended to develop one in the future, and
many said that it was integrated into their business (Question 24). One operator, however, thought
that it was “90% a load of nonsense” (see Figure 17).
Figure 17: Reasons for not producing a policy
0123456
Is better to take time to explain
issues to tourism
Not rele va nt
Not a p ri or ity
Integrated into business
Planning to do so in future
Number of Tour Operators
Of the 11 operators who did not have a policy already, 5 operators indicated they planned to
produce a policy in the future (45%) and 6 did not (55%) (Question 25).
4.8 Monitoring impacts
Six companies reported monitoring their impacts on local areas (30%), while the remaining fourteen
companies did not (70%) (Question 26). One operator stated, “We get feedback from our crew on
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 21
the state of each venue and the surrounding environs we use and based on this information we make
our decisions on future support, constructive information on improvements.”
Eight companies stated that they reported the impacts they monitored to stakeholders and their
clients (42%) while eleven did not (58%) (Question 27). Operators used a mixture of newsletters
and meetings to distribute this information.
4.9 Tourist demand
5 enterprises noted that their clients asked about their Corporate Social Responsibility practices
(25%) but a majority of 15 operators stated that they did not (75%) (Question 28). Only 3 operators
indicated that clients chose them over other operators because of their CSR practices (16%) while
16 operators said that it did not make a difference (84%) (Question 29). One operator stated that
mostly their customers were interested in the itinerary and price.
4.10 Other comments
Other comments included the positive:
“This interesting issue is not one that comes up with tour operators that sell Southern Africa from
the rest of the world at all! But an interesting concept – we would certainly like to have some
guidelines in order to formulate our policy.”
The sceptical:
“Most tourists could not care less about responsible tourism practices – they are on holiday and
want a safe, enjoyable, value for money experience. I believe responsible tourism starts with ethical
business practice IRO both suppliers and clients
Quite frankly, I think that this whole ‘responsible tourism’ thing is a load of rubbish which distracts
the operator from his most important objectives – making a reasonable living while providing a
good value for money product to his clients. If the local communities can provide attractions that
interest certain travelling parties then I am quite happy to support them. But if they are not self
sustaining, then making donations from time to time is not helping them in the long term. It is just
creating a society that is dependent on charity for survival. And that is not a responsible way of
running a business or governing a nation.”
The frustrated:
“What can we do to get government to seriously spend time and the budgeted money on the
Historically Disadvantaged Individuals (HDIs) in the rural areas. They do not even reply when we
apply for funding. The people responsible for funds are not available on their phones and do not
return calls. The processes and procedures are so confusing that I cannot get it done within a year
– how do you expect HDI’s to do it in 10?”
And the practical:
“Its not easy for the smaller operators, with limited budgets etc to incorporate all above. It would
also be good form Gov side to include the smaller persons in their proposals, and not lonely speak
to the big fish. I believe I am responsible to ensure quality services and experiences to clients when
visiting South Africa, which is a responsible tourism on its own, to ensure good feedback on the
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 22
country as a whole. It need not only be where and whom you visit, but rather the whole
experience.”
“In a small company like ours responsible tourism is a progressive development, one cannot hope
to set out to achieve everything that one would like to from day one. Having a plan for responsible
tourism development is as important as a responsible tourism policy. Growing people and making a
difference is where the real profit is not what the books say. the practice of responsible tourism
must be primarily be for personal reasons -a lifestyle choice -and therefore the public relations and
auditing aspects should not consume energy and resources that could be used on doing the job-
holidays that make a difference. It is not how much you give but what is left after you have given
that is important.”
5. DISCUSSION
5.1 Responsible tourism among South African tour operators
Nearly all of the tour operators reported delivering positive interventions in local communities.
These included economic benefits such as employment, use of local services and products, and also
providing benefits to local education, health and conservation initiatives. However, barriers
included safety and crime concerns, access and problems relating to capacity – such as skills,
language, lack of experience and understanding, lack of product, and inconsistent quality.
Responses by tour operators to the issue of providing donations to charity was interesting because
although many were philanthropic (providing a proportion of tour fees, materials, supplying
volunteers or organising events), a couple indicated that they would rather assist people through
‘trade’ rather than ‘aid’. This route provides more sustainable and market-related benefits.
Partnerships were clearly important to nearly all of the operators, and were characterised by win-
win situations where parties would work and cooperate together. These relationships required trust,
good communication, commitment, and holding similar views of consumer needs.
Three-quarters of the operators indicated that they contributed positively towards the local natural
and cultural environment by conserving wildlife and natural areas, providing education (on cultural
and environmental issues), supporting local art forms, using environmentally sensitive products and
monitoring the impacts of their partners. Only a few were using energy saving, recycling or water
conservation interventions though. They indicated that they needed projects to support and more
information about options to improve the environment, and barriers included access, lack of
government assistance, skills and training, and low levels of awareness.
About half of the operators purchased products and services based on social and environmental
factors, and some even monitored their suppliers’ sustainability. Some were even using tourism
products certified by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa and community-based tourism enterprises.
Responsible tourism policies were held by about half of the operators, who would have a set of
principles, a written code for tourist behaviour or a set of aspirations. Many indicated that the
policy was integral to their company policy, and several had a policy in order to show their tourists
and suppliers that they were serious about responsible tourism. Of those who did not have a policy,
about half intended to develop one in the future, while a similar proportion stated it was not a
priority.
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 23
About a quarter of the operators were monitoring their impacts in areas where they operated, but
about half said that they kept stakeholders and their clients informed of what they were doing in
destinations.
Clearly the operators were not yet experiencing significant demand from tourists for responsible
products. Only a quarter indicated that their clients requested information about their Corporate
Social Responsibility practices, and only three operators said that this gave them market advantage
over other companies. It will be very interesting to see if this proportion grows in the future.
5.2 Limitations of the survey
The major limitation of the survey was the level of response from operators. This was particularly
surprising given that over seventy representatives of local tour operator companies had
acknowledged their interest and had agreed, in face-to-face meetings, to participate.
Whether this is a result of companies simply being agreeable during an Indaba event, or a reflection
of the issues they were asked to respond to on the questionnaire, is not known. However, it is
hoped that the results of this survey will encourage improved responses in the future.
5.3 Implications for responsible tourism in South Africa
Despite only half of the operators having read the South African responsible tourism guidelines, the
majority were implementing one or more of the responsible tourism guidelines. Most frequently,
they were providing local economic benefits through employment and the use of local products and
services. However, there were clearly constraints to providing local benefits, not least safety
concerns, and levels of education and training.
If South Africa is serious about implementing its policy on responsible tourism, then there is clearly
a great deal of work to be done in the tour operator sector. The operators who responded here are
likely to be some of the more responsible in the sector (hence their effort to participate). In
addition, more needs to be done to educate the tourist about responsible tourism, in order to grow
the market for more ethical products. A major survey of tourists in South Africa would provide
information on the level of awareness and understanding, and demand for responsible holidays.
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 24
6. REFERENCES
Anon (2002) British holidaymakers most likely to favour hotels with responsible environmental
policies. Caterer & Hotelkeeper, 1 August 2002, 6.
Cape Town (2002) Cape Town Declaration, http://www.icrtourism.org/capetown.html
DEAT (1996) The development and promotion of tourism in South Africa, White Paper,
Government of South Africa, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism: Pretoria
DEAT (2002) National Responsible Tourism Guidelines for South Africa, Department of
Environmental Affairs and Tourism: Pretoria
Goodwin, H. and Francis, J. (2003) Ethical and responsible tourism: Consumer trends in the UK,
Journal of Vacation Marketing, 9 (3), 271–284.
Gordon, G. (ed) (2001) Tourism: putting ethics into practice, Tearfund
Martin, A. and Stubbs, R. (1999) Future Development in Tourism, Market and Opinion Research
International (MORI), London.
Mintel International Group Ltd. (2001) Ethical Tourism. Mintel International Group Ltd, (provided
by MarketResearch.com), Electronic document (pdf format)
Müller, H. R. and Landes, A. (2000) Tourismus und Umweltverhalten. Befragung zum
Reiseverhalten, Forschungsinstitut für Freizeit und Tourismus (FIF), Hans Imholz-Stiftung.
Switzerland Travel Writers & Tourism Journalists Club (STW), Zurich.
Spenceley, A. (2003) Managing sustainable nature-based tourism in Southern Africa: A practical
assessment tool, Doctoral thesis, University of Greenwich, UK available at
www.anna.spenceley.co.uk
Spenceley, A. (2003) Tourism, Local Livelihoods and the Private Sector in South Africa: Case
studies on the growing role of the private sector in natural resources management, Sustainable
Livelihoods in South Africa Research Paper 8, Sustainable Livelihoods Southern Africa project,
Institute of Development Studies, Brighton UK,
Spenceley, A., Relly, P., Keyser, H., Warmeant, P., McKenzie, M., Mataboge, A., Norton, P.,
Mahlangu, S., and Seif, J. (2002) Responsible Tourism Manual for South Africa, Department for
Environmental Affairs and Tourism: Pretoria
Stueve, A.M., Cook, S.D. and Drew, D. (2002) The Geotourism Study: Excerpts from the Phase 1,
Executive Summary. National Geographic Traveller and the Travel Industry Association of
America, Washington.
Tearfund (2001) Guide to Tourism: Don’t forget your ethics! Tearfund, London.
Tearfund (2002) Worlds Apart: A call to responsible global tourism. Tearfund, London.
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 25
7. APPENDIX 1: TOUR OPERATOR QUESTIONNAIRE
2006 South African Tour Operator Survey
on Responsible Tourism
The International Centre for Responsible Tourism – South Africa (ICRT-SA) is a not-for-profit organisation
with the mission of contributing to economic development, social justice and environmental integrity through
the development and promotion of Responsible Tourism.
This is an opportunity for you to participate in, and benefit from, cutting edge market research of the southern
African tourism sector. This is research that could have important implications for the way that you do
business, and your understanding of an increasingly sophisticated market.
To date there has been no comprehensive survey on responsible tourism practices by tour operators in
South Africa. The ICRT-SA proposes to remedy this gap and to provide the operators who participate with
the benefits of the results. The survey is based on a previous study by Tearfund in the UK2 and considers:
demand from tourists for responsible tourism;
benefits that are currently reaching local communities from tourism operations;
impact of tourism on conservation;
awareness of responsible tourism within the tourism sector;
responsible tourism activities practiced by the tourism enterprises;
level of corporate social responsibility practiced by tourism operators; and
monitoring and reporting of impacts.
The questionnaire should take about 20 minutes to complete.
All participants will receive copies of the results of the survey, which will also be available free of charge to
participating operators on www.icrtourismsa.org
Please return your questionnaire to icrtsa.survey@gmail.com by 25 October 2006
Name of your company:
Postal address:
Your name: Phone:
Job description: Fax:
Email: Website:
Size of your company
(please indicate which)
Large
>100,000 tourists
per year
Medium
5,000-100,000
tourists per year
Small
<5,000
tourists per
year
2 http://www.tearfund.org/Campaigning/Policy+and+research/Tourism+policy+and+research.htm
International Centre for
Responsible Tourism –
South Africa
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 26
Q1 – Do you have any examples of where your company has had a positive impact on local
communities? (Please describe, or attach information)
Note: Local communities are the settlements that are closest to the locations where you
operate.
Please tick the boxes below to indicate which local impacts your company has:
Employ local people Contribute to local education
Purchase local products Contribute to local conservation
Customers stay in locally-run
accommodation
Contribute to improving local health
conditions
Use local service providers Customers stay in locally-owned
accommodation
Other . . .(please specify):
Q2 – What percentage of the tour price paid by your clients remains
in the local areas they visit?
Percentage (%)
Q3 – What factors are necessary for local people to benefit from tour operators visiting their
areas? (please tick boxes)
Local services are used Trust of operator by local groups
Local products are purchased Long-term partnerships with local groups
Local people are employed Operator’s understanding of destination
Tourists can spend money locally Informed clients with good attitudes to
local people and environments
Government support for responsible
operators
Interesting and commercially viable
product
Good communication with local groups
Other . . .(please specify):
Q4 – What are the barriers to tour operators bringing benefits to local people?
(Please describe)
Q5 – Does your company donate money to charity?
(Please describe how)
Yes No
Q6 – Are clients charged an additional fee, that they are aware of, in
order to generate money for donations?
Yes No
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 27
Q7 – To what type of charities have you donated money?
Charity in South Africa working in South Africa Charity in local destination
Charity in South Africa working overseas
Other . . .(please specify):
Q8 - What percentage of post-tax profits did your company donate
during the previous financial year?
Percentage
%
Q9 – Do you encourage your clients to give to charity?
If yes, please indicate how by ticking boxes below
Yes No
Give to project on visit Organize fundraising events
Give food, clothes Give to charities in South Africa
Give to charity that local enterprise has
set up
Optional money on invoice donated to
charity
In-kind contributions
(please specify):
Other . . .(please specify):
Q10 – Would you use the word ‘partnership’ to describe the .
relationship with any of your suppliers?
Yes No
Q11 – What do you mean by partnership?
Please tick characteristics of your partnerships (tick as many as are appropriate):
Long term commitment Financial openness/accountability
Good communication Meet local needs/focus on poor
Trust Providing advice
Time spent together Directed by the local community
Listening Written agreement
Joint planning / decision making Verbal agreement
Same view of needs of customers
Other . . .(please specify):
Q12 – What type of training do you provide for your staff and others? (tick all appropriate):
Skills development (e.g. cooking, guiding, first aid etc) Health and safety
Understanding consumers Paperwork/licensing
Customer service Marketing
Product development Environment/conservation
Management skills Information technology
Other . . .(please specify):
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 28
Q13 – Do you have any examples of where your company has had a positive impact on the
local natural and cultural environment? (Please describe, or attach information)
Please tick the types of impact that your company has:
Conservation of natural areas Energy saving
Conservation of wildlife Use of renewable energy
Water conservation Environmental education
Waste recycling Conservation of buildings
Conservation/restoration of historical sites Support for keeping local art forms alive
Other . . .(please specify):
Q14 – What factors are necessary for the local natural and cultural environment to benefit
from your business?
(please tick as many as are appropriate):
Information about options to improve the local
environment
Support from conservation area
management
Projects to support Government support
Support from conservation groups Money
Other . . .(please specify):
Q15 – What are the barriers you face to benefiting the local and cultural environment?
(Please describe)
Q16 – Would it be possible to do something similar elsewhere?
(e.g. could your responsible practices be repeated in other settings?)
Please describe
Yes No
Q17 – Have you read the Department of Environmental Affairs and
Tourism’s Responsible Tourism Guidelines?
(available at www.environment.gov.za)
Yes No
Q18 – Do you select your suppliers (accommodation, catering, etc.)
based on their social and environmental policies and practices?
Please explain
Yes No
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 29
Q19 – What percentage of your suppliers are . . . .
% %
Star-graded Approved by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa
Approved by an environmental body Environmentally friendly
Locally based Socially responsible
Black Economic Empowerment
(BEE) companies
Have their procurement rated by a BEE rating
agency
Q20 – Have you entered a local or international industry award for
responsible tourism practice?
(Please describe)
Yes No
Q21 – Do you have a responsible tourism policy?
(if No, please proceed to Q24)
Yes
No
Q22 – If yes, what form does this policy take? (tick as many as are appropriate):
Set of principles Written aspirations
Series of activities Written code for tourist behaviour
Unwritten code of practice
Other . . .(please specify):
Q23 – If yes, why did you produce your policy? (tick as many as are appropriate):
Integral to principles of the company Pressure from NGOs
To educate tourists Pressure from tourists
Reaction against mainstream tourism Remind staff of company principles & values
To show suppliers strength of policies
Other . . .(please specify):
Q24 – If no, why have you not produced a policy? (tick as many as are appropriate):
Not a priority Not relevant
Planning to do so in future Integrated into business
Is better to take time to explain issues to tourism
Other . . .(please specify):
Q25 – Do you plan to produce a policy in the future?
Yes No
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 30
Q26 – Do you monitor and record the impacts of your company on
local areas visited?
Please describe what you monitor
Yes No
Q27 – Do you report your local impacts to stakeholders and clients?
(Please describe)
Yes No
Q28 – Do potential clients enquiring about your products ask about
your company’s Corporate Social Responsibility practices?
(If yes, please explain)
Yes No
Q29 – Do clients indicate that they chose your company over other
similar operators because of your Corporate Social Responsibility
practices?
(If yes, please explain)
Yes No
Q30 – Please add any other comments you would like to make about responsible tourism
practices in your business
Thank you very much for participating in this survey, and we look forward to sending you
the results.
Please email your completed questionnaire to icrtsa.survey@gmail.com by 25 October
2006
2006 ICRT-SA Responsible Tourism Survey – Tour operators 31
8. APPENDIX 2: TOUR OPERATORS PARTICIPATING
Tour Operator Website
Abang Africa Travel www.abangafrica.com
African Encounter Safari Operator www.africanencounter.org
African Insight™ www.africaninsight.co.za
Allround Tours www.allroundtours.co.za
All-Ways-Africa Tours www.awa.co.za
Ambula Golf & Safari Tours www.ambulatours.co.za
ATC African Travel Concept www.atctravel.co.za
Back Road Safaris www.backroadsafaris.co.za
Bono Tours and Safaris www.bonosafaris.com
Golf and Game Safari Company www.golfandgame.co.za
Jenman African Safaris www.jenmansafaris.com
Kuoni Private Safaris www.privatesafaris.com
Macit Tours www.macit.co.za
McFarlane Safaris www.mcfarlanesafaris.co.za
Rand Coach Tours and Charters www.randcoach.co.za
SafariWise www.safariwise.net
Shongololo Express www.shognololo.com
Southern Circle Tours and Safaris www.southerncircle.com
Sunway Safaris www.sunway-safaris.com
Thompsons Africa www.thompsonssa.com
9. APPENDIX 3: MORE INFORMATION ON RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
International Centre for Responsible Tourism
The International Centre for Responsible Tourism is a post-graduate training and
research centre based at the University of Greenwich. The ICRT has a sister
organisation in South Africa. “..making better places for people to live in, better
places for people to visit.”
www.icrtourism.org
www.icrtourismsa.org
DEAT’s South Africa Responsible Tourism Guidelines
Guidelines based on the 1996 Tourism White Paper, that promote environmentally,
social and economically responsible tourism.
www.environment.gov.za
www.icrtourism.org.uk
www.anna.spenceley.co.uk
DEAT’s Responsible tourism Manual for South Africa
A practical and technical manual which provides tourism enterprises with information
about Responsible Tourism and opportunities for improving business performance. A
range of practical and cost-effective examples of best practice are provided, that can
help to guide users’ implementation of responsible business activities.
www.environment.gov.za
www.icrtourism.org.uk
www.anna.spenceley.co.uk
Pro-Poor Tourism Partnership
A collaborative research initiative between the International Centre for Responsible
Tourism (ICRT), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED),
and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).
www.propoortourism.org.uk
Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa
A non profit marketing organisation promoting the fair trade in tourism concept and
tourism businesses of disadvantaged communities.
www.fairtourismsa.org.za
... This finding is contrary to that of Eshun & Tagoe-Darko (2015) which revealed that locals around the Kakum National Park do not manage tourism of the park. Spenceley (2007) contended that, mutuality among stakeholders of tourism destination community can attract external support from government and tourism development agencies. Social groups in tourism destination community need to participate in development planning. ...
... Social groups in tourism destination community need to participate in development planning. Spenceley (2007) contended that, mutuality among stakeholders of tourism destination community can attract external support from government and tourism development agencies. Social groups in tourism destination community need to participate in development planning. ...
... Responsible tourism practice is considered the foundation for a stronger relationship between tourism development and the quality of life and also the solution in combating the adverse effects of tourism development (Hanafiah, et al., 2016). Spenceley (2007) analysed the responsible tourism policies undertaken by tour operators in South Africa which, generally, were in the form of a set of principles, a written code of conduct for tourists, or a written set of aspirations, or an unwritten code of practice (Spenceley, 2007, p. 19). Actions related to the responsible tourism response motivate tourism entrepreneurs to achieve long-term sustainability (Tai, et al., 2016). ...
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... Responsible tourism (RT) has received considerable attention as a sustainable development tool in the tourism industry, as well as the entire sustainability community (Van der Merwe and W€ ocke, 2007;Musavengane and Steyn, 2013;Caruana et al., 2014;Mathew and Sreejesh, 2017;Hanafiah et al., 2016;Ruiz-Lozano et al., 2018). Several studies have documented the importance of responsible tourism in the tourism industry (Tearfund, 2001;Van der Merwe and W€ ocke, 2007;Musavengane and Steyn, 2013), for example, surveys such as that conducted by Spenceley (2007) showed that 66% of tour operators believed that there are positive benefits that accrue to local communities through practicing responsible tourism. Some of the benefits highlighted include, but are not limited to, the preservation of local cultures and financial benefits through employment or business ventures. ...
... (Krippendorf, 1987: 37) Alternative tourism focuses on individualism and having a unique and authentic experience by interaction with the local community and environment. Spenceley (2007) These took the form of employment creation, using local service providers and purchasing local products (Spenceley, 2007: 3). However, the research also found that tour operators faced numerous barriers in bringing benefits to local people. ...
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The global threat of climate change, diminishing natural resources and significant socio-economic inequalities is forcing companies and individuals to evaluate the impact they are having on the natural, social and economic environments. This trend has led to an increased availability and demand for socially, environmentally and economically responsible products. The tourism industry relies heavily on the sustained beauty and hospitality of the places and communities it operates in and has come under pressure to manage its negative impacts. Change in the industry has, however, been limited. This paper investigates the current attitudes and perceptions of tourism business owners in Cape Town towards responsible tourism management (RTM) practices in order to develop social marketing strategies that can influence positive behaviour change in management. Cape Town as an internationally acclaimed top tourism destination needs to urgently address its low levels of responsible tourism evidence. Survey data of 244 tourism businesses was used to statistically test what factors are causing the low levels of RTM practices in Cape Town. Findings suggest that despite general positive attitudes towards RTM, tourism businesses are not investing time and money into changing management practices. This is a common emerging market phenomenon where resource constraints negatively impact the relationship between what businesses would like to do and what actually gets done. Factors such as the perceived cost of RTM, a highly competitive environment and a perceived lack of government support are further negatively influencing this relationship. Recommendations are made as to how social marketing can be used to encourage businesses to adopt RTM practices by reducing the perceived and actual costs of implementing RTM. The paper discusses what channels should be implemented to facilitate change.
... As Porter & Kramer point out CSR, corporate social investment and ethical management practices have emerged as strong trends in many industries but evidence of actual change remains relatively limited in tourism (2006). Only 2% of tourism businesses globally are participating in responsible tourism or CSR initiatives such as the Global Compact, and South African studies into the hotel and tour operator sub-sectors show low levels of transformation (Spenceley, 2007;Van der Merwe & Wö cke, 2007;Wijk & Persoon, 2006). Since the Brundtland Report of 1987 (UN, 1987) proposed that intergenerational equality would not be achieved unless the impacts of economic activity on the environment were managed, both debate and research into sustainable tourism practices and philosophies have increased. ...
Article
The global threat of climate change, diminishing natural resources and significant socio-economic inequalities is forcing companies and individuals to evaluate the impact they are having on the natural, social and economic environments. This trend has led to an increased availability and demand for socially, environmentally and economically responsible products. The tourism industry relies heavily on the sustained beauty and hospitality of the places and communities it operates in and has come under pressure to manage its negative and positive impacts. Change in the industry has, however, been limited. This paper investigates the current attitudes and perceptions of tourism business owners in Cape Town towards responsible tourism management (RTM) practices. Cape Town as an internationally acclaimed top tourism destination needs to urgently address its low levels of responsible tourism evidence. Survey data of 244 tourism businesses were used to statistically test what factors are causing the low levels of RTM practices in the Cape Town tourism industry. Findings suggest that despite general positive attitudes towards RTM, businesses are not investing time and money into changing management practices. This is a common emerging market phenomenon where resource constraints negatively impact the relationship between what businesses would like to do and what actually gets done. Factors such as the perceived cost of RTM, a highly competitive environment and a perceived lack of government support are further negatively influencing this relationship. Recommendations are made as to how the costs of implementing RTM can be reduced and what channels should be implemented to facilitate change.
Chapter
Inbound tour operators play a crucial role in sustainable tourism development, as they provide the link between the supply and demand of tourism products and services. Embedded in this position, inbound tour operators can pressure their suppliers to operate more sustainably, influence consumers’ decision-making before purchasing tourism products and services, and educate their clients on sustainable tourism practices. Sustainable inbound tour operators can become certified by a sustainable tourism certification programme to showcase their commitment to sustainability. In reviewing the level of sustainability, this chapter looks at the approaches taken by both the demand- and supply sides of inbound tour operators and the role of certification in furthering sustainability. A study conducted in South Africa identified gaps in sustainability and suggested potential strategies to overcome these gaps.
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Pro-poor tourism increases net benefits for the poor or directs profits back into the community by employing local staff and manufacturing. Existing studies have provided a theoretical understanding of how pro-poor tourism can produce environmental, economic, social, and cultural impacts. Little research has been conducted on the power dynamics that are specific to pro-poor tourism, especially in developing countries. This study contributes to pro-poor tourism theory from an operation-level perspective by addressing the alignment and coordination of three stakeholders—local governments, tourism enterprises, and community residents—involved in implementing pro-poor tourism in an ethnic, autonomous county in southern China. The results indicate that in the absence of effective cooperation between the three major stakeholders in strategic tourism development aimed at poverty alleviation, substantially greater benefits will not be delivered to the poor. The findings of this study offer important insights into the roles that stakeholders could play at various stages of sustainable development in the long run. This study can also provide useful information to governments for policy replacements and adjustments.
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The chapter provides a review of the principles of responsible tourism and its propensity to alleviate poverty. It presents a case study on the responsible tourism initiatives by Sandals Resorts International, a hotel company operating in a small developing island state in the Caribbean. The aim is to determine how these practices can help to alleviate poverty; both relative and absolute poverty in the countries in which they co-exist. Analysis of the case indicates that Sandals Resorts International through the Sandals Foundation embraces responsible tourism. This is manifested through its corporate social responsibility thrust to educate, build and protect the Caribbean, under the three pillars of community, education, and environment. According to the literature, the successful delivery and implementation of responsible tourism has the propensity to alleviate poverty in communities in which hospitality / tourism businesses operate. This is supported by the normative approach of the stakeholder theory which explains the moral and philosophical guidelines of an organization.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of a destination positioning itself as a responsible tourist destination to improve its image. Design/methodology/approach A review of the literature pertaining to responsible tourism management, crime risk and destination image. Findings This paper observes that responsible tourism policy can help improve the image of destination South Africa. Research limitations/implications This paper provides recommendations for destinations impacted by a negative global perception or being seen as a risky area to travel to, in the context of crime. Originality/value This paper examines the role of responsible tourism management in countering the negative image of crime risk in South Africa. In general, there is a dearth of research on this association.
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Responsible tourism attracting worldwide attention has supported local economy and community development as a type of alternative tourism. This study explored the perception toward fairness in tourism and operation status of responsible tour operators in South Korea by conducting in-depth interviews with probe questions. Ten responsible tour operators were interviewed with a semi-structured interview questionnaire for one upto two hours. From the interview data, six themes were identified as difficulties of responsible tour operators: lack of manpower, advertising and promotion, absence of marketing strategy, regulation, lack of budget and lack of recognition of responsible tourism. As government support identified through the interviews, there are the followings seven themes: a low entry barrier market, investment in human resources, resource utilization, community-based policies, connection with local produce, community support and connection system of responsible travel agencies with intermediate support organizations at a local level, The findings of this paper implicate the underlying subject of responsible tourism from a tour operators' perspective.
Thesis
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This research contributed to knowledge through the design of a methodological approach that may be used to generate a tool capable of assessing sustainable tourism in a reliable and valid way, and the production of a new Sustainable Nature-based Tourism Assessment Toolkit (SUNTAT). The approach consisted of an extensive literature review that identified techniques used to assess the economic, environmental and social impacts of tourism. A Delphi consultation process was undertaken to identify economic, environmental, and social factors that southern African consultees perceived were critical to sustainable nature-based tourism. The results of the consultation were used to guide the scope and contents of the new assessment toolkit. Appropriate assessment techniques from the literature review were combined to create the toolkit, which was field tested at four commercial nature-based tourism enterprises operating wildlife tourism within South African protected areas. The field tests permitted the holistic range of assessment techniques within the toolkit to be evaluated in relation to their practicality, effectiveness, and cumulative value. The case studies also demonstrated the value of the toolkit in providing reliable and comparable data regarding economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability. Lessons learned from complementary research programmes on responsible tourism, sustainable livelihoods, pro-poor tourism and fair trade were also integrated into the toolkit. The output of this research, the SUNTAT, provides a mechanism that goes beyond simply defining sustainable tourism, and has begun a process of tangibly and transparently measuring its characteristics in a reliable and comparable way. By developing a database of economic, environmental, and social benchmarks relevant to sustainability, the toolkit may be used to develop baseline standards and improve performance within the tourism industry. Future application of this toolkit may allow researchers to define the characteristics of the triple bottom line as relevant to different environments and destinations.
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Responsible tourism is emerging as a significant market trend in the UK as wider consumer market trends towards lifestyle marketing and ethical consumption spread to tourism. This paper reviews recent survey evidence about consumer attitudes towards the responsible and ethical aspects of the tourism they consume, and places this in the context of campaigns by Voluntary Service Overseas and Tearfund. Between 1999 and 2001 the percentage of UK holidaymakers aspiring to be willing to pay more for an ethical holiday increased by 7 per cent from 45 per cent to 52 per cent. The evidence for increasing consumer demand for responsible tourism is reported and the paper concludes with a discussion of the implications.
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Tourismus und Umweltverhalten
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Tourism: putting ethics into practice
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Gordon, G. (ed) (2001) Tourism: putting ethics into practice, Tearfund
The Geotourism Study: Excerpts from the Phase 1, Executive Summary. National Geographic Traveller and the Travel Industry Association of America
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Ethical Tourism. Mintel International Group Ltd
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