FEDHASA Cape supports Responsible Tourism

FEDHASA Cape is a proud partner of the Cape Town Responsible Tourism Charter pioneered by the City of Cape Town following a host of conferences and discussions to simultaneously maximise economic, social and environmental benefits as well as minimising costs to destinations through Responsible Tourism. Great milestones have been achieved by FEDHASA Cape members in this regard says FEDHASA Cape’s Chairperson, Michelé de Witt: “FEDHASA Cape is working together with our partners, the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism, SATSA, SAACI and other role players in the tourism industry to lead the way in Responsible Tourism as outlined by the Cape Town Responsible Tourism Charter.”

Here are some Responsible Tourism achievements by some FEDHASA Cape members:

Cape Town International Convention Centre is the first convention centre in the world to introduce and implement sustainable initiatives aligned to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework for two years in a row. It has committed to implementing world class sustainability principles and practices into every facet of its operations subsequently receiving incredible international recognition for its commitment to sustainability. The Cape Town International Convention Centre achieves this by following a multi-pronged approach to environmental sustainability and minimising any negative impact its operations may have on the environment. It also actively helps to conserve and preserve the planet. As recognition for this great achievement, the Cape Town International Convention Centre was placed in first place for the 2013 category for the Best Overall Environment Management System in the big establishment category sharing it with another FEDHASA member – Leriba Hotel and Spa. The 2013 Lilizela Imvelo Awards were organised by the National Department of Tourism. Cape Town International Convention Centre has also won the UFI 2013 Sustainable Development Award beating many to get the Best Reporting on Sustainability title in Switzerland.

“Since my departure as MD of the Cape Town Convention Centre in 2010 much has been achieved by the hospitality industry in championing Responsible Tourism from the time when Cape Town won the 2009 global Responsible Tourism Award, of which FEDHASA Cape was one of the pioneers. Subsequently, the National Department of Tourism has also implemented an Award Ceremony dedicated to Responsible Tourism at the 2013 Lilizela Awards. There is also the “Responsible Tourism Week” campaign run by Cape Town Tourism that is hugely successful. Collectively this shows the importance that the industry is placing on Responsible Tourism,” says FEDHASA Cape Board Member and Past Chairman Dirk Elzinga.

Southern Sun in Newlands, Cape Town is the winner of the Best Single Resource Management Programme for Energy Conservation in the small establishment category. It won this prestigious award at the 2013 Lilizela Imvelo Awards. It achieved this through the installation of heat pumps and energy efficient lighting resulting in massive energy saving. Generally the establishment’s business activities pose minimal risk to the environment and environmental management practices and this energy conversation initiative is an additional achievement by Southern Sun’s integrated operations. Southern Sun is part of the TSOGO Sun group, which has long-term partnerships in place with The Heritage Group and Green Globe, and have developed property-specific environmental management systems at all their establishments. These environmental systems are aimed specifically at energy, water, waste management and responsible procurement. The employees are also trained in responsible tourism.

Hilton Cape Town City Centre has also embarked on eco-friendly conservation efforts for responsible tourism. It has an on-going commitment to waste reduction after successfully reducing its landfill output by 73% in just five months. Remarkably, it is one of only three hotels in South Africa to pioneer and participate in a comprehensive re-lamping exercise. This pilot programme was so successful that it recorded an impressive saving of 329,583kWh in its energy consumption, which is enough to power 660 standard homes with electricity for a month as well as reduction of 486 tons of CO2 emissions. Its water efficiency initiatives included installing water closet systems and low-flow shower heads and taps, which saw the hotel make 40% in annual savings compared with traditional systems. As part of all Hilton Worldwide hotels’ Light Stay programme, Hilton Cape Town City Centre has installed a special Meeting Impact Calculator Tool to measure the CO2 emissions and environmental impact of all events hosted at the hotel. The tool does this by taking into account the number of delegates attending, accommodation booked, total floor area and the mode of transport used. Hilton Cape Town City Centre’s staff members have also been briefed to uphold responsible tourism initiatives through waste reduction amongst other initiatives. The hotel has been recognised for its Responsible Tourism initiatives and received a special award at the 2013 Lilizela Imvelo Awards for Responsible Tourism in the Best Single Waste Resource Management Programme.

There are many other FEDHASA Cape members who have embraced Responsible Tourism as a result of this Responsible Tourism pilot project and are taking great strides in this regard. It is FEDHASA Cape’s leadership that led to its members being part of the City of Cape Town’s Responsible Tourism Charter and the benefits thereof. FEDHASA Cape members also receive more benefits from their membership including amongst others: FEDHASA is recognised and respected by government and all industry players as the prime representative and voice of the South African Hospitality Industry; it holds registrations as an Industry Trade Association operating as a Section 21 company and an Employers’ Body giving FEDHASA members access to representation at the CCMA; credit card discounts and workplace banking services offered by ABSA; 25% discount on SABC TV Licences; discounts and special rates from various outlets (for example: Checkers, Ultra-Liquors, Dining-Out, Sleeping Out); up to 15% saving on all SAA-operated routes; member-to-member discounts from FEDHASA supplier members; industry related special advice and assistance; direct representation and lobbying; and regular weekly communications and updates.

Author: PR Officer

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