“As Tourism Opens Its Doors in South Africa, The Need for Sustainable Tourism is Essential”
South Africa is one of the world’s most exquisite travel destinations with its teeming wildlife, pristine beaches, verdant forests, majestic mountain ranges and enviable climate. These are all perfect drawcards for millions of tourists that visit each year. Sadly, COVID19 has had an extremely devastating effect on the tourism industry. More so now than ever before every penny should be counted. Sustainable efforts are seriously in need of being ramped up.
How Sustainable is Your Establishment?
Sustainable tourism is a brilliant tool for developing the tourism industry as the general idea is to highlight how everyone in the industry can contribute to making tourism more eco-friendly and how they can preserve the environment.
Operating sustainably, tourism businesses need to look at conserving water and to minimise the carbon footprint of the establishment on the environment. These should be the top priorities of tourism establishments in South Africa. The key is being adaptable and changing the way we do things.
The world is changing – this is apparent after being faced with a pandemic that no-one saw coming. To operate in a sustainable manner, waste should be minimised and wherever possible, water should be conserved. This will result in a reduction of an establishment’s carbon footprint on the environment.
Energy and water are high on the list of consumption for hotels. For establishments to adhere to sustainability rules and regulations, hotels, bed and breakfast establishments among others are encouraged to use solar panels for heating and to use globes that are energy–efficient to cut back on electricity bills.
How the Tourism Industry Has Put Pressure on SA’s Natural Resources
Tourism puts immense pressure on the country’s natural resources. Tourism is responsible for generating 10% of the country’s GDP and responsible for employing one in every 10 people. According to World Tourism, the industry is responsible for almost 5% of global emissions, being responsible for around 4,6% of the global warming that takes place.
Tourism puts huge pressure on the natural resources of a country and is especially the case in South Africa with the country experiencing severe droughts and challenges with the grid.
The hospitality and tourism industries have a responsibility to practice sustainable tourism. Using solar power or even replacing all globes with energy-efficient globes is a small step in the right direction.
A sustainability approach should, therefore, be instilled in all aspects of the tourism industry including the support of sustainable suppliers of foods and cleaning products.