Fair trade in tourismJason Siddall
Save the World One Holiday at a Time
Fair trade in tourism (FTT) is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to only make a positive impact on that location’s environment, society and economy. That largely means supporting locally managed businesses and participating in activities that do not harm the environment or exploit local culture. Fair trade in tourism also ensures good wages and working conditions for staff. A fair share of the tourism money goes to local communities, their socio-economic self-sufficiency, quality of life and social cohesion. Respect for human rights, culture, and the environment is followed.
Going on holiday can now not only benefit you, but it can also benefit the place you are visiting if fair trade in tourism is practiced. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful feeling knowing that your holiday positively affected the people and environment of where you visited?
The deeply rural traditional Venda communities living on and as neighbours to Morning Sun Nature Reserve in the Soutpansberg region of Northern Limpopo of South Africa, are prime examples of people enjoying the benefits of FTT practices.
Benefits of Fair Trade in Tourism
Minimal impact on the environment
Many travel destinations are trying to reduce their impact on the environment. This includes using alternative, renewable, and sustainable energy. Recycling is another important factor to reduce the impact on the environment. This could also include composting organic waste to use to fertilise the land.
Provides jobs for the locals
Fair trade in tourism helps to create job opportunities for the local community. The positions of guide, cook, host, translator, and so many more can provide necessary employment to people, often combined with providing education and training. Tourists are also encouraged to buy local, helping to support small business.
Helps to preserve the local culture
Experiencing the unique culture of different places is one of the greatest aspects of travel. By interacting with the local community you learn a lot about their culture. Preserving the culture of the place is one of the most important things in the tourism industry.
Preserve historic buildings and neighbourhoods
Preservation of historic buildings is important because they are the physical manifestations of the past. They tell people who they are and where they came from. Saving the historic buildings and neighbourhoods of a city or village is about saving the heart and soul of the community.
It benefits the local community
When you visit a certain place and see the natural beauty or manifestations thereof in the biodiversity of natural fauna and flora, it is the local people who have maintained everything. Fair trade in tourism helps in benefiting the local community of the place. It is all about shopping locally and giving money to the local community. This helps in maintaining and preserving the essence of that place. It helps to instil in local communities a sense of co-ownership for posterity of endangered and rare wildlife and vegetation species and mitigate their eradication by poaching and over-exploitation.
Travel is more enjoyable
When tourists have the knowledge that they are helping to support the local communities and the natural environment, travel can be much more enjoyable. When travel is about mutual benefits for both visitors and locals, everyone involved can have a more positive experience.
Tourists learn and grow more
Responsible travellers tend to leave a place with much more knowledge about it than they had before they arrived. Tourists learn from the local people they meet, and the historic and heritage sites they visit. And, from the many sights, sounds, and tastes to which they are exposed to along the way.
Deeper connections are formed
Fair trade in tourism ensures that connections with locals come more easily. Tourists engage directly with people at the front lines of the most exciting and inspiring projects in their area. Interacting with locals in locally-run businesses offers travellers a deeper sense of the culture. And those locals often have the best tips on things for people to see and do. This is because their fingers are much more on the cultural pulse of the place. Local guides tend to be truly passionate and proud of their homeland. They delight in sharing its beauty with those who are interested.
Helps to avoid the displacement of local communities
When a destination emerges as a popular place for tourists, it can mean a great influx of economic prosperity to the area. However, the arrival of mass tourism can seriously disturb successful local communities. Small businesses are forced to compete with well-established, multi-national companies; which increases the cost of living. As locals compete with wealthy tourism developers for natural resources, their basic needs are often ignored. When sustainable tourism practices are practiced, the destination is primed for success and sustainability. But touristic neglect can also be destructive of local communities and their cultural heritage in that it deprives community members of the means for survival, causing them to be lured into and seek employment in big cities and, if unsuccessful, ending up in crime-ridden slums and informal shack settlements.
Preserving the destination for future travellers
It is also important for tourists to keep nature and culture maintained for the coming generations. Fair trade in tourism helps to promote the sustainable tourism by realising that one day future travellers will travel to the same places. And so, they should be maintained properly from right now.
Why choose Morning Sun Nature Reserve
Morning Sun Nature Reserve in South Africa and its eco-friendly, wide variety of touristic activities and packages subscribe to the principles and practices of responsible and eco-tourism. In conducting our operations, we strive to minimise our impact on the environment, spread benefits throughout the local economy and promote community well-being and economic self-sufficiency. The Morning Sun Eco-Tourism Policy has been developed with due diligence of, and taking into account, the following three aspects: social, economic, and environmental. Within these three aspects, we offer a wide range of choices to meet varying tastes, budgets and time restraints, accommodation types, self-catering or board and lodging, camping, overlanding, adventure activities, hiking, 4×4 Safari-vehicle drives, etc., group travel or self-driving individuals.
Why choose Mashovhela Bush Lodge
Mashovhela Bush Lodge is Morning Sun Nature Reserve’s eco-friendly, off-the-grid renewable energy-powered flagship facility, which, together with its gourmet “Drumbeat” Restaurant and Cocktail Bar lounge is nestled in a scenic Mountain Valley, where Verreaux Eagle nests can be viewed from the veranda or the adjoining pool area. The lodge offers function and conference facilities. A Safari tent annex with optional self-catering facilities is hidden in the bush within 5 minutes walking distance.
In order to minimise ecological footprint, the lodge was built on the degraded site of an abandoned Venda settlement. The décor and architecture emulate its Venda past.
Why choose Lokovhela Mountain Cottages
Different natural scenery up on the mountains, self-catering. Rondavel-style cottages, usable singly or interleadingly for small groups, families or overland backpackers with self-catering communal kitchen, dining room and lounge, large garden swimming pool. Walking trails along the river and linking up to the highest local hills and peaks. One separate superior “Valley View cottage”, ideal for the whole family with its own private kitchen and barbecue outdoor terrace.