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Pilot project to curb illegal dumping

Uitenhage and Despatch will be focused on during the implementation of a pilot project, attempting to curb illegal dumping. This crucial project is themed Love Where You Live.

Launched by Executive Mayor Dr Danny Jordaan, intensive cleaning of illegal dumping sites started in KwaNobuhle and will continue over the next three months in areas such as Rosedale, KwaLanga and Despatch.

Dr Jordaan highlighted the benefits of a clean city on the local economy, the tourism sector and the overall benefit of having an attractive city.

Trucks will be deployed in the targeted areas coupled with an education campaign to highlight the consequences of illegal dumping and to inform communities how they can assist the municipality to deal with this unsavoury practice.

The Love Where You Live clean-up campaign will branch out to Port Elizabeth areas next year with the Northern Areas, Motherwell, Walmer/Gqebera, KwaZakhele, Soweto-on-Sea and Zwide identified as potential focus areas.

Municipal leadership encourages residents to report illegal dumping as fines of up to R2 000 can be issued when offenders are identified when reported.

  • For further information regarding anti-littering specifically in Uitenhage and Despatch the public is welcome to contact Waste Management at 041 994 1137 or Environmental Health at 041 994 1296 during office hours.

Source: news24


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South Africa: Tourism Has Potential to Create Jobs

Pretoria — The tourism sector has a huge potential to create jobs, says Tourism Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Tourism Trade show in Singapore, Deputy Minister Xasa said the tourism sector was continuing to think innovatively about new and exciting ways to attract visitors.

“This is exciting news for budding entrepreneurs and the youth of the country, as innovation is very often the cornerstone of what sets one business apart from the next and allows new start-ups an opportunity to gain market access.

“Especially in our townships and rural areas, cultural tourism is a niche that continues to offer opportunities,” she said.

The Department of Tourism is partnering with business owners in the sector to leverage off the unique heritage of the country, especially in terms of the country’s liberation struggle history.

Deputy Minister Xasa said the sector is valued due to the fact that it has very few barriers to entry for new businesses, especially when compared to other industries such as mining.

“In addition, the sector is less capital intensive than most others while also being more reliant on human capital,” Deputy Minister Xasa said.

She said the National Development Plan prioritises Small and Medium Enterprises as an important strategic driver of growth.

“Significant resources are being made available across a variety of departments to grow small businesses, stimulate a mindset of entrepreneurship and ease barriers to entry for our already enterprising South Africans,” Deputy Minister Xasa said.

She said the consistent increase in tourism arrivals over the past few years is testament to the success of a variety of initiatives from the side of government and in partnership with business

According to the national statistics agency, tourism made a direct contribution of R103.6 billion to the Gross Domestic Product in 2013, rising from R93.5 billion in 2012.

Domestic visitors contributed 57 percent of the total tourism spend in 2013, while international visitors contributed 43 percent.

“The tourism industry employs 655 609 people directly and 1.5 million both directly and indirectly. One in every ten jobs in our country is supported by tourism,” Deputy Minister Xasa said.

Source: iol


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South Africa: Draft Amendment B-BBEE Tourism Sector Codes Gazetted

Pretoria — Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has gazetted the Draft Tourism B-BBEE Codes in terms of Section 9 (5) of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Amendment Act.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the draft Tourism B-BBEE Codes deviates from the exempted micro enterprises, qualifying small enterprises and large enterprise thresholds as set out in the Amended Generic Codes of Good Practice. This is to address the unique feature of sector.

The following thresholds will apply to the tourism sector: exempted micro enterprise which is an enterprise that makes a total revenue of less than R5 million per annum (R10 million in the generic codes), qualifying small enterprise is an enterprise which makes a total revenue of between R5 million and R45 million per annum (between R10 – R50 million in the generic codes), while a large enterprise in the tourism sector is an enterprise which makes a total revenue of over R45 million per annum (above R50 million in the generic codes).

According to the Minister, these unique thresholds will ensure that as many enterprises in the sector contribute towards transformation, which will not be the case if the sector was using the Amended Generic Codes.

Another key highlight for the tourism sector is that under the ownership element the compliance target is 30% + 1 Vote, rather than the 25%+1 Vote under Generic Codes.

Source: allafrica


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Cape Town’s Airport Hotel Verde impresses global tourism leaders

Success stories in the tourism sector of South Africa are fast becoming the norm, with the impetus from the National Department of Tourism (NDT) placing the ethos of industry development, squarely on service delivery excellence, innovation and inclusive transformation.

“Fortunately, it is possible to build a tourism economy that is both responsible and inclusive,” said Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom. “Working with institutions like the UNWTO, the UN specialised agency for tourism, and the WTTC, the global industry association for travel and tourism, we must ensure that tourism growth is compatible and supportive of the global Sustainable Development Goals that we hope to adopt in September, and the global post-2020 climate change pact that we hope will be agreed to in December this year.”

In lieu of this comment the delegation from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) did a site inspection at the acclaimed Hotel Verde in Cape Town’s airport precinct.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Dr Taleb Rifai, and President and CEO of WTTC, David Scowsill, are on a 4-day visit to South Africa to deliberate with government and public sector stakeholders around the topics of responsible and sustainable tourism growth.

Hotel Verde made headlines as South Africa’s greenest hotel when the establishment was awarded the 2014Imvelo Award for Best Overall Environmental Management system. It is the first hotel in Africa to offercarbon-neutral accommodation and conferencing. Hotel Verde is also the first hotel in Africa to achieve thePlatinum LEED certification level, as assigned by the United States Green Building Council. The hotel also drew global attention in the same year with a World Responsible Tourism accolade by the World Travel Market in London, for the Best City Hotel in the world.

Spearheading the growing movement in the country towards responsible tourism that reduces its carbon footprint, Hotel Verde has implemented a range of systems that save water and energy, as well as reducing waste.

“We commend Hotel Verde for the foresight of their innovations to go green, and encourage other tourism product owners to follow suit in order to capture the growing market for responsible tourism,” said Minister Hanekom. More and more international visitors are keen to offset the carbon footprint of their long flights by participating in carbon neutral activities while on holiday. The Minister declared that the drive from his department to bring green tourism into the mainstream would continue, in alignment with the National Tourism Sector Strategy. This document lays the foundation for tourism related businesses to focus on the triple bottom line of economic growth, ecological sustainability and social responsibility.

Topics on the agenda at Department of Tourism include: implementing and promoting minimum standards for responsible tourism, development of universal access standards, develop training programmes and funding mechanisms, specifically aimed at green issues and products, and facilitate the implementation of environmentally responsible practices within the tourism transport sector.

In conclusion Dr Rifai commented, “I am very impressed by Hotel Verde and even though their environmental impact may be considered very small on a global scale, the fact that they are able to inspire their staff’s behaviours and spirit, in terms of being a leader in Responsible Tourism, make them stand out above the rest. Coupled this with the fact that they have proven on the triple bottom line, that going green can be economically, viable, profitable and sustainable; makes Hotel Verde an inspiration for the tourism sector and the Africa continent.”

For more information on Hotel Verde, visit www.hotelverde.co.za.

Source: Media Update


 

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R600m plan to help SA grow its tourism sector

A series of new incentives to help tourism establishments grow their businesses and to improve South Africa’s tourism attractions were announced by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

The investment of around R600-million will help establishments to become graded and seek new markets for their products, and will later include retrofitting key with renewable energy sources. South Africa’s tourism sector had performed very well in the past two decades, Hanekom said.

“The pace of growth in the tourism sector has outstripped the growth in the overall economy significantly. We are now well positioned to do more, to continue growing, and to transform the sector by making it more inclusive and sustainable.

“It is estimated that tourism supports 1.4-million direct and indirect jobs and contributes 9.5% of South Africa’s total Gross Domestic Product. ”

“Tourism has enormous transformative power,” Hanekom said. “Tourism has a very strong multiplier effect on host communities and has a supply chain that extends deep into the economy.”The Tourism Incentive Programme represents an investment of R557-million over the medium term to support tourism enterprises to reach their full potential, Hanekom said.

The programme will put tourism businesses in a better position to make sustainable contributions to the growth of the industry and to the country’s economy, making South Africa a more competitive global destination, Hanekom said.

The programme will start by focusing on creating better access to new markets and customers, encouraging greater participation in the grading system, and making catalytic investments in key tourist attractions.The programme comprises:

  • A subsidy towards the costs incurred by tourism establishments to participate in trade exhibitions and marketing roadshows. This will include a capped reimbursement towards pre-determined expenses such as airfare, accommodation and exhibition fees for participation in marketing platforms supported by South African Tourism.
  • Support for owners of establishments who want to be graded by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa in the form of a structured system of retroactive discounts or rebates on the assessment fee for grading. This aims to make grading more affordable for smaller businesses, and encourage more establishments to become graded.
  • A pilot project to retrofit facilities at state-owned destinations and attractions such as World Heritage sites and National Botanical Gardens with renewable energy technology. This will guide the design of a programme to help make establishments, including those in the private sector, more environmentally sustainable.

The Tourism Incentive Programme supports the objectives of South Africa’s overall industrial policy, which includes creating jobs, building the local industrial base and transforming to a green economy.

Source: SA.info


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Committee appointed to review SA Tourism

SA Tourism, the entity responsible for marketing South Africa as a domestic and international destination is going to be extensively reviewed, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has said.

SAnews.gov reports Hanekom has appointed a ministerial committee to review SA Tourism’s institutional alignment and strategic focus in the context of the broader public and private sector landscape for tourism marketing and tourism sector governance.

“The tourism sector operates in a dynamic and constantly changing environment. Technology is developing rapidly and is changing the way that we communicate and market ourselves, consumer preferences are evolving, and source markets are shifting,” Hanekom said.

“Continual change in the operating and market environment requires us to review how effective our organisational structures are to deliver against their mandates,” he said.

According to the report, tourism has been identified as a key sector with the potential to contribute to economic growth and sustainable employment in the National Development Plan.

Several tourism, marketing and governance experts are part of the review team: 

•    Mr Valli Moosa (Chairperson)
•    Dr Crispin Olver (Deputy Chairperson)
•    Mr Mavuso Msimang
•    Ms Kate Rivett Carnac
•    Dr Tanya Abrahamse
•    Ms Nunu Tshingila-Njeke
•    Ms Jeanine Pires

The panel’s analysis will include “a study of international best practice that guides tourism governance and marketing; the division of roles between national tourism administrations and destination marketing organisations, and key performance indicators of comparable destination marketing organisations”.
The review is expected to be completed by the end of April 2015. This will precede the appointment of a new Board which will assume duty on 1 June 2015.

Source: Traveller 24


 

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Grootbos Champions South Africa’s Biodiversity

Grootbos Nature Reserve, near the Garden Route has earned international recognition for championing sustainable tourism efforts.

The Western Cape reserve has been nominated for the 2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, handed out by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), for its acclaimed conservation programmes. It is a finalist in the Community Award category.

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Madrid, Spain on 15 April during the 15th WTTC Global Summit.

In addition to the nomination, the lodge earned a spot on National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World list. The list, which was published on 6 January, features 24 properties.

“National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World is a network of world-class accommodations where sustainability is the touchstone and the guest experience is exceptionally rich and meaningful,” the company wrote. “We invite you to discover how ‘staying’ can be truly extraordinary.”

“The tourism sector is a R18-billion industry that employs over 150 000 people,” said Alan Winde, the provincial MEC of economic opportunities, in congratulating Grootbos. “It’s important that we embrace practices to protect the environment so we can safeguard these resources. With such a rich cultural and natural heritage to preserve, sustainability is particularly important in this region. Their achievements are garnering attention for their own establishments as well as for the Western Cape.”

The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are aimed at recognising best practice in sustainable tourism within the industry globally, based upon the principles of environmentally friendly operations; support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage; and direct benefits to the social and economic well-being of local people in travel destinations around the world, the council explains.

These annual awards are among the highest accolades in the industry and represent the gold standard in sustainable tourism.

In voting for Grootbos as a finalist, the council notes that of the six floral kingdoms on Earth, South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region is perhaps the least well known. Covering just 553 000 hectares, it is also the smallest.

“Small, however, does not mean insignificant. Despite accounting for just 0.5% of Africa, the region is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora.”

The hotel and reserve overlooks Walker Bay and comprises 2 500 hectares of very high conservation value land, with 785 indigenous plant species recorded on the reserve, of which 117 are species of conservation concern and seven are endemic to Grootbos.

“It’s one thing to use the money raised from its 6 000 visitors each year to protect and restore such a fragile and unique ecosystem. What sets Grootbos apart is that it goes a lot further, designing its stewardship of the land to also bring uplift to the many impoverished communities that live nearby,” says the WTTC.

“Of the 180 people employed at Grootbos, 95% is from the local communities. Its Growing the Future project provides skills development in organic agriculture, sustainable animal husbandry and beekeeping. In the last year it produced three tonnes of organic fruit and vegetables, 980kg of organic honey, 26 000 free range eggs, and generated more than R500 000 from plant sales and landscaping. And following a needs analysis of 700 of the poorest households, the lodge launched a GreenBox planting system, which is now being rolled out to enable 200 households to produce their own food.”

Similarly, the National Geographic Society’s National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World is a collection of boutique hotels in extraordinary places around the world with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability, authenticity and excellence. They “offer an outstanding guest experience while supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage and embracing sustainable tourism practices”, says the society.

Other African lodges on the list are Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge and Tswalu Kalahari in South Africa, and Rubondo Island Camp and Sayari Camp in Tanzania.

Source: All Africa


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