The popular Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has officially been been certified by Fair Trade Tourism, demonstrating its commitment to the responsible tourism portfolio which supports close to 200 products in Africa.
Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA) is an initiative that promotes equitable and sustainable tourism development in South Africa through a range of activities including awareness raising, capacity building, advocacy and the facilitation of the world’s first Fair Trade tourism certification programme.
The FTTSA certification programme awards a special certification Trademark (label) to tourism enterprises in South Africa that meet specific sustainability criteria based on global Fair Trade standards and locally relevant issues such as skills development, ownership and HIV/Aids management.
The five- star nature reserve Grootbos has not only won numerous accolades for its work but it is one of 10 Long Run Global Ecosphere Retreats and is a founding member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. Both Tatlers Travel Guide and Fodors have rated Grootbos as one of the best 100 hotels in the world.
The reserve was one of the first properties to be certified by Fair Trade Tourism in 2006 and is renowned for its environmental conservation and social development projects run through its non-profit arm, the Grootbos Foundation. Since 2003, the Foundation has been active in conservation and community projects, reaching over 10,000 members of the local community and conserving over 16,000 hectares through the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.
Says General Manager, Sean Ingles:
“After an absence of almost three years, Grootbos is proud once again to be a brand ambassador for Fair Trade Tourism. The principles of sustainability, transparency, respect and progressive tourism are fundamental to the Grootbos DNA and we work tirelessly to follow these guidelines in every aspect of our business – in our conservation efforts, our community outreach programmes and in the lodges themselves. ”
“The fact that Grootbos opted for recertification is a great vote of confidence in us. Their exemplary responsible tourism practices have long been an inspiration to the industry and we stand to learn much from the Grootbos team.”
concludes Fair Trade Tourism MD Jane Edge.