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South Africa Tourism Launches New Minimum Standard For Responsible Tourism
October 13, 2011
South Africa Tourism Launches New Minimum Standard For Responsible Tourism


13 October 2011

South Africa Tourism has launched its new, globally aligned Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism initiative. The tourism department worked with stakeholders for more than 18 months to decide on the criteria. These were then refined through the South African Bureau of Standards.

The South African National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism (SANMSRT) has been benchmarked against the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s criteria and is based on three  cornerstones of Sustainable Tourism, namely, social and cultural, economic, and environmental responsibility, as mentioned in the company release.

Commenting on the occasion, Hanneli Slabber, India Country Head, South African Tourism said, “There is a growing awareness amongst tourists in India and globally, on the adherence of destinations to environmental and social standards before they make their accommodation and travel bookings. We are pleased that the new Minimum Standard offers a unified national responsible tourism standard and accreditation system. We are confident that this holistic form of tourism will help travellers, the host population and the trade derive, the best possible benefits from tourism, without causing any economic, ecological or social damage and by additionally providing better living conditions for the local community.”

Slabber further added, “Few countries have published national standards of this level, and I am certain that through this initiative, South Africa will set a benchmark for knowledge and leadership in this field for other countries.”

The SANMSRT will be a voluntary standard. Tourism certification bodies seeking to be accredited will work through the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS), which will be ready to carry out this task by the middle of 2012. Responsible Tourism principles include respect for cultural and natural environments, avoiding energy and water over-consumption and waste, ensuring that local communities benefit from tourism, and adhere to ethical business practices.