A world in one Country, South Africa is one of the world’s most diverse and fascinating countries, with a range of experiences to enthrall every visitor, whether they are looking for a Big Five adventure in the Kruger, a cultural immersion, a culinary escape or an artistic revelation.
And while the options for accommodation, activities and experiences are endless and travellers are spoilt for choice, with no real hard and fast rules about what is a “must-see”, there is one rule that is easy to follow in South Africa: Sticking to the principles of Fair Trade Tourism.
The Fair Trade label stands for best practice responsible tourism – defined by fair wages and working conditions, fair purchasing and operations, equitable distribution of benefits and respect for human rights, culture and the environment.
Fair Trade Tourism is a non-profit organisation that is considered the leader in sustainable, responsible tourism in Africa. It grows awareness about responsible tourism, assists tourism businesses to operate more sustainably and facilitates the Fair Trade Tourism certification programme in South Africa.
The birthplace of Fair Trade Tourism, South Africa is jam-packed with a diverse range of exciting Fair Trade Tourism certified places to go and things to do, offering the discerning traveller virtually unlimited options for a holiday adventure with real soul. A wide variety of tourism establishments have qualified for the FTTSA-label including hotels, safari lodges, backpacker lodges, guesthouses, cultural tours and eco-adventure activities. Many of these products are small, emerging, and community-based businesses that are wholly or partially owned by rural black communities disenfranchised by apartheid.
For travellers, there is no standard international label – Fairtrade or otherwise – that will guide you to those holidays that give local people a fairer share of tourism’s bounty. The only labelling organisation that comes close is Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA). The holidays they offer are the kind you’d expect in this part of the world – game-viewing safaris in the Kruger National Park, wine tasting in the Western Cape and viewing humpback whales off Plettenberg Bay coastline. FTTSA has vetted these companies to make sure they adhere to fair trade criteria such as providing decent wages and working conditions for their staff. Simply staying at a destination accredited by FTT ensures that you are making a positive difference, supporting responsible travel through social, economic and environmental best practices.
Southern Africa 360 is proud to have been accredited by Fair Trade Tourism as an Approved Fair Trade Tour Operator, entitled to market Fair Trade Holidays.
For tour operators to be approved by Fair Trade Tourism they are required to pledge support for Fair Trade Tourism’s principles and agree to package and promote holidays in which at least 50% of the bed nights featured are spent in tourism establishments that are certified by Fair Trade Tourism or by a mutually recognised certification scheme in Africa.
By choosing a Fair Trade accredited product or partner you are directly benefiting local communities and economies, and supporting tourism businesses committed to fair, responsible and sustainable tourism practices