Thanks for checking in! Sharing news and achievements from the FTT family is always exciting for us; we hope it will be equally inspiring for you.

Please remember to share your own Fair Trade Tourism achievements with us so that we can feature them in future editions. You can tag us on social media or email us directly on info(at)


WTM Africa marked the launch of our exciting partnership with the World Fair Trade Organisation (Africa and Middle East). If you were at the event, you would have seen a range of WFTO-guaranteed products that are available locally, including items that are ideally suited to the hospitality sector such as handmade bath and body products made from natural ingredients, organic teas, ethically produced spices and sauces, and fashion accessories and homeware made from repurposed materials.
The 6-month campaign will include a range of promotional activities so follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest happenings. We will feature the items on offer every week. (Search for #SourceFairTrade if you miss a post!)

Also… FTT members qualify for a discount on the purchase of WFTO-guaranteed items for the duration of the campaign! These products speak directly to the business ethic of buying local and sustainably, ethically produced goods. Consider using them in your operations and / or stocking them in curio shop where sharing that they are WFTO-guaranteed adds value to your business from a branding perspective!

For more information, or to access your #FTTFamily discount, please contact Ana Lemmer on
Image © World Fair Trade Organization


The #FTTFamily took double Gold wins at this year’s African Responsible Tourism Awards, as well as the Best Overall accolade!
In the category of Best Responsible Culture & Heritage Experience, !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre was the Gold winner for its achievements in ensuring the age-old San knowledge, culture and traditions are shared in our modern world in a way determined by the San themselves. An indigenous heritage centre and experiences guided by resident San community members are the pillars around which their offering is based. (But they also have a nice restaurant and lovely accommodation!)

Learn more about the !Khwa ttu experience – and connect with them to refer your guests to this unique cultural highlight at
Taking home not only a Gold for Best in Habitat and Species Conservation, but also the award for Best Overall in the awards was long-time #FTTFamily member, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. Grootbos is not new to the awards stage, but still commits to continuous improvement and innovation – hence its big showing again this year. On receiving their award, their representative was quick to point out that Grootbos’ achievements are only made possible by the passion and commitment of their entire team. The humility moved the room… Learn more about their incredible range of initiatives (maybe pick up some ideas?) at
If you are asking yourself why these businesses keep scooping the spotlight, find out some of the reasons the #ARTA19 Judges made the decisions they did HERE.
Image © Better Tourism Africa


Gone are the days of a tired sales pitch and 2D photos – welcome the new era of capturing an audience by creating an experience. !Khwa ttu did exactly that on their WTM Africa stand where Nunke and Marlene lured you in with the aromas a unique tea tasting!

Traditional San herbs were on display and blended to create a range of healthy teas – add a bit of !Khwa ttu honey and the taste buds were tingling too!


FTT-Approved Live the Journey used the WTM Africa platform to create awareness and share its commitment to reducing plastic waste by offering bamboo straws at the show!

If you’re keen to know where they sourced them or to partner with them on creating #FTTHoliday packages, you can find them on  


In March 2019, three members of the FTT Family from different spheres of the South African tourism industry collaborated to offer a high-value, international, multi-day, educational immersion course for foreign students – a first for FTT family collaborations!

Coffeebeans Routes – a Cape Town based operator of unique cultural immersion experiences – created an 8-day economics immersion course for Rutgers Business School of Newark’s Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. The immersion was titled “Quantum Economics” and was an exploration in Cape Town and Johannesburg that journeyed from multi-nationals through to spaza shop entrepreneurship, with a focus on stokvels, social banking, cooperative investments and the financial mechanisms that black women in particular are leveraging to grow wealth.

Across the programme, participants engaged with the widest diversity of voices, speaking to the idea of citizens in South Africa shifting economic centres, not through trickle down effects or philanthropic largess, but through social approaches to money that put people, relationships and community at the heart of financial transactions. Thus even the course content accorded with Fair Trade principles.
Images © Coffeebeans Routes
The immersion also brought in other FTT Family members to spread the benefits to additional like-minded businesses: In Cape Town, the group was accommodated at FTT-certified The Townhouse Hotel, while logistics were done by FTT-approved travel agency, Where It All Began, which was started by the previous owners of FTT-certified Parker Cottage.

The total spend for the programme was in excess of R400,000 – 80% of which was spent within the Fair Trade Tourism family!

Feeling inspired to host youth educationals in your business in collaboration with other FTT Family members? Find out more from the ‘pioneers’ below:


If you think it’s only the “big guys” who can make a big difference , look no further than #FTTFamily member Bulungula Lodge. Small beginnings, backed by a passionate dedication to using tourism as the starting point to empower local people led to the establishment of a non-profit entity, the Bulungula Incubator. The BI has been the vehicle used to drive and unlock local socio-economic opportunities, resulting in transformative successes for people living in the Xhora Mouth area of the Wild Coast. Their impacts have been recognised around the world, most recently as the winner of the British Council Study UK Award for Social Impact. Their programmes have evolved to ensure a holistic approach to local development; focus areas include education, health and sustainable livelihoods.
Learn more about what they do at the BI and how – maybe themes or activities within their successful strategy can strengthen your own social investment activities. Watch the project overview video by clicking on the image above.


If you struggle with how to integrate your business’ commitment to Fair Trade Tourism, and sustainability in general, into your messaging, look to #FTTFamily leader Grootbos Private Nature Reserve who masterfully its their tourism offering with their sustainability ethic in their communication materials. Recently, they launched a series of 7 short films featuring various aspects of the tourism experience at Grootbos, never forgetting the integral role of local social investment, environmental impact management, and highlighting natural and cultural heritage.
Click on the image above to view their most recent release, "Where Wine Meets Wilderness". Or follow the entire #ExploreGrootbos series on

Perhaps you’ll be inspired with ways to better blend your own responsible tourism journey into your communication platforms!


The !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park – home to #FTTFamily member !Xaus Lodge – was recently the first destination in Africa to be proclaimed an International Dark Sky Sanctuary! Dark Sky accolades are awarded by the International Dark Sky Association for outstanding night sky stewardship, requiring excellence in avoiding light pollution and providing education to the public. To be certified as a “Dark Sky Sanctuary”, a destination is typically in a very remote location with exceptional quality of starry nights.
The remote location of !Xaus Lodge – owned by the local Khomani and Mier communities – has always been one of its selling features. Being located in Africa’s only Dark Sky Sanctuary – and in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, nogal! – opens up a whole new niche market opportunity!


Dyer Island Conservation Trust hosted a Marine Evening in April in partnership with Two Oceans Aquarium where they shared the "adventures" of Yoshi, a loggerhead turtle that was released after 20 years in captivity.

Partnering with other institutions to raise awareness about the natural environment on which your tourism business depends is a great way to connect your team, their friends and family, and the broader community to what your business stands for.

Climate Change Roadmap, i.e. the “how to guide to saving the planet”
Are you a solution seeker? Then you’ll want to read this article about a ‘First-of-its-Kind’ roadmap for each global region regarding how to save the planet from climate change, and to do so years before the 2050 deadline!

Women Power!
“Rise of the Matriarch” is an 8-part documentary celebrating women on the frontline of conservation: protecting wildlife and empowering people. Learn more about it HERE, where you will also find a link to each of the short features. Great to share with your team – so inspiring!

Marvel at SA’s Green Entrepreneurs
The SEED South Africa Symposium recognised South African entrepreneurial innovation for climate change challenges, including waste-to-energy machines, solar-powered cell phone charging stations, water filters made from nut shells, and much more! Have a look at “Cool clean tech to tackle climate change”. (via The Green Times)

Speak Up About SA’s Tourism Policies...
Public comment has been invited by SA’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Derek Hanekom, on the Tourism Draft Amendment Bill. Amendments address the governance of the SAT Board, implementation of the SAT grading system, competence requirements for tourists guides, and thresholds for short-term dwelling rentals.
Comments are open for 60 days, as from the date of announcement, which was 15 April.  More information may be obtained HERE.

We also include a related article from the Daily Maverick where supplemental pensioner income is pitted against multi-billion rand hotel groups… just to stimulate a bit of critical thinking and debate. NB None of the articles posted here necessarily reflect the position of Fair Trade Tourism.

Need a Hand Up With Your Green and Transformation Revolutions?
Applications are currently being accepted for eligible tourism businesses under the Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP) and the Tourism Transformation Fund (TTF).
The GTIP provides grant funding to private sector tourism businesses to encourage sustainable management of water and energy resources, specifically towards resource-efficiency audits and the implementation of resource efficiency interventions. The application window is now open until 30 June 2019. More information is available on the website of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC): Specific enquiries can be directed to
The TTF provides grant funding, debt financing and equity contributions for capital investment to small and micro black-owned enterprises in order to create a new generation of black-owned, youth, women and community-based tourism entities. The application window is now open until 30 June 2019. More information is available on the National Empowerment Fund’s website: Specific inquiries can be directed to

Public webinar: From certifying operations to transforming systems
“Voluntary sustainability standards have the potential to deliver impacts that go beyond individual certified operations and effect wider systemic changes, according to new research published by WWF and ISEAL. These ‘systemic impacts’ help to create an enabling environment for production and consumption practices that benefit people and the planet, and contribute toward the Sustainable Development Goals.” Available HERE.
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