What you should know about Responsible Tourism.

Posted by Collen on Tue November 17, 2015 in Responsible Tourism & Environmental News.

Vaalnest Boutique Hotel has always been following ethical procedures when giving out any hospitality service to its guests. Our policy highlights our involvement in various platforms that showcase us as the number destination that provides responsible tourism stay to our visitors. We always urge our visitors that sustainable tourism for them should be a simple yet achievable concept of which when they visit Vaalnest or any place for that matter, they should exercise a positive impact on the environment, society and economy as a whole.

 
Vaalnest Boutique Hotel has always been following ethical procedures when giving out any hospitality service to its guests. Our policy highlights our involvement in various platforms that showcase us as the number destination that provides responsible tourism stay to our visitors. We always urge our visitors that sustainable tourism for them should be a simple yet achievable concept of which when they visit Vaalnest or any place for that matter, they should exercise a positive impact on the environment, society and economy as a whole.

Therefore Responsible Tourism is simply described as a tourism management strategy in which the tourism sector and tourists take responsibility to protect and conserve the natural environment. Additionally they must respect and conserve local cultures and ways of life, and further contribute to stronger local economies and a better quality of life for local people. Always remember that Responsible Tourism is also about enabling people to live a better life on an ongoing basis by providing them with necessary skills to ensure a well-balanced environment for all including visitors from other places to acknowledge those efforts. The standard consists of 41 criteria divided into the following four categories:

  • Sustainable operations and management: This includes any institution to establish a responsible tourism policy and create staff awareness of the policy. When implemented this will increase your opportunities in business as a whole through market differentiation.
  • Economic criteria: This includes insisting on Fair Trade principles and of course paying fair wages. When implemented you will have competitive advantage and a window opportunity to create even more jobs.
  • Social and cultural criteria: This includes the use of local resources and talent, it also means the creation of tourist awareness. When implemented you will as a business preserve your destination ethics and the community around shall reap the rewards by participating in many platforms of development.
  • Environmental criteria: This includes your guide to resource consumption and overall pollution reduction. When implemented you aim to conserve the environment in which you operate for a very long time.

Currently Vaalnest Boutique Hotel is involved in:

Human Capital Development Projects and Investments: Vaalnest Boutique Hotel pledges to invest in its employee’s futures and to promote from within. Making use of SETA’s training and development courses, Vaalnest’s workforce is fully qualified and continuously encouraged to grow and develop in the Hospitality and Customer related fields. We also help and develop other businesses with their marketing strategies and implement control systems for stock and cost centres, pushing far beyond our limits.

Additionally our policy highlights that Vaalnest Boutique Hotel has engaged with the local community to identify the most pressing needs in terms of economic development. The most obvious need identified was that pertaining to job creation. With regards to the Vaalnest Spa we have employed an experienced therapist to run the spa, as a mentor the therapist will guide our chosen candidate under the bases of a formal training course which took place before our facility had been officially opened. Currently Vaalnest has two therapists and is looking to grow this by selecting another candidate. Vaalnest Tours and Bicycle Hire: A local community member has been identified to run the tours. As such training will be provided which is funded by Vaalnest. We will therefore get an experienced tour guide to operate all tours and mentor the chosen candidate in an attempt to build the necessary skills and knowledge to run Tours. Our private tour vehicle is currently on operation and seeks to carry Vaalnest Tours to new heights by allowing guests to explore our location with guided tour. This also includes the hiring of bicycles at a low fee for at least 2hours.

Reducing Environmental Carbon Footprint: Energy Audit: The bases for this energy audit as per Vaalnest Policy was to identify areas to save energy and efficient resource use. These general energy saving means will also result in Vaalnest’s contribution to the overall national energy efficiency target. With regards to Waste Material Management, Vaalnest monitors the amount that it spends with small suppliers and on Fair Trade goods and services. Currently a new waste management facility has been implemented within the town of Vaal Marina, together with the community it is possible to keep track of what needs to be disregarded and what can be valuable to others on a bigger scale. This will results in a more sustainable town and environmentally place for people to coexist. Overall results will see Vaalnest and the whole town of Vaal Marina sort waste accordingly every two weeks.

Environmental Conservation: It’s a fact, the worldwide growing concern to our environment and sustaining it’s longevity for the future is a must. Vaalnest Boutique Hotel took a pledge in reducing its carbon footprint and taking care of the environment within its reach by Planting 400 trees with the help of its guests. Currently we also looking into new and innovative ways to promote the conservation of the environment and also to preserve the culture and environment of Vaal Marina.

Overview

Additional opportunities for local economic development are also being driven by Vaalnest in partnership with the Department of Rural Development, Department of Agriculture and relevant municipal authorities. Ultimately these partnerships with the local community seek to create jobs and skills for people locally, currently Vaalnest has employed 5 interns to work in their respective fields of Public Relations, Sales and Marketing, Events, Reservations as well as Finance. More than 25 interns have started their careers at Vaalnest in the past 3 years. Community Development is a must to build a strong Responsible Tourism operation.

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