THE JOURNEY BEGINS

Cape Town played host to the 1st International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, a parallel event of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, in 2002. To this day, the resulting Cape Town Declaration is a key reference for destination sustainability.

Cape Town’s journey continued in 2004 when responsible tourism was included as a founding principle of Cape Town’s Tourism Development Framework.

2004
 

A PARTNERSHIP IS FORGED

In 2008, the City of Cape Town and the major tourism trade associations, namely FEDHASA, SATSA, SAACI, and Cape Town Tourism, gathered around the table to deliberate a more durable tourism future for Cape Town. They chose water and energy efficiency, waste management, skills development, preferential procurement, social development and enterprise development as crucial for destination sustainability.

2008
 

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM CHARTER

Together, the partners created the Responsible Tourism Policy and Action Plan, adopted by the City Council in 2009. Also in 2009, on World Responsible Tourism Day, the five collaborators signed the Cape Town Responsible Tourism Charter, sealing a destination partnership and commitment to the seven destination priorities.

International recognition as a frontrunner in responsible tourism followed in late 2009, when Cape Town was recognised as “Best Destination” in the 2009 World Responsible Tourism Awards

2009
 

CAPE TOWN’S GREEN GOAL PROGRAMME

Information about responsible tourism for citizens, tourism businesses and visitors was central to Cape Town’s Green Goal programme during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Industry workshops, a dedicated website, hands-on ‘how to guide’, video and tips for travellers, helped to spread the word.

2010
 

BUILDING AWARENESS

Implementation workshops for tourism businesses, a conference and Responsible Tourism in Cities pavilion at Indaba 2011, launch of the annual Responsible Tourism Week, and information sessions for association members, were some of the actions taken in 2011.

2011
 

A LEARNING NETWORK

In a bid to raise awareness through action and understand how we will know we are on the road to being responsible, a pilot project involving a range of tourism businesses with responsible practices was launched late in 2011. All participating members signed the RT charter, pledging as individual businesses to embed RT in their operations The pilot project helped to better understand the barriers to the uptake of responsible tourism, and businesses to share experiences and information in a supportive learning network.

2011
 

COMMEMORATING THE CAPE TOWN DECLARATION

During 2012, the City hosted the annual Responsible Tourism Week and FEDHASA included sustainability in its strategic plan. Cape Town also joined in the 10 year commemoration of the Cape Town Declaration, sharing the learnings from a road less travelled with those gathered at South Africa House in London.

2012
 

FOCUS ON ENERGY AND SOLUTIONS

In May, delegates and speakers from different corners of the world discussed “Sustainable Energy and Tourism” at Responsible Tourism in Cities at Indaba seminar. To mark World Responsible Tourism Day, Cape Town’s Big Six attractions – Robben Island, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Kirstenbosch, V&A Waterfront, Groot Constantia and Cape Point, signed the Cape Town Responsible Tourism Charter. Stakeholders from Cape Town and elsewhere took stock of what has been achieved, what challenges remain, and what should be done to mainstream responsible tourism at the Responsible Tourism in Cities Dialogue.

2013
 

WORLD DESIGN CAPITAL 2014

As World Design Capital, Cape Town hosts over 460 transformative design projects under the central theme “Live Design. Transform Life”. WDC2014 is part of a broader vision to transform Cape Town, through design, into a sustainable, productive African city, bridging historic divides and building social and economic inclusion. Responsible tourism is tourism DESIGNED to create better places to live in, and better places to visit.

2014

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