Turning Point Guest House is owner-managed by husband and wife team, Doris and Isaac Manini. Doris is a former fashion designer and has an eye for detail and an exuberant personality. She takes the lead when it comes to making the inside of the lodge attractive and welcoming, and to seeing to guests’ needs.
Scoring responsible tourism point by growing your own food
Isaac is no less friendly but he’s an outdoors person and the garden is his domain. It’s his loving work that produces the herbs that flavour the meals Doris prepares for guests. This scores a few points on the responsible tourism checklist – they have zero food miles (the transport involved in getting produce from the producer to the table) so a very low carbon footprint, they are fresh so need no long-term cold storage that uses energy, and they haven’t been sprayed with any polluting pesticides. On top of that, this completely natural flavouring (with no additives and preservatives) is better for health! And, of course, there is the added benefit of saving money when you compare home-grown to the price of fresh herbs in the shops.
Clever ways of saving water
Currently, Isaac waters his herb garden with water from the municipality. He also uses municipal water for the other plants, but they’re mostly succulents so don’t require very much water anyway. The business has purchased a rainwater tank and is currently deciding on the best position for installation in order to collect the maximum volume of water. In future, water for the garden will come from the sky – for free! They’ll also be able to use it for other water needs such as washing cars or the outdoor picnic tables. Doris has even done a trial run with her laundry machines. They’ll be doing as much as they can to conserve precious water resources (and cut down on their water bill at the same time)!
Ensuring safety for both guests and residents
Responsible tourism means that a destination is a better place to visit and a better place to live. Marinda Park, the suburb in which Turning Point is situated, is a good example of how improving residents’ living situation will improve tourists’ experience. The Maninis area active participants in their local neighbourhood watch, which not only work towards making Marinda Park safe for everyone but also creates a sense of community. Doris and Isaac are in the neighbourhood watch WhatsApp group, have attended awareness raising sessions, and report suspicious activity and updates to their community.
Where to from here?
We recorded existing responsible practices at Turning Point Guest House during the first site visit. This helped us establish a baseline which we then used to draft a responsible tourism action plan for the business, basically ideas of what more the business can do to operate responsibly. We will also use the baseline to compare the success of the action plan.
You can read the full results of the initial sustainability evaluation here. However, here are other pictures of the good work Turning Point Guest House is doing.