RT WEEK 11-17 FEBRUARY 2013: Planeta Social Media Focused Event (International)

Ron Mader: Planeta.com – Announcement: Responsible Travel Week 11 to 17 February 2013

Fall in love with responsible travel February 11-17 as Planeta.com hosts our fifth annual Responsible Travel Week, a week-long unconference that kicks off 2013 in fine style. A great plus: admission is free and there’s no jetlag!

The friendly confab takes place online and around the world through a series of local events organized by participants.

2013 is the fifth year for Responsible Travel Week and Planeta.com’s 13th year of innovative conferencing. We expect our global conversation to take a great leap forward thanks to inspired participation. There are plenty of ways to get involved.

Responsible Travel Week amplifies down-to-earth applications of noble concepts including responsible travel, conscious travel, the local travel movement and ecotourism with the inexpensive social web. The event is free to attend. Introduce yourself through the Facebook event page, Google+ and via Twitter (hashtag: #rtweek2013). We welcome financial sponsors, including individuals and institutions willing to invest in a more formal approach, including awards and workshops focused on digital literacy training.

Details on the Planeta Wiki

Cape Town and RT Week focus

The City of Cape Town from the main themes of tourism’s connections to accessibility, biodiversity conservation, parks, protected areas, indigenous peoples, food and volunteering for RT Week – is focusing on the following.
[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

  • Accessibility with a focus on public and non-motorised transport
  • Food with a focus on drinking water
  • Biodiversity conservation including parks and protected areas


RT Week is focussed on the social media in tourism and un-conference tourism reporting on visits to nature reserves, the using of public transport, walking and special tours, markets, performances, RT initiatives and practices, and so on.

Responsible Tourism Background

Responsible Tourism is a tourism that creates better places for people to live in and better places to visit and is aimed at sustainable development with a triple bottom line focus of environmental integrity, social justice and economic growth. With Responsible Tourism individuals, organisations and businesses are expected to take responsibility for actions and related impacts.

Responsible tourism in principle strives towards:
[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

  • Making positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity
  • Minimizing negative economic, environmental and social impacts
  • Providing more enjoyable experiences for tourists for more meaningful connections with local people and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
  • Is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts and builds local pride and confidence
  • Generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities
  • Providing accurate information about accessibility of facilities and infrastructure for people with disabilities (visual, communication and mobility) to customers
  • Improving working conditions and access to the industry
  • Involving local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances
  • Being culturally sensitive, encouraging respect between tourist and hosts, and building local pride and confidence

The City of Cape Town has adopted a Responsible Tourism Policy and Action Plan (2009). An RT Charter has been further signed with the City and key Tourism Associations (FEDHASA, SATSA, SAACI and CT Tourism) committing the city as a whole and the industry to responsible tourism practice and principles in the applicable business operations.

The Responsible Tourism Policy sets out 7 Priority and Indicator Areas (with indicators) across the pillars of social economic and environment for the application and monitoring of responsible tourism practices: These are: Conservation of Water Resources, Energy Efficiency, Integrated Waste Management, Preferential Procurement, Enterprise Development, Skills Development and Social Development.

The Responsible Tourism Policy sets out 7 Levers of Change for the City of Cape Town as the city authority and a major role player in delivering on RT. These are:
[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

  • Planning Processes: Integration of RT into the land use/spatial planning development and management functions
  • Application in Regulations: Commitment to the principles of RT in regulatory processes and decision-making (by-laws, rezonings, licenses, and so on)
  • Use of City’s Immovable Property: Use and rental of buildings and sites by tourism organisation/operators to adhere to RT policy and principles
  • Provision and Management of Amenities and Infrastructure: Availability and development of well-maintained amenities and services at key tourism areas
  • Financial Contributions by the City: Commitment to RT Policy by Organisations funded by the City – yearly/one off
  • Supply Chain Management: Suppliers of goods and services, and the City as procurer to comply with RT, and BEE targets and other relevant policies

Although the Responsible Tourism Policy and Action Plan emanates from Tourism and the CoCT, Responsible Tourism is a collaborative strategy (all of government approach) interlinked with the planning, initiatives and actions of other functions and departments within and outside the CoCT.

As part of the roll out of the RT Action Plan, the following two major areas of work are completed/being undertaken:

An RT Communications project including a range of actions and products including a draft Communications Strategy, RT Website, RT Booklet, Image library, DvD, CT RT logo, ’How To’ Guidelines (electronic), RT in Cities ‘e’Conference, 2X RT September month events, Pecha Kucha Event, awareness sessions and media coverage.

A two year RT Pilot Project (2011-2013) is being undertaken with 21 tourism businesses in Cape Town to commence monitoring towards a destination barometer as well as to produce guidelines to support the application of RT practices and the development of an RT management system for roll across the destination.

The RT Pilot Team consists of a cross section of tourism enterprises (including hospitality, accommodation, tourism services, conferencing and events, and tourism attractions)

The RT Pilot Team includes: Vineyard Hotel and Spa, Winchester mansions, Peninsula All suite Hotel, Greenways Hotel, ocean View House, Scalabrini Guest House, Boulders Beach Lodge and Restaurant, backpack, iKapa Tours, The Green Cab, Table Mountain Aerial Cable Car, Two Oceans Aquarium, Andilela Experience, AWOL Tours, Coffeebeans Routes, Abang Africa & Travel, Bikes and Wine, Vamos Tour Operator &Cycle Tours, Southern Sun, TCD Trust and Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The RT Pilot Team process includes the quarterly submission of RT Improvement Plans. The RTIP includes the 7 Priority Areas with corresponding indicators across the triple bottom line. Included is base line data, target and quarterly and yearly totals. The team are also expected to submit profile and RT policy statements for their businesses. Individual RT Charter for Business have been allocated to the participants as submission of the required documents have been received.

Although slow, the results have been continuous and are showing progress. In cases where accurate measurements were taken results showed an average saving or reduction of:

For the first 2X Quarters of 2012
[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

  • 9.1% water used (kilolitre) per bed-night
  • 17.5% electricity consumed (Kilowatt-hr) per bed-night
  • – 27.5% in kg generated per bed-night

For the 3 X Quarters of 2012
[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

  • 29.3% water used (kilolitre) per bed-night
  • 35.88% electricity consumed (kilowatt – hr) per bed-night
  • 44.36% in Kg waste generated per bed-night
  • – 31.89 % proportion increase of waste recycled

Events/Actions Planned for RT Week

The following events and actions are planned for RT Week from 11-17 February with a focus on communications through the social and electronic media:
[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

  • 13 February 2013: The Green Cab is a participant in the RT Pilot Project with the CoCT. The launch event of the Green Cab of the Green Pass and stay over project, including a daily shuttle service from Cape Town centre to Cape Point takes place on 13 February with a Green Drive to Slangkop Tented camp in Kommetjie. Project implementation partners include the SAYouth Travel Confederation, CT Tourism, Greenpop Trees for Travel, SANParks and the Provincial 110% Green Campaign of which the Green Cab is a flagship project. The Green Bus goes the extra mile to radically reduce its carbon footprint through deploying emission reduction technologies and offsets the rest with Greenpop Trees for Travel. The launch coincides with RT week and the themes of travel and nature reserves and parks.
  • 14 February 2013: The City of Cape Town in partnership with Cape Town Tourism will be hosting with tourism businesses a workshop focused on ‘Responsible Tourism makes Business Sense’. The objective in this tourism week is to create more awareness and educate the industry about RT and well as provide practical examples of implementation and how RT makes business sense. The workshop will be held at the Southern Sun, Lower Buitengracht, Cape Town. Approximately 70 people to attend.
  • 15 February 2013: 60-80 members of the Blaauwberg community to be transported on two My Citi buses to visit the Table Bay Nature Reserve for a guided hike and bird watching and lunch, and then to the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve and Blaauwberg Hill for scenic views of Table Mountain and Robben Island. The Blaauwberg tour supports through My Citi accessibility with a focus on public and non-motorised transport and links with biodiversity conservation including parks and protected areas (sustainability) with a social focus which forms part of the RT triple bottom line.
  • 15 February 2013: 100 learners from a Khayelitsha school to travel from Khayelitsha to the Cape Town city centre by train (Metrorail) and to go on a tour of attractions including Cape Town Station, the Fan Walk and the Prestwich Memorial and Visitor Centre. Learners to be informed about Cape Town’s past and untold stories of District One, by visiting the Prestwich Memorial and Visitor Centre dedicated to the memory of Cape Town’s slaves and marginalised people. Those 18th& 19th century inhabitants who helped to build this city, and whose remains are interred on this site. The stories of District One reflect a glimpse into our slave history and trace your footsteps into the early history of Cape Town. This tour supports through rail transport the theme of accessibility with a focus on public and non-motorised transport and links with accessing tourism attractions and the CT city centre and a social focus which is intrinsically part of the RT triple bottom line.
  • 16 February 2013: The Coffee mob initiative was started by Midnight Mass (Adrian Bester) in conjunction with Metrorail who provide the rail coaches and transport for the venture. Participants are informed on mass by Twitter feed of the event. The combined rail and bicycle tour for RT Week on 16 February 2013 will include community members (20) traveling from Mitchell’s Plain to Cape Town and joining the Coffee Mob cyclists (+ 80) in Cape Town city centre and then traveling by train to Khayelitsha where coffee can be had at the Department of Coffee. Cycle tour to be from the Station to Lookout Hill where lunch will be provided and cyclists and non-cyclists can take a walk to the top of Lookout Hill and browse around the arts and crafts. Affordable taxi transport to and from the station. Twitter feed expected to reach 1000’s of people and also create broader awareness of this RT Week initiative through Planeta.com and #rtweek2013 and the other social media sites, and twitter/hashtag accounts (via #coffeemob, #loveCapeTown and @respCPT ). Accessibility with a focus on public transport and non-motorised transport is a theme for this year’s RT week for Cape Town. This is particularly relevant to RT and access to tourism attractions and tourism products that incorporate access by public transport.

RT Week Social Media and Communications
[unordered_list style=”green-dot”]

  • The preparation and placing of three features (3 cluster themes) for printed media (Daily and local newspapers in Cape Town within the RT Week (11-17 February). The placing of press invites and the preparation of press releases to the media for certain of the actions/events – Blaauwberg nature reserves visit and My Citi, the Coffee Mob and Metrorail and Khayelitsha, and the learners visit to the Station, Fan Walk and Prestwich Memorial and Information Centre). Including political invites/coordination of the applicable Mayoral Committee Councillors and Portfolios.
  • The informing of the tourism associations/partners and the RT Pilot Project group of the RT Week details, themes and sites for submission of stories, products and material.
  • The posting and tweeting of stories, lessons learnt, products, events, visual material and comments concerning the themes relating to responsible tourism in the Cape Town context by the various CoCT Departments and other authorities, the tourism sector and businesses, the tourism associations, visitors and tourists, residents and communities, to the RT ‘e’ accounts (wikispace, slideshare, storify, facebook, and google – see above) and Twitter – #rtweek2013.
  • The posting of Cape Town RT stories on the Cape Town RT website www.responsiblecapetown.co.za and comments to the Cape Town twitter account @respCPT in RT Week. Articles and photos to be posted on the RT website to be sent to Sharon.Pheiffer@capetown.gov.za.
  • Comments and info to be sent to the #loveCapeTown hashtag of Cape Town Tourism and to skye@capetown.travel who is assisting in the social media coordination for RT Week. Comments and blogs can also be sent to Bronwynne.Jooste@capetown.gov.za who is the person responsible for coordinating the electronic communications, to and from, the CoCT social media sites for RT Week.
  • In the notification email on RT Week from Ron Mader of Planeta.com the various RT Week email sites are attached and the international Twitter hashtag is – #rtweek2013.