Across the globe, a dramatic shift has occurred in the way people look at the world. People are more aware of the effect they are having on the environment and it is becoming progressively more difficult for travellers to leave only footprints.
As a result, the very success of tourism can undermine its long-term viability. The very development created to support the success of hospitality businesses across the globe, can in fact put the future of the business, and its environment, at risk. The hospitality industry has a responsibility towards the magnificent places in which it operates, embracing the idea that travellers exploring the world in search of personal experiences, can work towards creating a reality where the environment is in perfect harmony with travel dreams and appreciating that what is good for the environment.
LEADING THE INDUSTRY BY EXAMPLE
The globally recognized Red Carnation Hotel Collection believes that environmental stewardship can be good for the planet and …good for business. The Oyster Box, near Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, The Twelve Apostles and Spa in Cape Town and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat in the Cederberg, all members of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection in South Africa, ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to treading lightly on the earth and recognising their responsibility to incorprate leading practices in eco-tourism, in order to create truly environmentally-respectful hotels.
All the properties within the award-winning Collection, have ‘conservation’ at their core and are committed to the protection, preservation and promotion of the places in which they operate, including natural, cultural and community environments and equal priority is put on ensuring that operations of Red Carnation’s properties across the globe are executed with the highest levels of conscience and consideration for their locations.
A number of projects have been taken on to further address conservation needs in the environments in which the various hotels operate including nature, wildlife, culture and heritage.
- The Oyster Box’s Rhino Initiative - KwaZulu-Natal is at the heart of some of the oldest protected areas in the world. It is also where the bulk of rhino poaching, now at an all-time high, is taking place. The Oyster Box is committed to the protection of these ancient creatures and through its own Rhino Initiative, is playing its part in their preservation. Funding generated through donations by Oyster Box guests, who return their key-cards on checkout (R5 per card), goes towards the Rhinos Without Borders project, which is involved in the conservation and protection of rhino. Out of the total collected by Rhinos Without Borders, 40% will pay for the capture, transport, quarantine and release of the animals and 60% will be dedicated to the continued conservation, protection and monitoring of the species, spread evenly between the rhino populations at source and destination.
- The Amy Biehl Foundation - a non-profit organisation based in Cape Town, whose mission is to prevent youth violence through a holistic approach to youth and community development in socio-economically disadvantaged communities in and around the city. The Foundation works to develop and empower underprivileged youths aged 6-18 in the townships to contribute to their communities. The hotel supports the Foundation in the following ways. Guests are encouraged to donate to the fund by adding a nominal fee of R10.00 to their hotel bill on departure. All proceeds from the sale of ‘A Life in Food’, a cookbook by Red Carnation Hotel Collection President and Founder Mrs Bea Tollman, are donated to the Foundation.
- Pack for a Purpose – this initiative allows travellers to make a lasting impact within the community at their travel destination. Guests are encouraged to save a few kilograms of space in their suitcase and bring supplies for less fortunate communities, schools or medical clinics in need. The “Gifts” are donated to Pack For A Purpose.