Tourism demand in Africa significantly influences water usage in Africa. For example, the European Economic Agency reported that “a tourist staying in a hotel uses on average one third more water per day than a local inhabitant” (Kotios, Plageras, Galanos, Koutoulakis & Saratsis, 2009). This study validates the problem of poor water distribution in Africa. Another problem with tourism in Africa is that “many tourist areas hotels and other facilities have no own treatment plans and are not connected to any sewage system” (Kotios, Plageras, Galanos, Koutoulakis & Saratsis, 2009). This results in the pollution of surface and groundwater and negatively impacts the quality of freshwater as well as sea water. Overall, in order for water to be accessible to all African individuals containment of tourism pollution and water usage will be a crucial element.
BaoBAB - Alternative Roots To Travel
BAOBAB Travel is a UK-based tour operation focused on showing tourists a personalized representation of various destinations around Africa.
BAOBAB Travel provides flexible travel service by tailor-making itineraries in order to suit every tourist's specific needs. In other words, BAOBAB packages are designed to show tourists the real places, nature, and cultures of Africa. Therefore, BAOBAB strives to avoid resorts that have been `manufactured' for tourists. In specific, BAOBAB introduces tourists to local communities and combine places that are 'off the beaten track' in addition to more popular 'must-see' destinations. The result of BAOBAB Travel is an experience that is unique, varied, exhilarating, relaxing and fulfilling and which leaves every tourist with a completely clear conscience of the unique regions of Africa.
For more information about BAOBAB Travel visit their website at: http://www.baobabtravel.com/
BAOBAB - Responsible Travel
BAOBAB Travel promotes responsible tourism and provides alternative forms of travel in Africa as a means to economically benefiting local communities, ensuring a sensitivity to local cultures and maintaining amble efforts to preserving the natural environments of Africa.
Baobab Travel has four Fair Trade Tourism certified South Africa travel packages. As part of this process, as a company, they have been fully audited to prove their commitment to Fair Trade not only through trading & labor standards, but also through their Procurement and Economic, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Environmental Policies. Hence, this certification gives BAOBAB Travel establish forms of travel that are economically, ecologically, and socially sustainable.
In the end, one can argue that BAOBAB Travel is a superb example of an organization which emulates many of the cornerstones for fair trade and responsible travel.
FAIR WORKING CONDITIONS & FAIR PRICES - BAOBAB participants and employees are entitled to a fair share of income directly proportioned to their contribution to a specific tourism activity. In addition, employees are entitled to participate in decisions that concern them.
INTEGRATION INTO THE LOCAL ECONOMY & REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT - BAOBAB respects human rights, culture and environment, by ensuring safe working conditions, gender equality, reduced consumption and protection of natural resources.
FAIR TRADE PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN ALL ACTORS IN TOURISM - BAOBAB requires ownership of businesses to have clearly defined outlines in which sharing of profits, benefits and losses are transparent. Similarly, service deliveries should be reliable and consistent and should provide basic safety and security for both the host and visitor.
SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE USE AND ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE - BAOBAB increases knowledge through capacity building, sharing resources through partnerships, encouraging the responsible use of resources and reducing leakage through local purchasing and employment.
For more information about BAOBAB's efforts for Fair Trade and Responsible Travel visit their webpage at: http://www.baobabtravel.com/responsible_travel/fair_trade_tourism/
Fair Trade Tourism South Africa
BAOBAB Travel is proud to be the first tour operator in the UK to provide a portfolio of trips that have been given the stamp of approval by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa (FTTSA).
Launched in 2002, the FTTSA certification program accredits tourism products, accommodations, and activities of businesses as they illustrate fair trade policies. The vision of FTTSA is to encourage a fair, participatory and sustainable tourism industry in South Africa. The certification program endorses establishments that meet stringent criteria and acknowledge the FTTSA principles to ensure fair and responsible business practices.
Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa is about ensuring that the people whose land, natural resources, labor, knowledge and culture are used for tourism activities, actually benefit in some way from tourism.
For more information about Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa please visit their website at: http://www.fairtourismsa.org.za/index.html
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. " - Marcus Garvey
Tourism is a powerful influence on the development of most countries. Not only does tourism create jobs but it also provides new business opportunities and helps to strengthen local economies. One sector of the tourism industry is heritage tourism. In short, heritage tourism can be defined as travel directed towards travelers' experiencing the heritage or culture of a city, region, state or country.
When cultural heritage tourism is done right, it can help to protect a nation's natural and cultural treasures as well as improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. However, heritage tourism is an incremental process; one which requires both investments of financial means and a commitment of human resources including strong leadership.
With this being said, organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization or UNESCO, are actively working to protect these heritage and cultural areas all over the world. For more information about the UNESCO's efforts and how you can also make a stand towards protecting these heritage sites, check out their webpage at http://whc.unesco.org/en/danger/.
Mount NImba StricT Nature Reserve - An Oasis in Jeopardy
Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve is a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in both the Eastern African countries of Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. According to the UNESCO website,"the park includes significant portions of Mount Nimba, a geographically unique area with more than 200 endemic species including more than 2,000 species of vascular plants." Although containing a rich diversity of life and resources, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve has been susceptible of failing to collaborate with agencies and similarly demonstrating an inability to find a balance between the demands of both local communities and desires of tourists.
First, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve has struggled to obtain permanent funding and support from local agencies. In fact, the Ivorian Office of Parks and Reserves (OIPR) and the Foundation for Parks and Reserves (FPRCI) have been seeking to establish a decree with the reserve for several years but the administration of the Reserve have yet to establish a formidable plan to implementing sustainable practices and procedures. Due to its lack of collaboration, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve has been threatened and now is a world heritage site in danger.
Secondly, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve has been unable to balance the pressures from local economies and the ever increasing demands of tourism. As case in point the reserve is being threatened by increased pressure adjacent to the boundaries of the site. Such pressure stems from the neighboring populations because the need of land for agriculture and cattle breeding has strengthened the practice of clearing by fire. Moreover, these fires occur regularly, even in protected areas, thus constituting an important administrative challenge.
To make matters worse, tourism has not been a great source of assistance to the reserve. For instance, although the natural forests that cover the slopes of Nimba have not suffered much damage, the fauna has been the subject of very intense degradation due to the exploitation of tourism. Furthermore, the traffic of human interaction in the natural habitats of Mount Nimba have significantly influenced various ecosystems, so much that several species are either threatened or in danger of extinction. While the local economies of the reserve thrive on tourism, administration of the Mount Nimba Reserve has faced harsh criticism for too often succumbing to the temptations of tourism rather than actively working to preserve the natural habitats of this beloved oasis.
Sacred Binder Mountain: Protected, Fortified, & Sustainable
Located in Mongolia, Sacred Binder Mountain and its associated cultural heritage sites, are inseparable part of the Khentii mountain range. Unlike Mount Nimba, this mountain range which truly embodies all the correct principles of a well protected and sustainable world heritage site. A list of each of five sustainable principles and corresponding descriptions relative to Binder Mountain are indicated below:
Collaboration: Sacred Binder Mountain and its association with several international organizations demonstrate an outstanding example of an evolving sacred cultural landscape which, through sustainable land-use practices has helped this site evolved from prehistoric origins in harmony with its current natural landscapes.
Balance between the community and tourism: Today, many Mongolian herders live around the area of sacred Binder Mountain are still experiencing the culture, way of life, custom and traditional craftsmanship technique, traditional performing arts and festive events left by their ancestors. This lifestyle has influenced an influx of tourism. Although the local economies welcome an array tourists each year, many of the local tribes have implemented procedures as to limiting tourists from having full access to its sacred boundaries and practices. Such actions help the communities maintain the flow of tourism as well as preserving its ancestry.
Bringing the site and programs to life: The worshiping tradition and practices of sacred Binder Mountain and its surrounding sacred sites and associated monuments and cultural places represent a unique fusion between the religions of Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism. With these religions, Binder Mountain comes to life as people come from all over the world to interchange with its abundant spiritual freedom and expression.
Focusing on authenticity and quality: Comparing sacred Binder Mountain with other sacred or worshiped mountains, there are several similar characteristics and cases. All of them reflect persistent and unique traditions of worship over the past several hundred years. Furthermore, all these sacred mountains represent a symbol of national identity and the spiritual homeland of those nations and countries and civilizations within which these sacred mountains are located. This is very true to Sacred Binder Mountain as well as it has a deep association with the nomadic people and their shamanistic beliefs which later became Mongolian Buddhism.
Efforts are taken to preserve and protect resources: Sacred Binder Mountain stay in its original form.
As a travel enthusiast and ambassador I have always had a passion for equality and helping others.