Mossel Bay tourism’s Responsible Travel Week 2013

Published on : Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mossel Bay Tourism will once again support Planeta.com’s international Responsible Travel Week when the annual ‘unconference’ gets under way on Monday.

“An unconference is a meeting driven by the people who take part,” said Planeta.com’s founder and editor, Ron Mader.

“Responsible Travel Week is a friendly confab that takes place online and around the world through a series of local events organised by participants.

“A great plus: admission is free and there’s no jet lag!

“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.”

Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm said that responsible travel follows the principles of the 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, which defined Responsible Tourism as ‘tourism that creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit.’

“In fact we’ve moved on a little from then, and the latest thinking is that the term ‘responsible travel’ is more inclusive than ‘responsible tourism,’ and that the word ‘people’ should be dropped from the definition because the concept needs to include the protection of the entire environment, and not just the people who inhabit it,” she said.

“In Mossel Bay the environment is our biggest tourist attraction so it’s crucial that we endorse all efforts to conserve and improve it.

“The ocean, our beaches, our fynbos, our mountains, and the air space above us all attract visitors for different reasons – and they all contribute in their own ways towards the quality of life of the people who live here.”

Mr. Mader said that the motto of the RT Week 2013 is ‘Redo, Re-Imagine and Remix.’

“Participants are asked to think outside the box when it comes to travel and ethical behavior, to consider ways in which tourism benefits locals and visitors alike, and most importantly in an era of the social web, to build on one another’s efforts, to literally remix media in ways that enlighten and embolden.”

Ms. Holm said that Mossel Bay will rise to this challenge in at least three different ways, and during three different events.

“Actually we celebrated the first of these – the ‘Redo’ part of the theme – when the Round Tables of Mossel Bay and Zeeuwsch Vlaanderen opened a new facility at the Khanyisa Day Care Centre in KwaNonqaba, which they built partly with money raised during the Cape Town Motorcycle Club’s annual Buffalo Rally, which has visited Mossel Bay six times over the last seven years.

“For the re-imagine part, we’ll be holding a Mossel Bay Tourism members meet-and-greet during which we’ll be focusing on how the industry can turn its food waste into valuable organic fertilisers, and so minimise the amount of rubbish that it sends to the landfill sites.

“At that event we’ll also be taking a look at SASSI (the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) and its sister scheme, the Responsible Fisheries Programme, in order to sensitise local chefs to the need for care in the selection of the fish they serve.

“This is vital in the light of the the international Food and Agricultural Organisation’s 2008 report, which showed that 80% of the world’s fish stocks are being fished at or above sustainable levels.”

And last but not least, she said, the Mossel Bay Photographers Group will hold its annual Responsible Travel Photo Safari on Saturday the 16th of February.

“This is where we get to ‘re-imagine’ our town through the eyes of both amateur and professional photographers, and where they get to share Mossel Bay as a destination by publishing and tagging their pictures on the social web.

“And this year, with ‘horticulture’ as the theme of the Safari, we’re expecting an exciting look at the vegetation that has made the Southern Cape so attractive to mankind ever since the dawn of modern human behaviour – which happened here, in Mossel Bay, 164,000 years ago,” said Ms. Holm.

Source:- Visit mossel bay

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