Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) has recently contracted the Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) to provide business development support services to facilitate certification of South African tourism enterprises. A series of Learning Networks will be conducted throughout the country in early 2015 at which FTT and TEP will jointly present on the benefits and process of certification. This exciting new partnership will enable the FTT programme to achieve scale and for South Africa to rightfully assume its place on the global stage as a responsible tourism destination.
FTT is a non-profit company with a ten year track record in promoting responsible tourism. They do this by growing awareness about responsible tourism to travellers; assisting tourism businesses to operate more sustainably and by facilitating a Fair Trade Tourism certification programme across southern Africa.
Tourism businesses that adhere to the FTT standard use the FTT label as a way of signifying their commitment to fair and responsible tourism. This includes fair wages and working conditions, fair purchasing and operations, equitable distribution of benefits and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. FTT certification remains a voluntary process, but is a “must have” for businesses looking to promote themselves in the responsible tourism market.
The Tourism Enterprise Partnership (TEP) is a non-profit company and the flagship public private partnership in the tourism industry. It is the longest standing and most successful enterprise development partner for small tourism enterprises in South Africa. For over a decade, TEP has been successfully developing sustainable SMMEs, thus supporting job creation and GDP growth. This focus has ensured that TEP remains relevant to both funders and entrepreneurs whilst assisting in the transformation of the South African economy.
TEP facilitates the growth, development and sustainability of SMMEs, with a particular focus on those that are owned and managed by previously disadvantaged individuals or groups. This is achieved through a number of services that provide hands-on, step-by-step support and guidance which ultimately improves the SMMEs product quality, operational efficiency and market reach. TEP currently supports more than 3 000 tourism SMMEs throughout South Africa.
According to TEP’s Chief Executive, Dr. Salifou Siddo, this new partnership falls squarely within TEP’s new strategy of leveraging its substantial database of tourism SMMEs to add value and support the work of organisations that are involved in tourism development. “FTT is the uncontested champion when it comes to Responsible Tourism and it is only natural that we should serve as a communication conduit as well as an implementation partner for this organisation to reach out and recruit more tourism SMMEs into its certification programme. Our SMMEs will benefit tremendously from the partnership as Responsible Tourism is gaining momentum worldwide,” Siddo added.
FTT’s General Manager, Kathy Bergs, adds that “The FTT-TEP partnership is a logical and valuable coming together of a world class standard and a proven formula for enterprise development which will lift sustainable tourism onto a whole new level and provide a model for other countries to emulate”.
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