When travelling it’s very easy to get caught up in the moment and not think about where your money goes or what affect your trip is having on the local community. Let’s consider for a moment you land in resort hungry and thirsty, it’s probably not in your mind to look for a local shop, instead convenience is the priority after a long flight and tiresome airport transfer.
However a new campaign has been launched in South Africa encouraging people to buy locally produced products and help local businesses, thereby having a positive effect in growing local employment and assisting the communities which beforehand may have struggled selling their good when faced with competition by larger corporate chains.
The “Proudly South African” campaign is aimed at encouraging natives and visitors alike to make use of local products and services in an attempt to create jobs and stimulate the economy. There is also a belief that the movement will reignite local and national pride and promote social cohesion.
Tourists can easily get involved in the “Buy Local” campaign as the money we spend in resort can be used to support independent businesses instead of lining the pockets of large multi-national corporations.
After all, travellers are used to eco-tourism, offsetting carbon emissions and buying fair-trade produce, which is all aimed at ensuring our travel plans don’t have a negative effect on the places we visit and the locals that reside there.
However buy shunning local products and leaning towards mass market goods the communities that we love to visit can quickly become a sorry sight of boarded up windows and closed down retail outlets, thus reducing towns and villages to a soulless mass of derelict concrete and mega malls.
Another movement allowing tourists to sustain the areas we travel to is the Fair Trade in Tourism Campaign. This movement, started in 2009, allows tourists to extend their ethical purchasing decisions beyond fruit, tea and coffee and expand it to the holidays we book and the travel plans we make.
The campaign has five key aims all with the intention of guaranteeing a better quality of life for South African’s who work within the tourism industry…
- A fair share of the profits from tourism
- Fair wages and working conditions
- Long-term trading security
- Community development opportunities
- Access to new markets
A list of travel providers who support the Fair Trade in Tourism campaign can be found on the FTIT website, with suppliers including excursion providers and hoteliers detailed along with tips for travelling responsibly when visiting the region.
- License: Creative Commons image source
To plan your tailormade holiday to South Africa in 2013 then please contact Wanderforth Travel.