International professional speaker, sustainability coach, green procurement consultant, climate reality leader and ethical food activist: Lorraine Jenks (pictured) is a leader in motivating green and environmental initiatives in the corporate and private sectors.

Sometimes referred to as the ‘Little Green Queen’, Lorraine has more than 45 years of experience in environmental activism and two decades in hotel procurement, making her personal experience unique. She will be a speaker at The Vision Conference, part of The Hotel Show Africa 2017.

Lorraine said: “I am pleased to be part of The Hotel Show Africa. It’s an international brand and it will be a huge boost to the hospitality sector in Africa.

"This is a very exciting development for everyone in the African hospitality market and supports what we know it needs in terms of international focus and sharing of global expertise. Africa has such significant opportunities and we need to build our inventory and tourism to meet them."

She believes that the growth forecast in the hospitality sector for the continent offers opportunities for it to become a world leader in the market.

She said: “The world is focused on expansion in Africa and the future for the sector is hugely positive. International hotel chains have stepped up expansion on the continent and governments recognise the boost to foreign currency from tourists. And for visitors from around the world Africa offers many truly unique experiences.”

More than that though, Africa has a chance to grow in a sustainable way. At the beginning of November African Ministers of Tourism and heads of delegation along with United Nations World Trade Organisation (UNWTO) officials met in Marrakech.

It adopted the first African Charter on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism and signed the Declaration on ‘Tourism and Climate Issues in Africa’. This paves the way for the implementation of sustainability and responsibility principles in the tourism sector across the continent.

UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, which said: "The African continent has now a common reference framework to promote sustainability and responsibility in the tourism sector. The African Charter on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism aims at becoming an instrumental tool for the continent to engage in sustainable tourism best practices by reconciling social and economic growth, the preservation of the environment and the respect for the cultural diversity of each country."

Lorraine believes that if properly supported by governments that Africa will become a world focus and will balance economic growth with sustainable tourism.

She said: “We have an opportunity to ensure that this new growth is done in the right way though. I see the UNWTO agreement as a positive step towards that.

“Africa’s development needs to done in a sustainable way drawing on experiences from around the world.

“That is across the board: everything from ensuring water use is properly managed to the best possible use of energy and effective waste management; the use of local products and sustainable materials in the construction of new developments; and responsible procurement with green standards for furniture, operating equipment, maintenance, services and sourcing local, sustainable and ethical food.”

“Because there is so much potential growth, we have a real opportunity here to establish the finest facilities in the world.”

She said that operators are fully aware that increasingly guests want to see that the places where they stay and visit are sympathetic to their surroundings and not intrusive.

“Those major investors recognise that they can ensure an attractive and successful future for their facilities if they are sustainable. And that means genuinely sustainable.”

Lorraine explains that she started her journey as an activist against ecocide in California in 1969, working with the Environmental Protection Agency – and has never looked back. With two successful online directories and twelve awards to her name, she is qualified to speak knowledgeably and practically on corporate environmental awareness, going green for all sectors, climate change in Africa and sustainable and ethical food trends.

She has two websites listing product suppliers across all sectors and a second website that focuses on solutions for everything from cleaning products to sustainable furniture.

Find out more about Lorraine Jenks HERE