Tourists visiting South Africa are becoming more aware of sustainability issues across the board and the industry needs to understand this, an audience at The Hotel Show Africa 2017 heard.

“Responsible Tourisms offers Africa the chance to set the standard worldwide” was the title of the discussion.

Green is not only about recycling, the panel agreed. Members said it is everything from the front-of-house to the back operations when it comes to the hotel industry and tourists are increasingly asking how visitor-orientated operations affect local communities.

But in order for standards to set and adhered to greater clarity is needed over the issue, the group agreed.

James Peech, of Peech Boutique Hotel, was speaking on the third day of the Vision Conference, which attracted more than 80 speakers and panellists from around the world over the three-day event.

He said: “The phrase ‘responsible’ like ‘organic’ in the food industry is trendy at the moment and is easy to throw around.

“But to have any substance it needs a common standard to be set.”

The panel agreed the Government needs to get involved and said that such things as carbon emission taxes, more transparency on energy use and details of where water is obtained from are going some way towards addressing this.

Miles Oates of alternative energy provider Solarus said: “People are moving away from focussing on the cost (of eco-friendly initiatives) to how much the customer will take note.

“Not seeing to be green means losing business to competitors.”

Industry news for the hospitality industry Africa - The Hotel Show Africa