SATTIC – the South African Tourism and Travel Industries Conference – began at lunch time today at the Protea Hotel OR Tambo. It’s a first for South Africa: a collaboration between the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) and the Association of South African Travel Agents (ASATA), the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (FEDHASA), the National Accommodation Association of South Africa (NAA-SA), the Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) and the Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) – and I must say I think it’s an idea that could have been started twenty years ago.

But – here we are. Well – here a few of us are. I was amazed to hear that the organisers are expecting something like 150 to 200 people to attend.

Is that ALL?

Seems our tourism colleagues- who are very good at asking what its associations and professional bodies can do for them – aren’t particularly interested in hearing the answers.

Or am I wrong?

The proceedings today started with four breakaway sessions: the CATHSETA (Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality, and Sport Sector education and Training Authority) briefing on human resources and training priorities; Legal Development in the Tourism Transport Sector; Red Tape and Green Issues in Hospitality and Transport Sectors; and (my choice): Priorities for Responsible Tourism in Relation to the NTSS (National Tourism Sector Strategy. I HATE Acridnymns).

The moderator of the session on responsible tourism was Jennifer Seif, the Executive Director, Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa, and the speaker panel was impressive: Greg McManus of Event Greening Forum, Brian Statham, Chairman of the South African National Energy Association, Lynn Magott of Green Cabs, Barry Bredenkamp, who runs the Energy Efficiency Programme at South Africa’s National Energy Efficiency Agency, and Prof. Geoffrey Lipman, the president of the International Council of Tourism Partners.

There was much to be learned, but the biggest thing I took away was this: tourism has been a special needs child for some time now, but it is reaching the point where it must become integrated into the mainstream of the economy: so instead of responsible tourism, it becomes about responsible business.

But I really liked Greg’s comment: if you call yourself green because you comply with the law, you aren’t.

Responsibility is a moral obligation, not a legal one.

And that single sentence summed up an excellent session – one which has influenced my thinking about responsible tourism because it gave me ideas which I’ll use to update my presentation on responsible tourism in the near future (the present – um – presentation is here:

I tweeted from this afternoon’s sessions- until my phone’s battery died. But please follow me – @ThisTourismWeek – tomorrow, when I’ll have more to say about what promises to be an exciting conference indeed.

But once again – Why aren’t you here?

Details at

Now go away on holiday. It’s in the economy’s best interest
With best Barefoot Wishes – M

MARTIN HATCHUEL, Barefoot Writer

Specialist writer for the tourism industry
Social media & advertising
Media management
Responsible tourism
Cell +27(0)84 951 0574
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Skype: reefgod
PO Box 2690 Knysna 6570

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