This Tourism Week 16 April 2014

profile-photo-MartinHatchuel1-96x96This week

  • Tourism Act signed into law
  • Business tourism is doing well
  • Tourism business? No: social enterprise. And a case study of note

Tourism Act signed into law

Congratulations to the National Department of Tourism on the signing of the Tourism Act No. 3 of 2014 into law.

According to the official media release, the Act “makes provisions for the development and promotion of sustainable tourism for the social, economic and environmental benefit of South African citizens.”

I think it’s really significant that the release cites responsible tourism above the other objectives of the Act, which the release lists as:

  • “The promotion of responsible tourism practices;
  • “Provisions for the effective marketing of South Africa, both domestically and internationally through South African Tourism (SAT);
  • “The promotion of quality tourism products and services;
  • “The promotion of economic growth and development of the sector;
  • “The establishment of concrete intergovernmental relations to develop and manage tourism.”

Is South Africa the first country in the world to legislate for responsible tourism? It would be interesting to know.

I haven’t studied the Act yet, but I will. And I expect you should, too. Download the pdf here.

Business tourism is doing well 

According to the TBCSA, the BCSA FNB Tourism Business Index for the first quarter of 2014, strong overseas leisure demand has lifted the performance of the tourism business index.

Read the full story here.

Tourism business? No: social enterprise

I’ve recently become aware of a relative newcomer that’s making a real difference to the lives of many people in the usually more gung-ho niche of surf tourism (not my favourite niche…).

Mossel Bay-based Unravel Surf Travel (Hermann Vivier and Jenya Zhivaleva) has set itself up as a social enterprise – rather than just another business.

It’s a responsible travel case study of note.

As Herman and Jenya write on their home page: “Our unique Social Enterprise is formed by the combination of a private business partnership and a NON-Profit Social Development Trust.

“By organising Surf Tours, for international and local clients, and intimately combining those Tours with The Surfer Kids NON-Profit, we’re creating a new model for responsible tourism and travel!”

I could go on and on about what they’ve achieved, but it’s probably better to leave it to Hermann to tell you their story in his own words: his blog post about their latest trip.

So – switch off the phone, grab a cuppa and relax. It’s an inspirational ride:

March Surf Yoga Tour

(Republished with permission. For the original post, please click here.)

“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. I believe I have made that effort and that is, therefore, why I will sleep for the eternity.” – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013

Our latest Surf Tour was another incredible experience! We explored Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula, travelled up the Garden Route, surfed awesome waves, did yoga on the beach, went bungee jumping, did zip sliding, encountered majestic wild-life, visited a wine farm, ate fresh wild oysters, and much much more!

Our latest Tour also represented another major step toward realising our ultimate dream: Creating a Social Enterprise.

A Social Enterprise is a new type of organisation that combines business with social responsibility.

Through the combination of a business, in Unravel Surf Travel Surf Tours, with a non-profit organisation, The Surfer Kids NON-Profit, we’ve formed a hybrid enterprise. Our aim is to create Socially Responsible Tourism and encourage Social Development.

It goes way beyond support and funding, into the realm of our shared common humanity.

Our latest Surf Tour is a great example of this.

While children from The Surfer Kids NON-Profit Programme do usually join us on Surf Tour for a day of surfing and travelling fun, this time we hosted The Surfer Kids on Tour in Buffels Bay for two nights!

Five of the most senior kids, all of whom have been with The Surfer Kids’ Program for at least two years, joined us on Tour for two nights under the supervision of their Community Coordinator!

So, why exactly do we do this?

The immediate benefit is that it gives our Surf Tour clients a uniquely South African experience. It enriches their visit to this country beyond measure and, by being a Socially Responsible Tourist, they can rest assured that their money was not only well spent on an awesome holiday for themselves, but that they’ve actually made a genuine lasting impact to the local community here!

From another perspective the experience also has an incredibly positive impact on the children’s development! Some of them are fast becoming strong leaders and positive role models in their community as a result of this positive and culturally enriching experience!

But beyond that, our ultimate goal is long term.

Once these children become young adults and finish school, they will be recruited first as Junior Assistants and later as full time Programme Coordinators for The Surfer Kids NON-Profit.

We expect this to start happening within two to three years from now.

Ultimately we’d like to recruit those young adults, who become successful full-time Programme Coordinators for The Surfer Kids, as Surf Tour Assistants for Unravel Surf Travel.

This is what Social Enterprise is all about and it will bring our operation full circle.

The idea is that the support and success of the non-profit becomes equally crucial for the operation of the business, just as the support and success of the business is crucial for the operation of the non-profit!

Here’s to creating a better world!

Yours in surfing, love and life!


If you’d like to help The Surfer Kids NONProfit (things like transport are always a challenge)’ please contact Unravel Surf Travel.

… And here, just to make your day – turn up the volume and have a look at this.

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
Fax +27(0)86 614 8853
Skype: reefgod
63 Wilson Street, Knysna 6570

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