UNWTO Secretary-General, Dr Taleb Rifai, and President and CEO of WTTC, David Scowsill, visited South Africa to deliberate with the government and public sector stakeholders around the topics of responsible and sustainable tourism growth.
“Fortunately, it is possible to build a tourism economy that is both responsible and inclusive,” said Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom. “Working with institutions like the UNWTO, the UN specialised agency for tourism, and the WTTC, the global industry association for travel and tourism, we must ensure that tourism growth is compatible and supportive of the global Sustainable Development Goals that we hope to adopt in September, and the global post-2020 climate change pact that we hope will be agreed to in December this year.”
In lieu of this comment the delegation from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) did a site inspection at the acclaimed Hotel Verde in Cape Town’s airport precinct.
Hotel Verde is South Africa’s greenest hotel and it is the first hotel in Africa to offer carbon-neutral accommodation and conferencing. Hotel Verde is also the first hotel in Africa to achieve the Platinum LEED certification level, as assigned by the United States Green Building Council.
Dr Rifai commented, “I am very impressed by Hotel Verde and even though their environmental impact may be considered very small on a global scale, the fact that they are able to inspire their staff’s behaviours and spirit, in terms of being a leader in Responsible Tourism, make them stand out above the rest. Coupled this with the fact that they have proven on the triple bottom line that going green can be economically, viable, profitable and sustainable; makes Hotel Verde an inspiration for the tourism sector and the Africa continent.”