http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/govt-and-private-sector-should-join-hands-on-responsible-tourism-minister-2012-07-24

Govt and private sector should join hands on responsible tourism – Minister

Published 24 Jul 12       By: Megan Wait
Government and the private sector should work together on a framework to promote responsible tourism in South Africa, Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a Tsogo Sun media briefing in Johannesburg, the Tourism Minister highlighted that business could no longer only focus on profits, the number of employees or the taxes it paid towards government, but also needed to focus on practical social responsibility.

“Shareholders will invest in companies with a good social responsibility record, which also takes the future into consideration and looks at their carbon and water footprint,” he noted.

He said that partnerships between government and the private sector were vital if the industry was to be successful. “In the tourism industry, I believe, we are close to understanding and operating to what the ideal should be.

“Short-term fixes are not the way to grow social responsibility initiatives. If a company wants to be really successful, there must be a long-term goal that guides the intervention,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tsogo Sun has, as part of its commitment to sustainability in tourism, launched a new initiative called SunCares, which united all its initiatives under one umbrella brand and positioned the group as a catalyst for change.

Chief marketing officer Rob Collins said that there was a need to bring all the programmes together so that initiatives could be measured and developed against the group strategy.

“SunCares allows for the implementation of life-changing initiatives for many people in South Africa through carefully designed and managed programmes. This includes a full-year programme, which will teach children in our communities training programmes, health and life skills,” he said.

SunCares would incorporate corporate social investment, entrepreneurial development and environmental management.