4TH GREEN TOURISM SUMMIT AFRICA DECLARATION ON MODELLING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR TOURISM IN AFRICA
(Posted 28th of June 2018)
Acknowledging the need for transformation to new leadership, i.e. change in mindsets in positioning Africa’s tourism within the global sustainability revolution.
Taking note that transformation to new leadership will guide transformations in policy, communities, consumption patterns and business approaches, for transformational impact on sustainability.
Emphasizing that tourism policy and planning in the continent must be anchored on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Inviting industry stakeholders to commit to building/strengthening sustainability focused identities across their networks.
Asking delegates to uphold their commitment to the summit declaration.
Positioning Africa’s tourism in the sustainability revolution space is only possible with changed mindsets focused on progressive transformations in policy, community-tourism-conservation interactions, consumption patterns and business approaches.
New leadership, driven by change in mindset, is required at all levels of tourism and conservation development; and stakeholders should commit to build and/or strengthen sustainability focused identities for Africa’s tourism where creation of travel experiences is informed by values and acknowledgement of risks and challenges of destinations; guided by technology, data, progressive measurement of impact and regionally accepted sustainability criteria.
SPEAKERS AND DELEGATES APPEAL
The speakers, through presentations, and panel discussions with delegates made an appeal for stakeholders to create an identity of a truly sustainable sector in the continent. To ensure this, Africa must have the capacity to keep alive a narrative that foregrounds tourism’s transformational impact on SDG concerns, through;
1) Transforming Policies
Africa’s tourism growth must be framed on progressive policies anchored on sustainable development principles, to reduce risks of over-tourism currently being experienced by developed destinations
Africa needs to develop and implement tools to monitor net impact of tourism and ensure that growth in numbers delivers equal or higher positive economic, social and environmental impacts from tourism.
Africa needs to review its tourism policies to introduce binding regulations for the sector on sustainability & corporate responsibility reporting.
2) Transforming Tourism Consumption Patterns
Africa must invest in conceptualizing, planning and implementing identities for sustainable practice in their sourcing and sales encounters.
Africa’s tourism should encourage tourists to decide responsibly by turning sustainability best practices into guest experiences.
Africa’s industry should redesign luxury to sustainable barefoot luxury (low negative footprint luxury), in order to minimize excessive consumption associated with luxurious offerings.
3) Transforming Business Approaches
Tourism should be designed for value to people and planet and driven by authentic experiences for guests.
Africa should use a regional sustainable tourism certification label with credible assessment to guide and build a competitive Africa destination.
Africa’s tourism must promote inclusivity in doing tourism business and to achieve global goals of gender equality.
Africa’s tourism must invest in digitalization, for economic and environmental management in tourism for understanding and enhancing of tourism experience.
4) Transforming Communities Through Tourism and Conservation
The nexus between wildlife conservation, wildlife tourism, tourism growth and community development should be integrated in tourism and conservation policies and strategies.
Destinations should develop high impact social development programs in tourism areas based on facts, research and transparency, to guarantee transformational impact to rural livelihoods.
Destinations should promote community inclusion in decision making and equity in benefit sharing, good governance, effective management and market access as building blocks for transforming communities through tourism.
Destinations must create awareness on the link between indigenous culture and biodiversity protection, to ensure that as wildlife tourism thrives, wildlife thrive and people thrive as well.
Adopted on 21st June 2018 at the White Rhino Hotel, Nyeri, Kenya.