(Posted 10th October 2022)
According to the UNWTO, the tourism sector is highly vulnerable to climate change and at the same time contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases, which cause global warming. Accelerating climate action in tourism is therefore of utmost importance for the resilience of the sector as well as strengthening adaptive capacity.
In mitigation of the current energy and water constraints, the Department of Tourism therefore invites all eligible tourism enterprises to take part in the current Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP) application window which is now open until 28th of February 2023.
Celebrating its fifth year since inception, the GTIP is a resource efficiency incentive programme of the Department of Tourism whose objective is to encourage and support private sector tourism enterprises to adopt responsible tourism practices through implementing solutions for the sustainable management of water and energy resources whilst adhering to responsible tourism practices.
Through grant funding, the GTIP assists private sector tourism enterprises in reducing the cost of investing in energy and water efficient solutions, while increasing their competitiveness, profitability and operational sustainability in the long term.
This programme has yielded success stories with beneficiaries nationally praising the positive impact of this programme. Ms Wilhemina Kutumela from Pimville Guest House and Tours in Soweto says: “The benefit is that arriving guests come to a well-lit establishment and feel at home. We now receive repeat business and the occupancy has gone up. We have been encouraging other colleagues to apply when the window opens again.”
Further, Mr Louw Allan from the Gauteng four-star graded, Cullinan Diamond Lodge states: “This is a wonderful and worthwhile opportunity for any establishment. Currently, it helps a lot with loadshedding and enables us to give a proper service to our clients.”
The GTIP interventions at the Cullinan Diamond Lodge do not only entail responsible operations and environmental benefits. After the projected payback period, the cost savings will continue to reduce the overall operational cost of the enterprise with direct and sustained benefits in terms of profitability and improved competitiveness.
The programme is managed by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on behalf of the Department and all applications and approvals are managed by the IDC. The GTIP broadly offers the following benefits to qualifying tourism enterprises:
• the full cost for a new resource efficiency audit or the full cost for reviewing an existing resource efficiency audit;
• grant funding to qualifying small and micro enterprises on a sliding scale from 50% to 90% of the total cost of implementing resource efficiency interventions, which is capped at R 1million; and
• qualifying enterprises may now implement projects in phases in order to better manage their cash flow over a two-year project implementation period.
The Department of Tourism wishes all the applicants well and remains committed to advancing a climateresilient tourism economy.