GeePee Responsible Tourism Challenge

Geepee Responsible Tourism Challenge

In 2014 Better Tourism Africa entered into a partnership with the Gauteng Tourism Authority, the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA), the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme and EVOLVE to roll out resource efficiency and cleaner production assessments in accommodation businesses in Gauteng. The aim of this pilot project is to demonstrate how responsible business practices can benefit a tourism business. Follow the participating businesses’ journey on the RT Challenge blog. For more information about the project click here.

Selecting our hosts

Better Tourism Africa and the Gauteng Tourism Authority worked closely with regional tourism bodies in the province to identify the ten participating businesses. The selected businesses had to comply with strict criteria. Each business had to:

  • Be a paid-up member of a local tourism organisation
  • Have business registrations in place
  • Be at least three years in operation
  • Offer a minimum of three rooms
  • Be located on a property built before 2010, with no refurbishment since then. If built later, no resource efficiency (such as solar panels, heat pumps or grey water systems) should be in place
  • Be committed to sustainable business practices (but with limited implementation to date)
  • Have high energy and water consumption and/or waste production
  • Already be active on in social media
  • Be committed to participate for a 8 month period

Ten businesses were selected from around Gauteng, and they range from a small B&B to a hotel with conference facilities.

Learn more about the ten businesses here.

Measurable change

The success of this project is linked to the level of change within the participating businesses at the end of the six month period, meaning that resource usage has to be measured before and during the project. To establish the base, the Better Tourism Africa Team collected comprehensive information about each business and their current business operating practices. The information that the team collected during the initial review includes:

  • Staffing profiles
  • Human resource expenditures
  • Occupancy data
  • Procurement practices
  • Material usage such as cleaning products, guest amenities, paper use and more
  • Charitable spending
  • Waste streams and emissions
  • Occupational health protection
  • Water use and cost
  • List of machinery/equipment, volumes and capacity of the machines as well as kw/kva ratings
  • Cleaning frequency and materials
  • Energy consumption and cost, as well as
  • Sustainability practices (if any)

This data has been collected through an in-depth responsible tourism audit as well as the installation of metering and monitoring devices. The devices will be used to monitor, record and report on the business’s behaviours and keep track of progress made over the course of the project and beyond. Better Tourism Africa is now working with each business owner to develop a sustainability plan. Their journey continues.

Image courtesy of the Cradle of Humankind WHS ©

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