Getting the whole team involved in responsible tourism

Results of the first visit to Tebogo’s Bed & Breakfast

Better Tourism Africa visited each of the participating businesses and took note of the ways in which the business was operating responsibly. This helped us get a “before” picture and identify ways in which the business can improve. At the end of the project, we hope to give you the “after” picture hopefully showing how the changes made in the business resulted in cost savings and a better experience.

Tebogo Bed & BreakfastOften owners and / or managers are convinced of the need to make changes in the way a business operates so that fewer resources are used and the operating costs are reduced. However, this message doesn’t always filter down to the people involved in the day-to-day running of the business (and those most likely to use resources): the staff. Although Peter, the owner and host at Tebogo’s, doesn’t have formal responsible tourism training programmes in place (yet) for his staff, there are nonetheless a number of practices that ensure the whole team is involved in environmentally-responsible operations. For example, he has notices (i.e. reminders) in places where water is used to ensure staff save water. There are also checklists in place that require that all lights, the TV and air conditioning be turned off in unoccupied rooms, and that appliances are turned off in rooms that are checked-out. Having checklists makes resource-saving practices routine. There are many practices involved in running a responsible tourism business and sometimes it’s not so easy for staff to remember everything they need to do, so checklists can be really helpful in that way.

Good use of natural light means that less electricity is used for lighting

Another of Tebogo’s responsible tourism practices is air-drying the laundry, which contributes to energy savings. Tumble driers, together with geysers, electric ovens and other heat-generating appliances, are amongst the highest electricity usage appliances used in a tourism business. Tebogo’s air dries laundry whenever possible and only uses the tumble drier when necessary, mostly when it’s raining. So not only is their carbon footprint reduced, but the monthly electricity invoice also benefits!

Peter uses his bicycle to get around as much as possible. This way he uses less fuel than if he drove, and reduces his carbon footprint.

We used a technical sheet to record what responsible practices Tebogo Bed & Breakfast were involved in when we did the first site visit. You can view the full results of this first visit here.

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