Responsible tourism – a deciding factor in choosing a holiday destination?

Increasingly the concept of responsible tourism is an aspect that tourists regard as important when making destination decisions. I was reminded of this fact recently by a UK operator whose portfolio of Southern African properties is aimed at the European market.  Many of her clients are looking for experiences that enable them to get closer to the real ‘living culture’ of the country they are visiting – but much more broadly they want to be sure that their visit will result in sustainable development for the broad community. Economic growth, environmental integrity and social justice must be the tangible outcomes of the operations they choose to visit.

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Bulungula Lodge – a Backpackers worth a visit

I was referred by a friend to Bulungula Lodge on the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape as a destination that I should visit with a view to featuring it on my website. I was intrigued.  As a student of the 1960’s backpacking was the way that I started exploring the world –  Europe first and then eastwards to India – but that was a long time ago.  Now, in my 60’s I was being referred to a Backpackers Lodge on our wildest coastline, deep in the heart of rural South Africa!   My assumption was that this MUST be somewhere special and I just had to go and experience it for myself. Continue reading

New Eastern Cape Coastal Route

I have read to-day about a new Eastern Cape Coastal Route that will be launched at Indaba in May by ECPTA in conjunction with Open Africa.   It will apparently take the form of a glossy brochure and a DVD, presumably aimed at Tour Operators and Travel Agents.  This initiative is good news for the all those involved in the tourism industry in the Province, as the more exposure the region has, the more chance we have of receiving some extra visitors. Continue reading

A visit to Rhodes – up high in the Eastern Cape Highlands

Who or what is WESSA, I asked myself, having been told recently of a wonderful Mountain Excursion that took place a couple of weekends ago organised by the local Grahamstown branch.  The programme covered subjects such as the geology and palaentology of the area, the mountain flora and vegetation, the birds and mammals, rock art, early history and the cultural and architectural history of Rhodes village which was to be their base for the duration of the excursion.   Continue reading

Food Wine and Cheese Festival in Nelson Mandela Bay

Driving through Port Elizabeth yesterday a sign caught my eye advertising a Food, Cheese and Wine Festival to be held in the City from 29 March to 1 April.   These events have been incredibly successful in the other major centres in South Africa, so it is great to see that we here in the Eastern Cape are going to be treated to a ‘foodie’ extravaganza too. We have lots of wonderful ‘foodie’ entrepreneurs in the Province who will benefit from this type of exposure and at the same time we’ll be able to see what the rest of the country is doing! Watch the press for details and diarise the date.  The Festival’s website is www.pefestival.com for those of you who want to engquire about taking a stall.

Prana Lodge Valentines specials

Prana Lodge, an exclusive ‘getaway nestled into the coastal dunes at Chintsa, outside East London is offering some great Valentine’s specials for the month of February.  Check out www.isikotours.co.za to read about my stay at this super Lodge and to discover how you can treat yourself or a loved one to a very special Valentine experience this year – it can be overnight – or just a few hours of special pampering.