Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) launches a new membership programme in May, primarily aimed at small tourism businesses that need support with their sustainability measures but do not have the resources to become certified in the short term.

For an annual membership fee ranging from R1 100 for a sole enterprise to R6 000 for a medium-size business of 25-50 staff members, Fair Trade Tourism will guide businesses along the sustainability path, providing assistance in areas ranging from legal compliance, labour and staff management, to reducing energy, water and waste, fair purchasing and improving market access.

Said Jane Edge, Managing Director of Fair Trade Tourism: “Our aim is to bring small and emerging businesses into the Fair Trade Tourism value chain, to encourage them to operate more sustainably and to expose them to tour operators interested in supporting sustainable efforts. By lowering the threshold for small enterprises to access our business development services, we aim to broaden our sustainability impact. It also forms part of our commitment to inclusive growth of the tourism industry.”

Aspirant members need to be approved by FTT’s Client Advisory Committee and to sign a pledge committing them to year-on-year improvements in their sustainability measures. Applicants fill out a self-evaluation form online about sustainability actions the business is undertaking and a gap analysis is then produced highlighting areas where the business needs to improve. FTT will provide the toolkits, templates and advice required to assist businesses along the sustainability path.