How to: Responsible Tourism

How to: Responsible Tourism

Designing a tourism structure so that resources are used more efficiently and ensuring that the management and running of a tourism business has the least possible negative impact on the environment, the economy and society, is referred to as responsible tourism. This practice is known as considering the triple bottom line. It also functions to support the sustainability of the tourism business and make economic sense.


Some initiatives to be considered in light of responsible tourism structure construction are:


•  Making the best use of natural light, thus reducing electricity use and cost;

•  Use of windows/doors and natural air flow to reduce electricity use and cost from air conditioners;

•  Constructing extended eaves or using awnings to reduce direct sunlight on windows, keeping interior spaces naturally cool;

•  Installing solar panels for heating water, reducing geyser costs;

•  Consult with neighbours, ensuring they are fully aware of the development of your tourism business.


Some initiatives to be considered in light of responsible tourism management and running of tourism businesses are:


•  Use energy-saving bulbs in all lights;

•  Ensure all energy saving bulbs are disposed of responsibly;

•  Use motion sensors or time switches in passages and on stairs to reduce the time those areas have to remain lit up;

•  Inform guests of water-saving measures, such as only requesting towels to be washed if they are dirty, and not every day;

•  Ensure all staff are also trained in this initiative, and only collect towels to wash if they are left on the floor;

•  Use room key cards which ensure room lights switch off when guests vacate rooms;

•   Ensure staff are appropriately skilled for their positions;

•  Ensure staff are adequately remunerated and receive at least all legislated benefits;

•  Ensure that your establishment is as fully accessible as possible and considerate of guests who may have a variety of disabilities;

•  Recycle wherever possible, e.g.: paper with Mondi/Nampak 080 001 8816/031 274 6600.


Sustainable tourism is part of responsible tourism. It is through a variety of informed measures that the continued existence of your tourism business is assured.