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    September is Responsible Tourism Month

    This year, World Tourism Day (27 September) has adopted the theme of 'tourism and water: protecting our common future’. Water has become a critical element in the development of tourism globally and efforts are being made to raise awareness of the impacts that tourism has on this scare commodity. Perhaps the largest impact is the fact that visitors often compete for water with local communities, sometimes to the detriment of host communities.

    Given the growth of tourism in South Africa - 9 million tourists visited SA in 2012, which was 10% more than 2011, and further growth is expected - the stress placed on our water reserves is significant. So what can you do?

    As a tourist:
    • Use water sparingly during your travels. Remember, every litre of water you waste is one less litre for local residents;
    • Wherever possible, choose tap water over bottled water - each bottle of water requires numerous bottles of water to produce and creates significant waste that is often difficult to dispose of;
    • Take a five minute shower rather than a bath where possible;
    • If offered by your host, reuse your towels and bed linen and help save the water used to clean them, and the waste-water that this process entails.
    As a tourism business:
    • Choose environmentally-conscious venues for accommodation or events – download the free accommodation questionnaire from www.eventgreening.co.za/resources/ for some examples of what to look for;
    • Encourage staff and visitors to conserve water;
    • Ensure that all your water fixtures are in good repair in order to minimise waste;
    • Plant water-wise plants at your offices;
    • Ensure that no contamination of natural water bodies takes place as a result of your business activities.
    Share any other ideas you have on our Facebook Page or Twitter Profile!

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    EXSA enables connections through the networking and communication of our Forums and via our website (www.exsa.co.za).

    Besides providing EXSA’s directory of members, an exhibitions calendar and news feed, the EXSA website also offers a wealth of knowledge and industry guidelines available to its members.



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