Sustainable Tourism within Cedarberg Africa
Our core values
‘Care for the people, the environment and for the future’
Our company was set up with the idea of working within the local community. In 1994 Kate had just started her new life on a farm in rural South Africa. She had decided she wanted a company that was good for her new home, South Africa, and that it needed to be good for its people, its environment and the wider world.
Travel was perfect. South Africa was desperate for good quality employment for its population after the end of apartheid. Few barriers to entry and good prospects were essential if it was to help the previously underprivileged. As the country developed it would want good reasons to protect its fragile environments and their flora and fauna. These often conflicting themes of employment, development and preservation could both be met within tourism.
The first Cedarberg brochure was a physical demonstration of this: it was designed and made in South Africa using natural materials wherever possible. The onward march of technology made this approach short lived as craft based materials are fairly incompatible with the internet and email communication.
In 1997 Cedarberg became a member of AITO, the Association of Independent Tour Operators, as this trade organisation commits all its members to embedding sustainability in their organisation. This common belief continues today.
The key ideas of the AITO ethos
“…tourism can be a force for good and should benefit the lives of those whose countries we visit.
…committed to making travel more sustainable and acknowledge that tourism can have an environmental, social and economic impact on the destination involved…
- Protect the Environment
- Respect local cultures
- Conserve natural resources
- Minimise pollution
We follow this by:
- Establishing our own policies…
- Informing our clients about sustainable tourism…
- Encouraging them to participate…
- Working with our suppliers and partners…
What we are doing
If you want to know more about what we currently do, go to our page on Lemoenland Pre-School and to the staff biography of Michelle who is very involved with the Cape Heritage Route and Ian who champions industry good practice through work with the AITO Sustainable Tourism committee.
The UK Office
We run our offices in the UK as sustainably as practicable. We use low energy lighting, new IT equipment is chosen for its Energy Star rating, we have homeworkers, much of our furnishings are second hand, we are going as paperless as we can, we have moved to the smallest office that works for us. Here we can all walk to work and use local suppliers. It makes our working life better in so many ways.
The SA Office
In South Africa the issues are different. The most pressing problem are ones of education and employment, both of which we address in a practical way, through our support for Lemoenland Pre-school and our facilitation and running of the Cederberg Heritage Route.