Editorial: Can Improved Fair Trade Boost Africa’s Tourism Industries?

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Written by Kimberly Jacobs

The FTT stamp will also bring more credibility to companies.

“Six in 10 consumers have seen the Fairtrade mark, and nine in 10 of those trust it,” a Fair Trade Tourism revealed.

Satisfying Frequent, Responsible  Travelers 

Catering sites to those who frequently travel and are aware of fair trade tourism — or are looking for their money to benefit the economy of the country and community they visit — would be equally beneficial because these people typically vacation more.

Taking findings from The CMIGreen Traveler Study Report 2010, Responsible Travel supports the idea that eco-conscious consumers are willing to support fair trade tourism businesses.

“Forty-three percent of of survey respondents say they would be willing to pay up to 5 percent more to decrease their ‘ecological footprint’ on their next trip; almost as many say they would pay more than that,” the report said.

Furthermore, travelers who actively seek FTT and those who don’t, shouldn’t be separated as consumers like they are now. Making FTT inclusive is important for the countries where these businesses are available — just as much as providing customers with an experience that is free from unknowingly exploiting the locals in the area or being exploited themselves.

Fair trade in tourism acts as a buffer to minimize, prevent and manage negative experiences that would make tourists not want to return. Being unfairly priced or receiving poor customer service can make returning undesirable — this benefits no one in the long run. Fair market pricing and other procedures put in place by fair trade tourism ensure establishments and travelers that such problems are unlikely to occur.

“The survival of any business, including those in the tourism industry, depends on identifying and managing risks. This can be done either by eliminating the risk entirely, or, if this is not possible, by ensuring that any adverse impact that might occur will be kept to a minimum,” a South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences stated.

Tourism is continuing to grow in Africa, pushing the continent to a new economic heights. Fair trade in tourism can further ensure great business practices that will lead to visitors coming for many years down the road while benefiting the people who live in African countries.