September 27th marks World Tourism Day, a United Nations inniative that is celebrated on annual basis (in South Africa, this focus lasts for the entire month) and 2017 was designated as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This theme seeks to raise awareness with both public and private sector decision-makers and the greater global community while serving as a catalyst to for everyone to work together to find innovatives ways to protect the environment, champion diverse cultural heritage and strengthen peace across the world.

As an outdoor adventure company, we believe sustainable business practices are absolutely vital to the tourism industry: to help protect our country’s beautiful natural environment as well as improving the welfare of the people who work in this sector. All seven of our ‘branches’ are situated deep within pristine wilderness areas that have fortunately not been destroyed by humans – yet. If we can introduce people to the magic of nature, educating our guests about conservation by taking them on awesome adventures into these areas, it is our hope that they will begin to care more for the environment in general and collaborate with us as custodians of these amazing places for the benefit of future generations.

As an organisation, we are moving towards a paperless office environment, an initiative which began with the use of digital tablets instead of old-fashioned paper forms: from client indemnity and feedback forms to our internal maintenance checks and daily reports. And it’s been great seeing how our clients immediately recognize this effort and embrace it – proof that technology, nature and tourism can have a wonderfully symbiotic relationship.

Looking towards the future, we’re currently investigating the viability of using biodiesel in some of our vehicles and would like to move towards more renewable energy sources for our admin centres. Fortunately, the actual ‘Canopy Tour ‘ zipline experience is driven entirely by the force of gravity, so we’re proud of our core sustainability levels there!

We would urge travellers, especially those who ‘fly’ (in aeroplanes, not with pulleys) to become increasingly aware of the carbon dioxide levels emitted en route their destination and then look for fun, unique ways of making up for this while on holiday or back at home – this could be as simple as planting a tree (or two). Flight emissions account for over 5% of global warming and environmental damage – with leisure travel be a key contributor.

Here’s to working together for global change while celebrating our home grown ‘nautral’ heritage.  That’s how #WeDoTourism!