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Capetonian elected to leadership of global body for sustainable tourism
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21 August 2012
Capetonian Heidi van der Watt, founding member of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism—South Africa, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
The GSTC is aimed at harnessing the power of tourism to grow local economies in ways that have more local people sharing in the economic benefits of tourism, and to better take care of natural resources, local people and cultures of destinations.
The mandate of the GSTC ties in with the City of Cape Town's sustained Responsible Tourism initiatives. Defined as 'tourism that creates better places for people to live and better places to visit', Responsible Tourism focuses on involving local people in decisions that affect their lives. This minimises the negative economic, environmental and social impacts of tourism, and encourages respect between tourists and hosts.
'We understand that for Cape Town to be a great place to visit, it must first be a great place to live in. Fortunately, Cape Town has a good cluster of tourism businesses doing exemplary work for people, planet and profit. I would really like to put the sustainability stories of individual tourism businesses in our city on the world stage,' said van der Watt.
'The election of Ms van der Watt is great news for Cape Town. It is further proof of Cape Town's leadership with regards to responsible and sustainability-focused tourism. Not to speak of incredible access to information, know-how and global marketing channels,' said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe.
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