It's hard to believe that the festive season is approaching again... but with the decorations up at the shopping malls and promotions advertised at every turn, it's hard to deny...

Although "giving" seems to be synonymous with the season, we invite you - both in your businesses and your homes - to be mindful of your selections this year. Giving just for the sake of it is simply a waste of resources and our planet can't take more of that.

Rather look to community, social development, conservation, or sustainable living organisations and channel your gifting to them in the name of a friend, colleague, or client. If you do want / need to buy something, make sure it's contributing positively - a gift voucher to a member of the FTT Family would be a great option! So would purchasing a Fair Trade product - there are many options on the market (two of which we talk about towards the end of this newsletter), including jewellery, candles, bath & body care products, spices, clothing and more!

Consuming less is part of the sustainability solution. Another part is that when you do buy something, choose wisely.

Wishing everyone a superb festive season. We hope there is a little bit of fun mixed in with the busy business of it, and we look forward to a year filled with all things Fair Trade Tourism in 2020.

!XAUS TOPS THE KING OF TRAVEL PUBLICATIONS

In very exciting recent news, !Xaus Lodge was named as the place to stay in National Geographic Traveler's list of the 25 best places in the world to visit in 2020!

!Xaus' is located in the remote
UNESCO World Heritage Site of ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape (which coincides with the !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park / Kgalagadi Transfrontier) and its designation as a Dark Sky Sanctuary was one of the main reasons the destination made the list. The nominee emphasised how it provided a rare yet essential opportunity to "connect with the stars, nature, and a deeper sense of belonging."

A subsequent online poll pitted the Kalahari against another of the top 25 - the iconic Grand Canyon - to see which one followers would prefer to explore. !Xaus came out on top with a convincing 58% of the vote!
We couldn't be happier for the teams at the lodge, for the Khomani San and Mier owners, and for the management company, Transfrontier Parks Destination. Congratulations!

For more information about !Xaus Lodge in the !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park, visit www.xauslodge.co.za. The full article and list of 2020 top trips to take can be found at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/best-trips-2020/.


Images via National Geographic Travel, Melanie Van Zyl

WOMEN OF SANI PASS - IN BUSINESS!

Guests of Sani Lodge Backpackers have access to a range of local adventures and activities, including the "Roof of Africa" tour during which participants get the opportunity to visit with Basotho women who are highly skilled spinners. They transform hand spun wool and mohair into export-quality tapestries, table runners, bags, scarves and place mats.
In addition to offering guest this cultural experience, Sani Lodge Backpackers also provides an outlet for the spun products in their Giants Cup craft shop where they are featured along with the wares from other small-scale entrepreneurs in the area.
To learn more about Sani Lodge Backpackers and its positive impact on local economic development, visit www.sanilodge.co.za.

Images copyright © Sani Lodge Backpackers

LABDOO DOING GOOD IN THE OVERSTRAND

A generous spirit of giving often needs a channel and direction in order to be effective. In the travel sector, tourism businesses in destinations and operators in the value chain can often fill this role in a way that results in meaningful contributions to local development. In this vein, Gansbaai-based White Shark Projects has been working with FTT-approved Ajimba African Tours to ensure that local educational institutions are equipped with computer technology for learners.
How does this happen?
Ajimba has identified a number of development initiatives to partner with, including one called Labdoo. Labdoo collects unused, decommissioned laptops, tablets or e-readers for educational institutions in order the reduce the "digital divide" worldwide by giving children access to IT and education.
"Flight sponsors" then transport the IT equipment donations as part of a trip that takes place anyway (for CO² neutrality). The donations are handed to a local operator - enter White Shark Projects - who is familiar with local context and needs. So far, 14 laptops have been donated through Ajimba's decision to join forces with Labdoo, two of which went to Hermanus Varsity with two more on the way!
For more information about the Labdoo project, visit www.labdoo.org.

To learn more about White Shark Projects or Ajimba African Tours, or to chat to either of them about how to get involved with a similar collaboration, visit www.whitesharkprojects.co.za or www.ajimba.com.


Image copyright © White Shark Projects

RECYCLING IN MOTION! PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHED

Kwalata Game Lodge and Kwalata Adventure Camp have tackled the challenge of responsible waste management in their area by teaming up with local and national partners to launch a major recycling awareness drive in the local area.

The objective of "Recycling in Motion!" is to promote the importance and 'how to' of recycling. The launch was attended by local recyclers, community members, and the Kwalata teams with longer term reach targeting the 8,000 South African youth and 6,000 visitors to Kwalata every year.

The partnership, which includes the National Recycling Forum (NRF), Safripol, PETCO, and the Institute of Waste Management Southern Africa (IWMSA), came about from connections made during a FTT Family networking event at Spier in 2016. It just shows that seeds planted will eventually take root and bloom!
To learn more about Kwalata Game Lodge, visit www.kwalata.co.za.

Images copyright © Kwalata Game Lodge

RHINO BENEFIT AUCTION BY FTT-APPROVED OPERATOR

The FTT-approved operator branch of the family is constantly expanding as a result of our partnerships with recognised sustainable tourism initiatives that have global reach. One of these has been our partnership with GSTC-accredited Travelife for tour operators, which Traversing Africa - a Canadian-based operator - has chosen as its path for committing to sustainable tourism.
As part of its commitment to wildlife conservation and responsible travel, Canada-based Traversing Africa recently held an event to raise awareness about rhino conservation, threats to the species, and the realities of human-wildlife conflict. Proceeds from the event and an online auction are being channelled to South African-based Project Rhino.
Traversing Africa has put a range of safaris up for bid on Saving the Last Rhinos. Bidding closes at the end of this month (30 Nov), so speak quickly before all the trips are gone!
(Wouldn't that make a great gift for that someone who has everything...? A stunning holiday that supports a conservation project 100%!)

To learn more about Traversing Africa, visit www.traversingafrica.com.

Images copyright © Traversing Africa
November marks the last month of our #SourceFairTrade campaign in partnership with the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Africa & Middle East.
There is, however, still time for members of the FTT family to take advantage of the exclusive discount on offer - contact Ana Lemmer on ana@fairtrade.travel for info. This discount applies for all of the WFTO-guaranteed products that we have featured throughout the campaign. Two more are below...
The creations of TOWNSHIP PATTERNS emerge from the 7 women-owned independent sewing cooperatives in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town. Each coop has between 7 and 10 members - all with a voice in how the coop is run and who have their work base close to their homes, meaning they can earn an income while also saving time and money that they would have otherwise spent on commuting.
In addition to its empowerment of women and social enterprise model, Township's products focus on their environmental impact with cotton sourced from areas of southern Africa in support of WWF-SA conservation programs, and 100% locally-made recycled PET fabric for strength and durability.
For those of you who missed them at #IBTMWorld2019, you can get Township Patterns' carrier bags and accessories online and find a list of stockists at www.township.co.za.
uSisi DESIGNS started in the 1980s when the founder's (then) work in child health care revealed the extent to which families were not able to sufficiently provide for the health and nutrition needs of their children.  Creating income generating opportunities in rural Kwa-Zulu Natal, particularly for women, became her main focus from the mid '90s...
uSisi - meaning "sister" in isiZulu - creates handmade jewellery from coated wire, blending traditional weaving, plaiting and coiling techniques with contemporary design.  Hundreds of women in the KZN Midlands have been employed by the business over the years, while currently up to 60 derive an income through their woven wire creations. They work from their homes, coming together regularly to deliver finished products and receive new orders; this enables economic empowerment while still raising families resulting in a successful model that means children go to school, houses get built, and food is on the table.
For more information about uSisi Designs and their range of stylish African creations, visit www.usisicraft.com.
By purchasing products made by WFTO-guaranteed businesses, you are contributing to an economy that embraces empowerment and positive impact. For more information about WFTO and its global community, see http://wfto.com.
Images copyright © Township Patterns, uSisi Designs, and World Fair Trade Organization
JK Rowling urges young travellers: "no more [orphanage] 'voluntourism' "
British author of Harry Potter fame launches #HelpingNotHelping campaign to discourage young travellers from treating children like tourist attractions. Full article is here.

Why Prince Harry's New Sustainable Travel Initiative Is Exactly What the Travel Industry Needs
Sustainability is tourism's holy grail - to travel the world without hurting it. Could Travalyst, a big new idea from the Duke of Sussex, actually get us there? Full article is here.


Durban's Bluff Awarded Whale Heritage Site Status
Full article on Travindy here.

Huge Climate Shocks Predicted for South African Biodiversity

Government report warns of unmitigated climate change causing significant losses in biodiversity and changes in South Africa's ecosystem structure and functioning. Full article here.
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