Sustainable Tourism Development Policy

Synopsis 

According to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, 2010) Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their needs. 

The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: economic, environmental and social whereby the community economically benefit from sustainable development and conserve the environment. Sustainability contributes to the development of local communities, protection and conservation of natural resources and gives us and the local community economic rewards.

Source Ethiopia Tours: Mission Statement 

Our aim is promote sustainable business in travel and tourism sector. We also work towards mitigating the negative social and environmental impacts of tourism. Moreover, Source Ethiopia Tours is committed to communicate sustainability issues across the value chain with our partners and clients.

Sustainability Management and legal compliance 

Our sustainability policy reflects the company’s structure and activities, and is fully supported by the top management. The policy aims for the reduction of the negative social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts of the company’s activities, and includes employee related health and safety aspects. 

This policy will be communicated to the wider tourism community and the relevant stakeholders including the suppliers at destinations. The communication channels could be formal training or informal discussion over tea/coffee. We will also promote being an exemplary during trips to destination by becoming sensitive sustainability activities. 

In terms of the company’s monitoring and evaluation procedure, Source Ethiopia Tours employ a combination of techniques for the monitoring and evaluation. We use observation and discussion on the progress with key staff members.

Source Ethiopia Tours will employ techniques like discussion over lunch and/or tea/coffee especially with field staff including local guides, field cooks and those working at hotels/lodges.

Local transportation to destination

International flights are coordinated either by the outbound tour operator or individual customers. The role of Source Ethiopia Tours is advising the client to book with Ethiopian Airlines at least the last leg of the trip so that they secure a discount for their internal flights.

Source Ethiopia Tours promote travel with buses provided that the site is accessible. This is meant to reduce carbon emission that affects the physical environment. It also allows the customers to know each other more. 

Accommodation Institutions 

In order to ensure the sustainability of tourism activities at a given destination, Source Ethiopia Tours encourage the use of lodges/hotels that are environmentally and socially friendly. This establishments use local materials for construction and also as a supply to their restaurant and employ local communities. 

Excursions and Activities

Source Ethiopia Tours is working on developing an inventory of its excursions/activities to destination in order to evaluate the sensitivity of these activities to inform us on the journey to sustainability. 

Sensitivity while visiting cultural villages with proper introduction to their norms, values and ways of life. Source Ethiopia tours also takes a good care of the fragile environment by implementing best sustainable practices. Our sustainability policy is meant to address the three key issues to ensure sustainable development: preservation of the natural environment, the participation and benefit of the host community and the business side of tourism.

Our activities actually includes sensitive sites like visits to cultural and historical sites, visits to indigenous, traditional communities; and others. So, we do communicate our codes of conduct mainly during the visit to their respective site and sometimes in writing. 

On the other hand, as it stands now, there is no certified destination in Ethiopia.

Tour leaders, Local representatives and Guides

Currently, Source Ethiopia tours is a small company and hires local guides and other on contractual bases. The payment varies depending up on the type of activities and time spent; and yet in line with the country’s labor law. 

Basically, we employ trained and experienced guides and in the meantime offer them on-job training and expose them to best practice destinations. 

We communicate our sustainability policy with our local representatives both formally and informally. Formally using emails and other writing mechanisms and informally through discussion over tea/coffee or lunch. Our tour leaders and local representatives are well-informed about the do's and don’ts in order to preserve the fragile environment and the norms and values of the host community including the sexual exploitation of children. 

Tourism Destination 

Source Ethiopia Tours look at the appeal of new destinations from the point view of sustainability that include the host community, the environment and its economic value. Moreover, we promote manageable group travel whereby buses are used as a means of transportation in order to minimize the impact of pollution on the environment.