The Travel Foundation charity has partnered with CapeNature, an organization that is the driving force for conservation and the economic development of 25 nature reserves in the Western Cape.
These two organization have launched this new partnership in South Africa to develop adventure tourism in nature reserves in the Western Cape, in order to:
• increase the opportunities for local people to economically benefit from tourism;
• increase funds for environmental conservation; and
• promote adventure tourism products in the Western Cape.
Salli Felton, chief executive, Travel Foundation, commented: “We’re thrilled to be working on this pilot project in South Africa with such a forward-thinking organisation. CapeNature’s commitment to the long term sustainability of nature reserves is a great match for the Travel Foundation’s ethos that, when managed well, tourism has huge potential to support conservation and provide significant benefits for communities, businesses and tourists.”
The focus of early 2016 is to conduct research to assess the potential for developing sustainable tourism activities in nature reserves that fall under the care of CapeNature. Following on from this, the aim is to work with five clusters of reserves to develop adventure tourism opportunities, and test the theory that these activities can support both conservation, and make a positive economic contribution to local communities.
CapeNature CEO, Dr Razeena Omar, says:
“As the custodians of the Western Cape’s biodiversity, we recognise the need to develop products and recreational activities which leverage our natural assets in such a way that protected areas become sought after tourist destinations, and become more accessible and beneficial to a greater portion of the local population.
“This partnership with The Travel Foundation allows us to show the world that the Western Cape’s nature reserves are able to compete with international tourist destinations while also striking a balance between conserving the natural resources and providing socio-economic benefits so that future generations can inherit a natural heritage, rich with biodiversity.”