(eTN) – The drive for sustainable tourism in Tanzania received a big boost with the launch of a new body, that seeks to bring out the best for Tanzanian tourism.
Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) Trust has been launched to spearhead the development of green tourism and to certify tourist products in Tanzania.
Hotels Association of Tanzania (HAT) chief executive officer Ms Lidwien Appels said the trust would take the drive by tourism stakeholders to champion and practice more sustainable tourism in this country a notch higher.
The new Trust representing the key stakeholders within the sector will encourage and promote a more mature and sustainable tourism industry, she said.
RTTZ will provide various services to help the tourism industry to manage its business in a sustainable manner aimed at making Tanzania tourism go green.
“These include providing internationally accepted standards and criteria, an auditing and evaluation process that will help guide the tourism venture to improving their organization and the services and products they offer, accompanied with a certification scheme that recognizes the company’s efforts and successes,” Appels said.
RTTZ will also be a key partner in developing the suitable regulatory environment by engaging in lobbying for responsible tourism practices and favorable policies.
Members of this trust will be provided with support and training that will enable the tourism enterprises to understand and act according to the principles of sustainable tourism management.
RTTZ will further support responsible tourism in Tanzania by promoting both its principles and the tourism products that are compliant to the international market.
Damian Bell, the Executive Officer of Responsible Tourism Tanzania said, “This is a very exciting moment now that we are finally registered as an official body.”
“Years of work and networking by some key organizations and individuals have finally paid off and we have a body that can provide the international market with a product that they feel is important ,” Bell said.
Responsible Tourism Tanzania board of trustees consists of members from both the public (20%) and private (60%) sector, while the rest of the members come from Non-Governmental Organizations.
The Honeyguide Foundation and Roundtable Africa, all Tanzanian travel charities, have one member each to represent the Non-Governmental Organizations, Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (and the Tanzania Tourist Board) have one representative each on behalf of the Public Sector.
The Tourism Confederation Tanzania, the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators, the Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors and the Hotels Association of Tanzania, together have six members on the Board to represent the Private Sector.