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Important Message
Anupama Bangaru

South Africa

South Africa is a popular tourist destination, with around 860 000 arrivals per month (March 2008) of which around 210 000 are from outside the African continent. Revenue adding up to between 1% and 3% of GDP is generated by the tourism industry. Among the main attractions are the diverse and picturesque culture, the game reserves and the highly regarded wines. It is difficult to know if there is regulation of the term 'ecotourism' as well as what a foundation/association/company needs to do to fall into the category of 'eco-travel'. However, there is a non-profit association that represents the private sector of the "incoming tourism industry in South Africa" (which is a large group) called the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), they are "dedicated to providing and maintaining the highest possible standards in the tourism industry within South Africa." (SATSA, 2007) SATSA is focused on the accountability, integrity, and quality control of the tourism industry in South Africa as well as with the companies and associations they are connected to. In addition to SATSA, the websiteresponsibletravel.com partnered with The Metro, World Travel Market and Travel Trade Gazette Magazine have established the World Responsible Tourism Awards. The goal of the award is to "recognize individuals, companies and organizations in the travel industry that are making a significant commitment to the culture and economies of local communities and are providing a positive contribution to biodiversity conservation." (www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com, 2001)