‘Africa’s tourism industry would be grossly negligent if it did not take measures to protect its environment,’ says Joyce DiMascio, Principal of Joyce DiMascio Consulting and one of Australia’s most experienced tourism marketers.
‘The world wants to come to Africa because of its natural wonders. But the industry must ‘future proof’ itself by putting responsible tourism at that heart of its industry development agenda,’ she adds.
Until 2010, Joyce was the Head of Business Events Australia at Tourism Australia and led the successful rebranding of Australia as a place where environment and community really matter.
Australia, like Africa is a long-haul destination and the realisation that the country would need to take steps to meet the challenges of climate change – if it was to remain an internationally competitive travel and meetings destination – led to its turnabout strategy and focus on the environment. Core to the continued success of this strategy is ensuring that visitors leave as ambassadors of Australia’s ecological and cultural heritage – by packaging their experiences to enrich rather than diminish the environment.
‘To destroy what makes SA unique makes no business sense at all. Operators need to be given the tools to help them make responsible choices in the way they deliver the visitor experience,’ says Joyce.
Joyce will be discussing how to go about equipping the local SA tourism, travel and events industry using the Australian case study as the basis of her presentation during the upcoming Environmental Management in Tourism (EMiT) conference which takes place from 9-10 November 2011 at the Sandton Sun, Johannesburg.
The conference. which serves as a dedicated platform for debate on sustainable tourism – is being held in conjunction with WTM’s World Responsible Tourism Day and the awarding of South Africa’s 10th Annual Imvelo Awards for Responsible Tourism.