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Calabash Tours views itself as a company founded on strong ethical principles. Those principles are best described as fulfilling the vision of responsible tourism. Basically, we attempt to ensure that our tours:
- Do not disturb the environment
- Do not make negative social impact, particularly on culture
- Make positive economic impact
Our main interest is in ensuring a greater level of social and economic justice in South Africa, a country still struggling to overcome the inequalities created by apartheid.
As a company, we have also taken our ethical approach to a measurable level by accrediting our township tours with Fair Trade Tourism in South Africa. A world first, South Africa is now accrediting companies in tourism that comply with fair trade principles. The FTTSA is linked with the global fair trade movement.
The principles of Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa guarantee:
Fair share – everyone involved on our tours get their fair share of income, directly proportional to their input.
Democracy – everyone has an opportunity to contribute. Our company is also very much based on collaboration with all staff.
Respect – We respect the people we visit, as individuals and communities.
Reliability – We offer a quality, consistent service.
Sustainability – We achieve sustainability through capacity building, improved use of resources, networking and partnerships.
View a Fact Sheet on the FTTSA - click here
The Calabash Trust is a non profit development organisation we set up in 1999 to also allow tourists to contribute to community initiatives on the tour. It operates completely separately to the commercial entity of Calabash Tours, and has achieved remarkable success.
Calabash Tours as been recognized locally and internationally with various awards:
In 2003 Calabash Tours was awarded the Imvelo Responsible Tourism Award, in the category Best Social Involvement.
In 2004 we won the prestigious International Responsible Tourism Award at the World Travel Market, being chosen joint overall winner of the competition, after winning the Poverty Reduction Category. Click here to read more...
These ethical aspects are embedded in how we work, and form part of every aspect of the company’s operations. Whatever your point of view, the tours are designed to be fun, fascinating and informative, so book a tour and support the poor of Port Elizabeth!