Responsible Tourism Policy
When you book a journey with Where It All Began, you can be assured that only are all the choices on your trip ethical and sustainable but that we, as your travel planner, are also ethical and sustainable ourselves.
WHERE DOES MY BOOKING FEE GO?
We are a registered business but we operate as a not-for-profit: this means that once our overheads have been covered for any given year, 100% of the profits for the company are donated to the following organisations.
HOW DO YOU ENGAGE WITH AND SUPPORT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY?
We volunteer at St. Paul’s Primary School and at the Shine Centre in our personal capacity, both as a literacy support worker and doing PR, advocacy and fundraising work for particular projects. For example we contributed R16 000 worth of books to the school library and we raised another R5 000 to help Zama install rain water tanks. We are also personally involved with Naude’s Recycling, running the accounts and books for the initiative to give it more credibility.
WHAT KINDS OF LOCAL COMPANIES ARE YOUR SUPPLIERS?
We make use of small, owner-managed companies for our clients’ needs that are based in Cape Town, employ at senior level or are directed/owned by previously disadvantaged individuals (PDI). We also personally engage with these companies on an annual basis to establish where and how the communities they visit have been supported by their business. Typical examples include:
Hannival’s Tours – Chris Hannival is the owner and director of Hannival’s and is himself a PDI. Chris conducts all our local one-day tours to the Peninsula, Winelands, Overberg and many more. Chris grew up in District Six, the area of Cape Town that was slowly erased from the map by the apartheid-era government.
Martin’s Tours – Ron Martin owns and manages his own guiding company which focuses on the history of the ‘first people’ of South Africa, the San, KhoiSan and !Kung people.
Camissa Tours – owned and managed by PDIs Khonaye and Samantha, Camissa offers ethical tours of Cape Town’s disadvantaged areas
Coffeebeans Routes – multi-award winning and Fair Trade accredited company offering engaging and perspective-altering tours around Cape Town and Johannesburg
Uthando SA – umbrella organisation that creates visiting opportunities to grassroots organisations in some of Cape Town’s most deprived areas.
Around About Cars – small and independent car rental company with a nationwide reach. Owner-managed with a PDI director and an all-PDI staff.
Parker Cottage, Oude Werf, Vineyard Hotel and many others – we try to only use accommodation suppliers who are fully accredited by Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. We aim to use a minimum of 50% FTT accommodation suppliers and 50% of PDI businesses
HOW SUSTAINABLE ARE YOU AS AN ORGANISATION?
We spend a lot of time on the road (being a travel company, it’s important!) and this regard, we make use of public transport as far as possible, particularly the excellent train and bus network in South Africa.
At the office, we recycle 85% of all our waste.We have a policy of only using a car or a bus if the journey is longer than 10km, using our bicycles and our heavy duty bike trailer (which can carry up to 80kg) for journeys under 10km.
CAN I ALSO PARTICIPATE AS A TRAVELLER?
Yes and we’d really welcome your contribution! There are two very easy ways that you can make a huge difference to the projects that we support.