Month: March 2014

View from Turkey: Taste of Fethiye farmer İllknur Arıcan

İllknur Arıcan İllknur Arıcan, a farmer from Keçiler Village in Turkey, has been involved in our Taste of Fethiye programme for the past three years.

We consider ourselves very lucky being a part of the Taste of Fethiye project. With the help of the project’s agricultural advisor we can grow better crops.

As a part of the education programme we ran trials with shading nets in a small section of our tomato farm. This showed us how to grow better quality tomatoes and how to extend our harvest season.

I also attended the craft fair that was organised in our village. We had the opportunity to sell our products directly to tourists and local visitors at the fair. We are looking forward to working with Taste of Fethiye over the next year.

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New sustainable tourism activities in Cape Verde

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The Travel Foundation’s recent trip to Sal, Cape Verde was dual purpose: we announced a new programme of sustainable tourism activities for the island and photographer Chris Willan was there to capture the scenery and culture of this fascinating destination.

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In addition to announcing the new programme of activities, one of the main objectives of the visit was to work with the destination council to define a vision, strategy and activities to support Sal in becoming a leading sustainable tourism destination.

The destination council is composed of 21 members, including tour operators, hoteliers, NGOs and representatives of local and central government and associations as diverse as the IFP (a hospitality training centre), the ADEI (a business development organisation) and the Department of Tourism. The idea is to bring all these organisations together to work towards a common goal which will help protect Sal’s environment, provide economic benefits to the resident population and offer holidaymakers enhanced holiday experiences.

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Although visited by some 500,000 people each year, Cape Verde is a little known country… when you say you are travelling to Cape Verde most people’s first question is “where?”.

Cape Verde is an archipelago of 10 islands (and two rocks) which lie 500km west of Senegal in the Atlantic Ocean. 501,000 people inhabit nine of Cape Verde’s islands. Santiago is the largest and most populated island and is also home to the capital city, Praia. Sal is one of the smaller islands, just 18km long by 7km wide with a population of 20,702.

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Located in the Barlavento (meaning windward) group of islands, Sal is the oldest of the Cape Verdean islands. It was originally named Llana (flat island), before being renamed Sal (salt) after the salt pans, now one of Sal’s most visited attractions, were discovered. Despite its size, Sal boasts 11 protected areas and is believed to be the world’s third most important nesting site for loggerhead turtles.

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Landing on what appears a largely barren and desolate island, it may seem surprising that there is so much to see and do in Sal. However, during a short trip in February this year, Chris Willan captured the laid-back surf spots at Kite Beach, Angulo Beach and Ponta Preta; the Santa Maria pier bustling with fishermen and vendors; and the nightlife of the capital city, Espargos.

We think Sal has much to offer, and we are looking forward to working with the destination council on a number of activities to enhance experiences for both local residents and visitors.

By Suzannah Newham, Destination Programmes Officer

Make Holidays Greener – The Big Holiday Beach Cleanup

Beach cleanup Cyprus

For this year’s Make Holidays Greener campaign we’re doing something a little bit different from the previous four years.

July will still be an opportunity for travel companies to do something extra to help the destinations they sell, and to talk about greener holidays with their staff and customers. But this July we want to show what tourism can achieve when we act together on a single issue.

So we’re encouraging everyone to get involved in beach cleanups. Here are some reasons why we chose this idea in particular:

  • Beaches are a key part of the vast majority of summer holidays. They are a global “place” where tourism meets nature, and so represent many of the issues that brings.
  • They are an easy concept to understand, and can help raise awareness of “green” issues. This was the main reason why, in our ring-around to test a few different ideas, travel companies came down in favour of a cleanup.
  • They have been a successful part of Make Holidays Greener in the past, and can unite different travel companies to take action for the benefit of their resort.
  • We can build on our work in Cyprus where local communities have come together to “green” their beaches.
  • We will be able to show the physical result of everyone working together, as we tot up the amount of litter bagged across the globe.

MCS beach cleanupTo some, a beach cleanup may seem too small a gesture – and if this is all tourism does to benefit a destination in 2014, we agree! But it will be a great way to engage customers, staff and local communities alike about the health of our oceans, and every tonne of rubbish that is taken out of the environment is good news for birds, turtles, dolphins and other marine life. If you still aren’t convinced that a cleanup will make a difference, check out the Marine Conservation Society’s Beachwatch campaign, now in its 20th year.

Tourism is better placed than any other industry to mobilise this kind of action – and of course it will benefit from cleaner beaches. Furthermore, it is well placed to encourage more substantial changes for longer term impact. The industry has influential and productive relationships with destination communities and suppliers (hoteliers are often beach owners), and is usually represented on destination management councils.

Perhaps we can succeed in banning plastic bag use near certain beaches, or in introducing more litter bins and ashtrays for safe disposal?

If you work in the travel trade, see www.thetravelfoundation.org.uk/greenerhols to find out how you can get involved in the Big Holiday Beach Cleanup.

If you’re a holidaymaker, visit www.makeholidaysgreener.org.uk/big-holiday-beach-cleanup to find out how you can help care for the beach.

By Salli Felton, Acting Chief Executive

Cyprus celebrates “Green Monday”

Open-air market. Image: Cyprus Tourist Board

Today is Green Monday in Cyprus, the first day of Lent – approximately seven weeks before Easter. Traditionally, families go to fields to barbecue fasting foods such as vegetables and seafood (not meat), later flying kites and playing other games.

Eating less meat is becoming increasingly important. If everyone stopped eating meat or cut down considerably we would:

  1. Cut CO2 emissions and reduce global warming
  2. Reduce land degradation so that land is not destroyed beyond repair
  3. Reduce water pollution through run-off i.e. prevent hormones, animal waste and chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides from entering the water system
  4. Also, if we stopped producing vast amounts of crops to feed livestock and produced the crops for human consumption, we could end world hunger

By Julie Middleton, Industry Programmes Manager