Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Tourism Department
Skip Navigation LinksCity of Cape Town > English > Tourism > Responsible Tourism
Responsible Tourism

Cape town -  the responsible tourism destination of choice

What is responsible tourism?

Responsible tourism is an approach to the management of tourism, aimed at maximising economic, social and environmental benefits and minimising costs to destinations. Simply put, Responsible tourism is tourism ‘that creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit’. A responsible tourism approach aims to achieve the triple-bottom line outcomes of sustainable development, i.e. economic growth, environmental integrity and social justice. The distinguishing characteristic of the approach is the focus on the responsibility of role-players in the tourism sector, and destinations in general, to take action to achieve sustainable tourism development. 

How does the City of Cape Town support responsible tourism?

The City of Cape Town has supported the principles of responsible tourism since the Cape Town Declaration in 2002. In 2004 it included them as a founding principle of Cape Town’s Tourism Development Framework. In 2009 the City adopted the Responsible Tourism (RT) Policy and Action Plan. This plan will ensure that Cape Town is well on its way towards being a truly responsible destination. The City will exercise its mandate for local tourism through its sector leadership, facilitating and co-coordinating role, and the creation of a supportive policy environment and actions based on the economic, environmental and socio-economic principles of responsible tourism. 

The purpose of the RT policy is to:

  • Demonstrate the City’s commitment to the implementation of RT
  • Facilitate the city-wide adoption and implementation of RT actions
  • Serve as a decision-making reference point for all divisions within the City
  • Serve as a decision-making reference point for external stakeholders

Green Goal mascot at FIFA World Cup 2010 fan fest

The purpose of the RT campaign plan is to:

  • Give recognition to existing initiatives and actions
  • Unite the diverse initiatives into a co-ordinated campaign
  • Create awareness of RT within the City, the tourism sector, among the general public and consumers
  • Provide targets for stakeholder action
  • Gather information for the monitoring and reporting of the destination’s performance and progress in respect of RT
  • Produce verifiable and credible reports regarding destination performance
  • Create consumer awareness of Cape Town as a responsible destination

The highlighted actions for 2011 are:

  • Responsible Tourism Brochure
  • E-Responsible Tourism Conference at INDABA
  • Responsible Tourism Guidelines
    Launch of the Cape Town Responsible Tourism Campaign

The highlighted actions for 2010 were:

  • 2010 Responsible Tourism Projects as part of Green Goal was:
    1. RT Tip
    2. RT Workshop
    3. Operation Green
  • Drafting of the Responsible Tourism Communication Strategy
  • Development of a Responsible Tourism Website :

    The highlighted actions for 2009 were:
  • Adoption of the RT Policy and Action Plan
  • Signing of the RT Charter by the City and the tourism industry
  • Positioning the City as a responsible destination at INDABA and WTM
  • Implementing projects as identified in the Action Plan

Please click here to view/download Responsible Tourism in Cape Town brochure. The documents referred to in this brochure can be found under policies, guidelines and surveys.

Please contact for more information on Responsible Tourism or for a copy of the brochure. 







© City of Cape Town, 2016