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A Fair Trade Tourism Certification for Marine Dynamics, Dyer Island Cruises and International Marine Volunteers was presented on June 6th! Marine Dynamics Tours and Dyer Island Cruises have been Fair Trade Tourism certified since 2008 and have recently undergone the external auditing process for certification.
The International Marine Volunteers Programme (IMV) has also received this important status. This certification lasts three years, thus is valid until 2019. Owner of the companies, Wilfred Chivell, is proud that his group of companies has received this recognition. “We have supported the Fair Trade Tourism philosophy since 2008 and we work hard towards meeting the strict criteria. We believe that Your Choice Makes a Difference and by choosing a Fair Trade Tourism certified company, clients are assured that the company is having a positive impact on both people and planet.”
Fair Trade Tourism encourages and monitors fair and responsible practices in tourism establishments and activities. It aims to afford tourists, travelling to developing countries the opportunity to travel responsibly and engage with the communities in which they travel.
As of the 1st June 2016 Fair Trade Tourism finalised an extensive review of criteria for tourism businesses with volunteer offerings. “Our new criteria were not introduced to advocate for animal welfare or take an ethical position against volunteering with vulne-rable people,” says Fair Trade Tourism MD, Nivashnee Naidoo. “However, as an organisation that represents global best-practice in responsible tourism, it is our role and our interest to promote ethical, authentic and transparently marketed volunteer experiences,” she adds. Fair Trade Tourism’s new criteria were informed by a range of expert sources including, amongst others, Better Volunteering, Tourism Watch, UNICEF, Endangered Wildlife Trust and Wildlife Act. A number of Southern African volunteer organisations, inclu-ding IMV also gave their valuable input. “We strive to maintain a gold standard for our volunteers, in both their volunteering and living environments.
The well-being of our staff and volunteers is of paramount importance to us and all become involved in our conservation and community projects,” said manager of the International Marine Volunteers programme, Meredith Thornton.