Black Meetings and Tourism

July/Aug 2011

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SOUTH AFRICAN TOURISM LAUNCHES ECOTHANDA SUSTAINABLE MEETINGS DIRECTORY S outh African Tourism launched EcoThanda, its first-of-a-kind SustainableMeetings Directory, at the Haworth Inc. showroom in Washington DC on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, the Hon. Marthinus Van Schalkwyk unveiled this major green initiative for the Business Tourism sector at an eco- friendly reception hosted by South African Tourism in conjunction with the Department ofTrade and Industry. The directory is an online listing of South African suppliers whose products and services have been vetted and approved for sustainable practices by an independent consultant, National Geo- graphic’s Costas Christ, employing world recognized criteria. “This directory was developed in response to the demand from the meetings and incentives indus- try for more sustainable alternatives,” said Minister Van Schalkwyk. “Our goal is 200 suppliers in the first year, and we expect this number to growaswe expand our outreach for the program.” Ambassador Kingsley Makhubela, director-general in the National Depart- ment of Tourism, SouthAfricanTourism CEO Ambassador Thandiwe January- Mclean, South African Tourism CMO Roshene Singh and Sthu Zungu, presi- dent of South African Tourism, North America, along with guests from the CorporateCouncil onAfrica (CCA), the Africa Chamber of Commerce and asso- ciation executiveswere all present for the launch. “This online platform is dedicated to offering incentive buyers information to make greener, more sustainable choices from the property offerings available in South Africa,” stated Sthu Zungu. “The directory is a first of its kind in the MICE world and once fully rolled out will create a point of difference for South Africa few other destinations will be able to match.” South African Tourism went to some lengths to ensure a green evening for Geppetto Catering, is the highest rated certified green caterer in the Metro DC Region. The votives and decorative lights were LED, napkins were compostable, and all serving ware was china, silver or glass. Pictured here are the Minister Van Schalwyk (center), Ambassador January- McClean (in blue head wrap), and President Zungu (in gray dress) along with other guests at launch event. the launch. The venue, Haworth inc. is a global leader in the design and manu- facture of organic workspaces, and the showroom was given a LEED Gold designation by the US Green Building council. The information cards were made of wildflower seed-embedded handmade paper, made from 50% recycled content, with planting directions for after the event. Wines were provided by Ken Forrester, Glenelly and DeMorgenzon, three of the sustainable wineries listed on EcoThanda, and the gift items came from Monkeybiz, another EcoThanda supplier known for the economic empowerment they bring to women in local communi- ties. The caterer for the evening, The Sanborn Media Factory, under the leadership of Marshall McDonald, designed and developed the EcoThanda Website. Log on to http://www.south- to access the com- plete directory of suppliers. Formore information onEcoThanda, and this world-class destination contact Business Tourism Manager Laura Saeger at South African Tourism, 500 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2040, New York, N.Y., 10110;Tel: (212) 471-6263 or (212) 730-2929; Fax: (212) 764-1980; email or visit www.- Join them on Facebook at For information and brochures call (800) 593-1318. Black Meetings & Tourism July/August 2011: 29

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