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Sustainable Tourism Essential for South Africa’s Future

South Africa’s breath-taking scenery, incredible wildlife, beautiful beaches and enviable climate are what make the country one of the world’s top travel destinations. However, these assets are at risk unless sustainability efforts are seriously ramped up, particularly in the tourism sector.

This, according to Grant Sandham, our Group Sales & Marketing Manager.

South Africa is currently celebrating Tourism Month, with this year’s focus – I Do Tourism Sustainably – being aligned to the United Nations’ World Tourism Day theme of Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development. The aim is to highlight how everyone can contribute to tourism by assisting in the preservation of the environment.

“Tourism generates 10% of the world’s GDP, one in every 10 jobs and 30% of world trade in services. However, according to the World Tourism Organisation, it is also responsible for approximately 5% of global CO2 emissions and contributes 4.6% of global warming,” says Sandham.

He continues: “Tourism puts immense pressure on a country’s natural resources like water and energy, with US hotels consuming 84.7 billion kilowatts per hour and the average medium-to-large hotel in Australia using about 750 litres of water per room each day. This is particularly concerning in the South African context, with the country experiencing the negative effects of a severe drought and issues with the supply and cost of energy.”

“The International Hotel Environmental Initiative has also found that the average hotel guest is estimated to generate up to 1kg of waste per day. At the moment, South Africa’s landfills are rapidly running out of space and, with only 5% of our population recycling, we are on the brink of a national crisis. Consequences of this have been unsightly and harmful litter filling our natural environment and the loss of the potential GDP growth and much-needed employment opportunities that recycling can provide,” adds Sandham.

He shares: “As members of the tourism industry, we have a responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment so that it will be available for future generations to enjoy, as well as to ensure that we continue contributing to sustainable economic growth and decent employment.”

To this end, Premier Hotels & Resorts has, over the last few years, adopted a number of sustainability initiatives.

In terms of its water conservation efforts, some properties in the hotel chain, such as Premier Hotel Midrand and Premier Hotel O.R. Tambo, are solely reliant on borehole water. Others like Premier Resort Mpongo Private Game ReservePremier Resort The Moorings and Premier Resort Sani Pass have begun implementing grey water reclamation and recycling solutions. Other water saving initiatives that have been implemented by Premier Hotels & Resorts include the provision of full and half flush options on all toilets as well as the installation of low-flow showerheads and tap controls.

The company has also committed to curbing energy expenditure in all of its hotels with the installation of energy-saving bulbs and heat exchange systems to warm up water. Plans are also in place to have all lighting regulated through the use of timers and sensors in public areas.

The Group’s sustainability approach extends to its general housekeeping, suppliers and food and beverage services. For instance, Premier Hotels & Resorts supports sustainable suppliers, uses local, environmentally friendly cleaning products and makes regular food donations to local food banks and charities.

“While our aim is to always provide a luxurious stay for our patrons, we also encourage them to join us in our commitment to making a difference. We continually educate guests on how they can help minimise their impact on the environment by making small adjustments to their behaviour during their visits. For instance, we provide recycling bins in our conference centres to encourage them to participate in waste separation at source. In doing so, we reinforce that we all need to play our part in preserving and protecting our country’s precious assets,” concludes Sandham.

Read the original article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sustainable-tourism-essential-south-africas-future-smith/?published=t

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Dear Valued Guests, loyal Premier Rewards Members and Staff

For many of you the current situation globally around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as defined by the World Health Organization, is of grave concern and worrying.

Our thoughts and well wishes go out to all the people and their families who have been affected by this virus and we salute and support all the doctors, healthcare professionals, and volunteers, as well as governments who are working tirelessly to defeat this virus.

We acknowledge and support South Africa’s stance as outlined by President Ramaphosa on 15 March 2020, and we are closely monitoring the Department of Health’s communication channels, and the World Health Organization’s statements. Premier Hotels and Resorts is deeply committed to adhering strictly to South African and global health guidelines expected from us as a corporate citizen. Our guests’ and staff health, safety and well-being will always remain our primary concern during stays at our wonderful properties.

OUR COMMITMENT TO CLEANLINESS AND HYGIENE:

Premier takes standards for hygiene and cleanliness very seriously and we are implementing these additional steps to ensure the safety of our guests and staff.

  1. Hand Hygiene:Our teams are constantly reminded that cleanliness starts with proper and frequent handwashing.
  2. Ongoing Training: In addition to training on housekeeping and hygiene protocols, hotel staff are also completing enhanced COVID-19 awareness training.
  3. Real-Time Information:Corporate and regional teams are on standby 24/7 to support the hotels and coordinate with local and regional authorities.
  4. Cleaning Products and Protocols:Our hotels follow strict cleaning protocols and effective cleaning products which safeguard our hotels, including guest rooms, public spaces and conference rooms, our back-of-house areas, such as storage and locker rooms, laundry rooms, and staff offices against viruses. We are increasing the frequency of cleaning high-touch items and areas including all counters, the front desk, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, public bathrooms, and room-access key cards.

Please contact info@premierhotels.co.za or the General Manager of the respective Premier Hotel or Resort you’re staying in or working for, on any specific enquiry you may have.

Your health and safety is of paramount importance to us, always.

On behalf of The Premier Group
You’re Welcome and we are here for you!

Premier Hotels and Resorts Cancellation Policy

Premier will be updating our cancellation policy regularly to reflect reality and breaking news around travel restrictions and new developments related to the COVID-19 virus – and to provide our valued guests with peace-of-mind and flexibility. Your ongoing support is important to us.

Premier Cancellation Terms & Conditions (during the current Coronavirus restrictions)

FIT Cancellation Policy (as per STO contract)

  • As per Premier current STO T’s and C’s, our trade partners already have the option to cancel up to 72 hours of arrival without cancellation penalties.
  • Any cancellations received within 72 hours of arrival will be charged one night’s accommodation at the reserved room rate, unless guests are prohibited from travel to South Africa from countries identified by the South African Government, currently defined as Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Germany, US, UK, and China – or international airline carrier restrictions.
  • Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate difference (if applicable).
  • Guests who booked at a Premier Hotel or Resort via online travel agents, or any other third-party travel professional, are requested to contact their agent for further information on their respective policies.

Group & Series Cancellation Policy (as per STO contract)

  • Please refer to current STO T&Cs should a group cancel.
  • However, under current circumstances:
    • Within 14 days of arrival, a 100% cancellation penalty will apply unless guests are prohibited from travel to South Africa from countries identified by the South African Government, currently defined as Italy, Iraq, South Korea, Spain, Germany, US, UK, and China – or international airline carrier restrictions.
    • Premier Hotels and Resorts have, for the interim period, agreed to waive cancellation penalties for 15-45 days should the guests rebook within a 12-month period, on the new rate validity which has been distributed until 2021.
    • We will apply this clause until end-May 2020 whereby we may have a better understanding of the situation.
  • Please ensure these details are communicated to reservations at Premier hotels at your earliest convenience to ensure they are tracked correctly.
  • We would also like to propose that, in this time of uncertainty, guest rooming lists are sent to us at your earliest convenience and that any unused rooms are released immediately to avoid attracting unnecessary penalties.
  • In all cases, we will review extraordinary circumstances on an ad-hoc basis, at each hotel, and review with you.

MICE Groups Cancellation Policy (as per your G&C contract)

  • With regards to conference/MICE group cancellations, Premier will not charge cancellation fees if you have not paid a deposit.
  • In addition, Premier is introducing special deals on conferencing over the next few months. This is in response to Government legislated maximum group sizes of 100 people at a “gathering” or conference.
  • Should a confirmed group conference booking wish to cancel under the current circumstances, be it from an affected area or not, Premier Hotels will agree (until further notice) to hold any deposit / monies paid (if applicable) and honour the booking for future travel within a 12-month period from the original date of arrival. Each case will be reviewed for fairness.
  • Should the booking move from an off-peak to peak period (winter to year-end summer), the rate proposal may need to be reviewed and re-negotiated.

For more information on the Coronavirus in SA – please visit sacoronavirus.co.za

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