Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) moves into Mozambique

Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) has successfully expanded into Mozambique with the announcement today of four new certified members in Inhambane and Vilanculos.

Tour operator Terra Agua Ceu, eco lodge Dunes de Dovela, boutique resort Bahia Mar and dive specialists Casa Babi/ Odyssea Dive Centre are the latest additions to a portfolio of 64 FTT certified tourism products spread across South Africa, Madagascar and now neighbouring Mozambique.

"This is an exciting time for FTT, "says the non-profit organisation's acting General Manager, Jane Edge. "We are delighted to welcome our new Mozambican clients, who through FTT certification are now able to prove that they have achieved global best practice in responsible tourism operations."

Inhambane-based Terra Agua Ceu (TAC) is a young and dynamic tour operator and travel agency headed up by German-born entrepreneur Marcus Trerup which operates the travel2mozambique.com website. "Terra Agua Ceu means 'Earth, Water, Sky' in Portuguese and our aim is to unify the beauty of these three elements in our custom-made travel itineraries," explains Trerup. His passion and commitment to the Mozambican environment and the culture of its people has helped to establish TAC as a leading proponent of ethical, sustainable tourism. "Joining FTT is the cherry on the cake for us, and great recognition for the work we do in helping to enrich the lives of both our guests and the communities which surround us and depend on us," he says.

An hour's drive south of Inhambane lies Dunes de Dovela, an eco-lodge developed by childhood friends Alexandra Polleau and Thomas Bruneau with the local Chope Community.

Built amid the dunes overlooking Manhame beach, the lodge's luxury bungalows and rustic tents effectively melt into the coastal forest, offering seclusion and a minimal impact on this sensitive environment, while at the same time helping to improve the lives of the Chope people.

"We worked for four years with the Chope Community developing this lodge, training and working hand-in-hand with the local people," says Bruneau. "Since the start of the project, more than 50 people have been trained in building skills such as masonry, woodwork, roofing and tiling. This has enabled them to stay with their families in this rural area instead of having to migrate for work."

Bahia Mar is a luxury boutique hotel situated in the town of Vilanculos overlooking the Bazaruto Archipelago marine reserve. More than just another beach resort, Bahia Mar opened in 2014 and quickly gained a reputation for first-class accommodation and service coupled with a deep-seated commitment to skills development and empowerment of the local community. Bahia Mar's extensive hospitality training programme has seen its staff, largely sourced from the local community, blossom.

"Becoming part of FTT is a logical extension of what we do and how we operate at Bahia Mar," says the hotel's General Manager Susana Vidal.

The Bazaruto Archipelago is also the main area of activities of Odyssea Dive Centre, also located in Vilanculos. The brainchild of Denis Dujardin and Sabrina Rocco, Odyssea came about in 2007 as a result of their shared passion for all things sub-aquatic.

"Together we have more than 25 years' diving experience so it made sense to start Odyssea, especially because we both love the archipelago and are totally committed to preserving its marine environment for generations to come, as well as contributing meaningfully to the lives of the local people," says Rocco.

ABOUT Fair Trade Tourism:

FTT is a non-profit organisation promoting responsible tourism in Africa. It does this by growing awareness about responsible tourism; assisting tourism businesses to operate more sustainably and by facilitating a widely respected certification programme. FTT's certification programme was developed in 2003 and became the first tourism certification programme in Africa to be recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council in December 2011.

For more information please contact:

Thokozile Qoboza: thokozile@fairtrade.travel; Tel: +27 83 6412432

Manuel Bollmann: manuel@fairtrade.travel; Tel: + 27 72 0366619

Jane Edge: jane@fairtrade.travel; Tel: +27 82 5772128

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