- Category: Going Out To
- Written by Press Release
Fair Trade Tourism’s portfolio of certified tourism products in Mozambique is on the rise with the certification of Naara Eco lodge, located on the Nhambavale Lake in the village of Chidenguele, some 260km north of the capital of Maputo.
With 10 luxury safari tents tucked behind the dunes of the Indian Ocean overlooking a vast fresh water lake and the Natura Wellness Centre – a luxurious spa in a secluded forest alongside the dunes – Naara Eco Lodge has evolved from a passion for community welfare, development and poverty alleviation.
The lodge prides itself on its involvement in the local Inhandime community and the initiatives it is undertaking, such as the installation of a deep well water system to provide villagers with access to clean water; the establishment of a community trading store and job creation programmes aimed at recruiting local staff and tourism guides.
Naara also procures all of the produce used in creating its vibrant menus locally, lowering its carbon footprint while at the same time increasing entrepreneurial opportunities in the community. The lodge is solar powered and has an efficient waste management system.
Becoming Fair Trade Tourism certified was an obvious choice for owner Leila Oliveira. “We’ve gone through the long and demanding process of certification because we wanted to be part of the global responsible tourism network,” she says. “We truly love welcoming guests who take the community and environment to their hearts and show them a slower pace of life which is more respectful to the environment.
“We also wanted to learn from Fair Trade Tourism what we could be doing better, as to become certified we needed to adhere to more than 300 criteria! It was a lot of work but the team at Fair Trade Tourism were marvellous and very supportive. We hope that by becoming certified we can further support responsible tourism initiatives and are able to make a greater difference on the lives of the people, animals and plants living around us,” she adds.
Fair Trade Tourism is a non-government organisation operating the world's first and currently only Fair Trade certification programme for the tourism industry. The certification programme is based on adherence to specific criteria including fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practice and respect for human rights, culture and the environment. It has certified businesses in South Africa, Madagascar and Mozambique and has mutual recognition agreements with like-minded certification programmes in Botswana, Namibia, the Seychelles and Tanzania.
The organisation encourages and monitors fair and responsible practices in tourism establishments and activities. Its purpose is to create opportunities for business owners and employees of tourism businesses in developing countries to enter and trade in markets governed by fair practice and transparency.
“We are delighted to welcome Naara Eco Lodge to the Fair Trade Tourism portfolio” says the organisation’s Managing Director, Nivashnee Naidoo. “With its commitment to the Inhandime community and its reduction of impact on a very sensitive coastal environment, the lodge can be rightfully proud of its achievements in the sustainable tourism arena,” she adds.
Naara Eco Lodge joins Bahia Mar, Casa Babi, Dunes de Dovela and Machilla Magic in the collection of Fair Trade Tourism certified establishments in Mozambique.