Great Plains Conservation is a good example of how ecotourism operators in Africa can actively protect and preserve wildlife as a key part of their business strategy, leading to benefits on all sides.
Dorian Hoy, Managing Director of Botswana-based Great Plains Conservation, tells us how the award-winning tour business approaches sustainability, and the strategy it uses to connect wildlife protection with responsible tourism.
- Great Plains Conservation’s journey towards sustainability awareness;
- Why responsible tourism practices are now more important than ever;
- The key challenges Great Plains Conservation is facing as tourism business;
- How Great Plains has teamed up with its business competitor &Beyond for the benefit of wildlife conservation;
- Why wildlife protection in Africa is in such a dire state, and how tourism can help;
- How Great Plains Conservation has benefited from winning the responsible tourism Africa award;
- How to make sustainability work, financially.
Dorian, your passion for wildlife and conservation has taken you to destinations as diverse as Australia, Morocco and Abu Dhabi. Do you remember the first time you heard about “sustainability” linked to tourism? Which were your initial thoughts?
Yes, it would have been in the early days working in the Sabi Sand Game reserve. Back then, around early 90’s, sustainability initiatives were not at the forefront of people’s thoughts.
I think what struck me the most back then was the massive footprint of the camp and supporting infrastructure in this pristine area. It didn’t sit well that we were generating a huge amount of waste and leaving behind a negative impact on the environment. It took a few years though to understand that there were alternatives to the way we did things.
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