!Xaus Lodge has been certified as a Fair Trade in Tourism Southern Africa (FTTSA) partner. Announced at the launch of Indaba 2011, this certification comes soon after the November 2010 winning of the Imvelo Awards for Best Practice Economic Impact.
“We are now in our 4th years of operation” says management operator CEO Glynn O’Leary “and are proud that our dream of creating an excellent tourism product for the discerning, modern traveller has become reality. At the same time our community owners, the ‡Khomani San and Mier, are seeing the growth of a viable asset that generates a monthly return to the community.”
!Xaus Lodge is a full-catered facility in the Kglagadi Transfrontier Park that provides visitors a wholistic experience of desert life. Morning walks with the trackers give guests an opportunity to learn about the flora and fauna, and visits to the local craft village an opportunity to interact with local Bushmen crafters. Game drives and sundowners on the dunes add to a day’s activities.
The FTTSA certification process examines social, economic and environmental performance, seeking a balance of all three principles of sustainable development. This quality management system addresses 14 operational areas of a tourism business. The Imvelo Awards acknowledged the demonstrable economic impact of the Lodge which has generated over R6.5million in the Gordonia area since opening in 2007.
“!Xaus Lodge generates a direct income for its community owners, jobs and skills-development opportunities for community members, and an environment that attracts new tourists into an impoverished area of the country” says Glynn O’Leary, CEO of Transfrontier Parks Destinations, the management operators. “Visitors are attracted by the varied experience, and quality environment where they have an opportunity to experience, not just observe, the Kgalagadi.”