Friday 25 November 2011

More on our journey to South Africa

pic taken by Jeremy Smith at Bulungula

"There are companies which bulldoze their way into beautiful destinations and there are some, like The Blue Yonder, which not only tread gently, but also with dignity, respect and honesty. I can't imagine voyaging into South Africa without the hands of this sensitive, sustainable company to lead me along the right path, safe in the knowledge that my visit is truly welcomed by local people and communities. And that these are holidays designed on the hosts' terms, and with ethics at the heart of everything they do".

Catherine Mack, - travel writer specialising in responsible tourism,
Ethical Traveller
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pic taken by Jeremy Smith at Bulungula

IIPT (International Institute for Peace through Tourism) is most pleased to endorse the entry of The Blue Yonder holidays into South Africa – and hopefully soon to the other countries of Southern Africa – underpinned by its responsible tourism practices and its philosophy of doing well by doing good. Persons traveling with The Blue Yonder will truly have an opportunity to be “Ambassadors for Peace.”

IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Cape Town and Responsible Tourism

On the eve of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day (9th nov 2011) we were honoured to hear from the dynamic leader of Cape Town Tourism - Mariëtte du Toit-Helmbold.

“Industry reports from World Travel Market confirms that the global recession continues to have a significant impact on long-haul travel. Within this context people are increasingly seeking original and local experiences."

"Responsible and community tourism has gained momentum from a niche tourism sector to a philosophy that is one of the industry’s most exciting developments ever; uniting citizens from across the world into one interconnected, united movement, communicating a significant signal to businesses that the tourism industry mean to act, not just talk. "

"Cape Town is acknowledged internationally as has become one of the leading cities in the world when it comes to responsible tourism. Even though there has considerable progress been made in addressing the environmental impact of tourism in our destination, we cannot rest on our laurels. In order to achieve sustainability; the tourism industry must continue to place significant focus on harnessing tourism for local economic development, for the benefit of all communities and in managing the social impact of tourism."

"Cape Town Tourism is continuously looking for better ways to instil the responsible tourism philosophy and expand on existing sustainable tourism mechanisms in our region and is looking forward to working with The Blue Yonder – one of the world’s pioneers in Responsible Tourism.”

Sunday 13 November 2011

South Africa : first international destination from The Blue Yonder

The Blue Yonder, launched an exciting range of journeys to South Africa at the World Travel Market in London on 9th November 2011.

With a strong focus on storytelling and promoting sustainable development in the Rainbow Nation, the tours will give travellers ample opportunities to get beneath the surface and understand many dimensions of life in 21st century South Africa. Each journey has been carefully created to offer guests a fun and fascinating insight into local culture, wildlife and customs, while providing the maximum possible benefit to the destination communities.

The Blue Yonder South Africa will launch with an initial portfolio of ten itineraries, focusing on four areas: Cape Town and the Western Cape; Durban and KwaZulu Natal; Johannesburg and Soweto; and Kruger National Park.

Tours include among others a 14-day Fair Trade Whales and Wildlife Safari, and a six-day immersive experience in Cape Town, built around some of the city's most dynamic and transformative social development projects. Each tour partners with Fair Trade-accredited accommodation and operators wherever possible.

The Blue Yonder's founder Gopinath Parayil explains the decision to base the company's first international venture in the Rainbow Nation. "It was in South Africa that we first heard the words that became our mission statement: 'creating better places for people to live in and for people to visit'. That phrase came from the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism, and it distils the essence of what we try to achieve through our holidays."

Fiona Jeffery, Chairman of WTM London, says "I am glad to see The Blue Yonder going international and offering holidays to South Africa during the WTM World Responsible Tourism day at the World Travel Market. We have known The Blue Yonder for past six years as a travel company that has evolved into a social enterprise in India. The leadership they have shown in the travel industry is truly inspiring. The WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is the celebration of such inspiring stories and we wish them all the best in creating better places for people to live in and for people to visit."

“The Blue Yonder's intoxicating mix of authentic cultural experiences and responsibility arrives in South Africa from Kerala with 6 years of know how and experience and is a must for South African visitors.” Justin Francis, Founder –

Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold, CEO of Cape Tourism said, “Cape Town Tourism is continuously looking for better ways to instil the responsible tourism philosophy and expand on existing sustainable tourism mechanisms in our region and is looking forward to working with The Blue Yonder – one of the world’s pioneers in Responsible Tourism.”

We are so pleased that The Blue Yonder has started to promote travel to South Africa. Not only is this a good example of like minded organizations who believe in the power of tourisms contribution to sustainable development collaborating globally, but also creates new opportunities for us in accessing travelers from India and elsewhere through their network. A fine example of South-South collaboration.” Paul Miedema, Founder Calbash Tours and Calabash trust.


The Blue Yonder was founded in 2005 as a social enterprise dedicated to preserving natural and cultural heritage along the River Nila in the South Indian state of Kerala. The company now operates tours in several regions of India, including Kerala, Rajasthan and the Himalayas, and has been at the forefront of promoting responsible tourism as the best path forward for the travel business worldwide.

The Blue Yonder's Indian journeys have featured as one of the "Top Ten Green Breaks" in British Airways' High Life magazine, and in Condé-Nast Traveler as one of "Eight Great Trips that Give Back". The Blue Yonder also features in Rough Guides' Clean Breaks: 500 New Ways to See the World, and its River Nila packages are rated among the six best responsible holidays in India by Footprint India Handbook.

For more information, visit South Africa website or contact Gopinath Parayil for press enquiries.