The Green Tourism Incentive Programme

tgcsa incentive

The Green Tourism Incentive Programme

Tourism’s rapid expansion offers major opportunities for economic growth but presents the considerable challenge of managing this growth sustainably without placing unacceptable pressure on the use of land, water, and other resources.

According to the National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS), one of the major trends impacting on tourism globally is the increasing interest in “green” “sustainable”, “responsible” and “ethical” tourism. Increasingly tourists are choosing to reduce negative environmental impacts on the host country. They prefer to choose destinations showing minimal environmental impact. The growth in green tourism and environmental consciousness of the sensitive tourist presents an opportunity for South Africa whose tourism development policy is centered on responsible tourism practices.


In line with responsible tourism practices espoused by the NTSS, the Department of Tourism (NDT) in collaboration with Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has embarked on a programme called The Green Tourism Incentive Programme (GTIP), whose objective is to encourage privately owned tourism enterprises to move towards cleaner and renewable energy sources and to reduce energy costs. This will in a long-term reduce the carbon footprint, promote responsible tourism and also reduce running costs for tourism establishments.

The GTIP covers 90% of the cost for a new energy efficiency audit conducted by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC – SA) or the full cost of reviewing an existing audit for approved applicants. The audit by the NCPC – SA establishes the best or most practical green solutions to be implemented at each audited establishment.

In addition to the cost of the audit, the GTIP offers grant funding on a sliding scale from 30% to 90% capped at R1 million to qualified applicants/establishments for the energy efficiency solutions proposed by the audit. Renewable energy and efficiency solutions that will be considered include amongst others:

  • Renewable energy generating systems: solar and wind, where appropriate;
  • Lighting: solar and LED installations;
  • Water-heating equipment: Solar-based water heaters, heat pumps;
  • Energy-efficiency appliances: gas stoves, solar cookers, energy efficiency devices, etc.

To be eligible for grant funding, accommodation and conference venues must be accredited and possess an official valid star-grading certificate by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA).


More information on the GTIP and applications for funding are obtainable on the IDC website: