15
08/2020
AUTHOR
Aude Lenoir
IDEAS

3 strategies to raise awareness of your sustainable practices and offers

Read IN FRENCH

Travellers are adopting increasingly green behaviour and expect similar changes from tourism businesses.

According to a survey conducted by Booking.com among 18,000 international travellers, 71% of them want more sustainable travel choices from companies. The same proportion would be more inclined to book a hotel knowing that it is eco-responsible.

However, many obstacles persist in making these trips, such as the lack of information provided by companies about their sustainable practices and offers. The challenge for them is to make themselves better known. To do this, three strategies can be used:

The examples below are intended in particular for destination promotion organizations, tour operators and receptive agencies. This article is inspired by a conference I had the pleasure of giving at the annual conference of the Receptive Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Association of Quebec.

1. Create a clear and distinctive positioning

Tour operators and receptive agencies in sustainable tourism have understood this well: to attract customers, gain their trust and retain them, it is necessary to have a clear positioning, consistent with their offer and distinct from their competitors. To illustrate this strategy, here is an example of a tour operator website. Its editorial line reflects this positioning. The keywords used in their communications are the promise of travel within a niche market of sustainable tourism.

However, even without being positioned in this niche, a company should not hesitate to promote its sustainable initiatives, as long as the communication is made in a transparent manner and without false promises.

2. Package the sustainable offer

Packaging the sustainable offer of a destination increases the chances of attracting travelers. The Vanilla Islands destination management organization, located in the Indian Ocean, has taken a concerted and collaborative approach to create inter-island combinations that promotes ecotourism, a form of sustainable tourism that prioritizes the respect of the natural environment. After identifying the offer, they invited receptive agencies present on each of the islands to manifest their interest. They then came together to create 22 packages, featured, amongst other places, on the Vanilla Islands website.

3. Get involved in a certification and labeling process

Sustainable tourism certifications allow businesses and destinations to be supported in implementing more sustainable practices. They also represent a pledge of confidence for visitors who see it as a guarantee of eco-responsible products and services. There are many certifications and labels, such as those of Travelife and Act for Responsible Tourism, dedicated to tour operators or those of EarthCheck and Green Destinations, for destinations. In Quebec, Adventure Ecotourism Québec offers Ecotourism accreditation  for activities in the natural  environment within adventure tourism and ecotourism companies.

Communication and marketing of the sustainable tourism offer are essential, as travelers are still too ill-equipped to make an informed choice.

Whether you are a company that is embarking on the path of sustainable tourism or one that is already well positioned, remember that communication is also essential internally. Educate and train your front-line employees to promote your sustainable approach to visitors.

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15
08/2020
AUTEUR
Aude Lenoir
ÉCLAIREZ VOS IDÉES

3 strategies to raise awareness of your sustainable practices and offers

Read IN ENGLISH

Travellers are adopting increasingly green behaviour and expect similar changes from tourism businesses.

According to a survey conducted by Booking.com among 18,000 international travellers, 71% of them want more sustainable travel choices from companies. The same proportion would be more inclined to book a hotel knowing that it is eco-responsible.

However, many obstacles persist in making these trips, such as the lack of information provided by companies about their sustainable practices and offers. The challenge for them is to make themselves better known. To do this, three strategies can be used:

The examples below are intended in particular for destination promotion organizations, tour operators and receptive agencies. This article is inspired by a conference I had the pleasure of giving at the annual conference of the Receptive Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Association of Quebec.

1. Create a clear and distinctive positioning

Tour operators and receptive agencies in sustainable tourism have understood this well: to attract customers, gain their trust and retain them, it is necessary to have a clear positioning, consistent with their offer and distinct from their competitors. To illustrate this strategy, here is an example of a tour operator website. Its editorial line reflects this positioning. The keywords used in their communications are the promise of travel within a niche market of sustainable tourism.

However, even without being positioned in this niche, a company should not hesitate to promote its sustainable initiatives, as long as the communication is made in a transparent manner and without false promises.

2. Package the sustainable offer

Packaging the sustainable offer of a destination increases the chances of attracting travelers. The Vanilla Islands destination management organization, located in the Indian Ocean, has taken a concerted and collaborative approach to create inter-island combinations that promotes ecotourism, a form of sustainable tourism that prioritizes the respect of the natural environment. After identifying the offer, they invited receptive agencies present on each of the islands to manifest their interest. They then came together to create 22 packages, featured, amongst other places, on the Vanilla Islands website.

3. Get involved in a certification and labeling process

Sustainable tourism certifications allow businesses and destinations to be supported in implementing more sustainable practices. They also represent a pledge of confidence for visitors who see it as a guarantee of eco-responsible products and services. There are many certifications and labels, such as those of Travelife and Act for Responsible Tourism, dedicated to tour operators or those of EarthCheck and Green Destinations, for destinations. In Quebec, Adventure Ecotourism Québec offers Ecotourism accreditation  for activities in the natural  environment within adventure tourism and ecotourism companies.

Communication and marketing of the sustainable tourism offer are essential, as travelers are still too ill-equipped to make an informed choice.

Whether you are a company that is embarking on the path of sustainable tourism or one that is already well positioned, remember that communication is also essential internally. Educate and train your front-line employees to promote your sustainable approach to visitors.

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