By Taz Bareham — 7 Apr 2016
You have a unique role as a tour operator in order to protect the environment and encourage sustainability in your local area. In many ways, you are the person who showcases your region and promotes its beauty and its character. You need to make an effort to implement green policies and initiatives within your company because it will help preserve the world around you, improve your own operations and also prove to your travelers and the local residents that you are committed to the community and the beautiful environment you are showcasing.
Here’s a few tips to help you get started:
Tour companies need to utilize a variety of different resources in order to allow their customers to enjoy a premium experience. However, a premium experience doesn’t mean that you have to jeopardize the environment. Opt for vans and other vehicles that have good fuel economy, and even consider purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle for your tours. Fill your tours to capacity in order to avoid running an excessive number of vehicles with only a few people in them. If you offer walking tours, consider minimizing the size of your tours so that the excessive foot traffic does not damage the local plants and foliage.
You don’t need people to bring paper tickets to your check-in station anymore, and you don’t need to carry around a paper manifest. Technology is a huge assistant in sustainability efforts, and you can conduct a significant amount of your business on a tablet or smartphone device. A cloud based booking software, can be accessed anywhere. This allows you to take your business on-the-go, and prevents you from wasting valuable resources such as paper.
Keeping it local is one of the best ways to support the community and reduce your impact on the environment. Local residents will not have to commute far to your location (and you can even offer incentives for carpooling or using public transportation) and they also will continue to invest their earnings in the local economy. If you need supplies for your business, make your purchase from another local retailer. You’re preventing products from being shipped across the globe, and also helping your own community flourish at the same time. In the long run this will help you with growing your business, as the community will forward tourists to your business.
So, being conscientious of your impact on the environment is not just good for your business, it’s simply the right thing to do. While it’s true that many sustainability efforts will help you reduce the cost of operating tours on a regular basis, the important thing is that you are protecting the environment and supporting your local community.