By Blake Ng — 27 Aug 2019
Sustainable travelers are ready to explore, and they aren’t afraid to spend the money necessary in order to travel responsibly. According to The Caterer, ethical spending among travelers in the United Kingdom has soared by more than 80 percent. These travelers are conscious of their impact on the local places they visit, and they want to make sure they are supporting tourism organizations that are equally committed to sustainability.
If you want to attract this motivated market segment to your tour and activity company, then consider taking the following steps:
The first thing that you need to do if you want to become a sustainable tour operator is to evaluate your own operations. If you run tour buses, perhaps consider investing in electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles. If you offer your guests drinks and snacks on board your tours, avoid using plastic water bottles or cups that have lids and straws. Instead, sell reusable water bottles or encourage your guests to bring their own. These are the first steps that you need to take in order to become more sustainable.
Part of knowing how to promote sustainable tourism is making a commitment to help rather than hinder the local economy. In far too many destinations, tourism becomes a dominant force in the economy, and it can quickly eliminate local jobs. To help combat this, you can make a commitment to hire only local residents who are both skilled and informed.
The tours and activities that you offer through your company should have a minimal impact on the local culture, environment and wildlife. For example, if you take your guests on kayaking experiences on a local river, you will want to make sure that you work to protect the area that you are showcasing. Time your tours so that they do not disturb the natural habits of the local wildlife, and encourage your tourists to stay on trails and avoid littering.
Experiential travel is becoming more popular as people seek to learn more about the places they visit rather than simply see a few of the best attractions as they pass through the city. Experiential travel also showcases a commitment to sustainability because it promotes the local culture rather than hides it. For example, you could offer a tour of local wineries in your area but also include a lesson from a local vintner on how to produce and bottle wine.
According to Booking.com, more than 87 percent of travelers want to travel more sustainably. Across all market segments, travelers are becoming more conscientious of the impact they have when they go abroad. Noting these statistics, it’s easy to see why now is the best time to tap into the sustainable travel market and attract sustainable travelers. These tips are not difficult to implement, and they can have a big impact on the bookings at your tour and activity company.
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Image credit: Markus Spiske