St John's Accommodation: Ecotourism Tips For Accommodation Providers
To those who work in travel, it seems all-but impossible for the tourism community to collectively
"get rid of 2.2 billion tonnes of stuff we can't even see" between now and 2020.
At a recent BC Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference Conference, keynoters made a few suggestions:
- Dump the labels: Instead of splitting hairs between eco-travel, sustainable travel, responsible travel, ethical travel and so on, leave "eco" in the economy—since the economy is a subsidiary of the environment.
- Simplify the message. Use plain language, such as "good tourism" or "tourism cares." Let's face it: visitors are on vacation. They probably don't want to know if your place meets 1,0001 criteria.
- Incentivize: The destination that makes the brave decision to only market "green" suppliers will likely win in the next five years. Encourage every guest to embrace an ecological mindset.
- Stop building: There is value in non-development. There are opportunities where not developing a piece of pristine land will eventually pay more than developing it. You may be paid to become stewards, but only by showing leadership now.
- Slow down: "Slow travel," just like Slow Food, is hot.
- Engage the locals. Show the community you care.
- When appropriate, go virtual: Some consumers may choose to experience places in a virtual way; but don't see that—or telepresence—as a threat. It may be your biggest ally.