PATA | Contact

All posts tagged marketing

When you talk about sustainable tourism, focus on it makes your guests’ experiences better

Categories: Blog Posts, Marketing
Comments Off on When you talk about sustainable tourism, focus on it makes your guests’ experiences better

by Jeremy Smith, Editor & Co-Founder, Travindy

The easiest way to understand why most people struggle to communicate sustainable tourism well, and to understand how to get it right, is to stop thinking about sustainable tourism.

Instead, think about food. When you buy any food that comes in packaging, that packaging is covered with information. On the front, there’s the name of the product, maybe a photo or image of it looking at its finest, and a few short words or a phrase that describe how mouthwateringly, lipsmackingly delicious it is. All this information is communicating to the customer what their experience will be like. Because that is what motivates their purchase.

Meanwhile, somewhere else on the package, probably on the back, in a tiny font, is a long list of ingredients, some information on how to dispose of the packaging, guidelines about which sort of food intolerances it is a risk for, and so on. How many times do you ever look at that information before you buy a product – unless you specifically need to know if, say, it might contain peanuts? This is how the product was made. It’s complex, necessary, and in a few specific cases motivates a purchase. But not often.

When talking about tourism in general, people focus on the first approach – how relaxing, exciting, thrilling, inspiring your holiday will be. But when many people try to communicate sustainable tourism the focus shifts to an overemphasis on what is found on the back of the food packet – the stuff about how it is made.

It’s not surprising. People who put in all this extra effort are incredibly committed, passionate people. They care hugely about supporting their local communities, regenerating endangered habitats, or reducing their impact on climate change. And they want to share this passion with their guests.

Last year my colleague Professor Xavier Font analysed the sustainability messages used by businesses winning the World Responsible Tourism Awards held at WTM and WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards over the previous years. In other words, the leaders in the field. He found that even then: “most of these messages focus on passive facts where the beneficiary of the sustainability action is not clear.”

To use an example that combines food and hospitality, companies report reductions in food miles, but don’t contextualise this message so as to explain to their guests how their experience is improved as a result. Yes, reducing food miles means less carbon emissions while supporting a region’s farmers. Yet the key message to consumers should be that this offers unique opportunities for them to enjoy varieties and tastes they won’t get elsewhere, while ensuring that the food is as fresh and ripe as can be. In other words, our efforts to be more sustainable mean a better holiday for you.

In the same way, if your lodge has solar panels – key messages might be how this enables it to be sited in such a remote and beautiful place, or how it means there are no ugly power cables spoiling the view, or how guests can sleep undisturbed by the hum of a generator. If your staff are all from nearby villages, this means they know the area best, have the most fascinating stories of its history, and make the best guides to it today.

If you clear the litter off of coral, it is the clean reef you show a picture of, not the pile of rubbish. If the air is pure where you operate, you don’t detail the chemical composition of the atmosphere, you paint a picture so people imagine closing their eyes and breathing deep. If you have protected thousands of acres of forests the story you share is not of the bureaucratic wrangling and years of campaigning, but of how far and free people can walk direct from your front door.

For every action you take, every procedure you implement, every device or tool you’ve added to make your operation run more sustainably, ask yourself – how does this improve my guests’ experience. And then tell them that. To use the food packaging analogy – put this on the front of the pack.

Of course it may well be that you can’t think of suitable stories to tell about some of the things you do. So, just as with all the less exciting sounding ingredients, you put these on the back. In an environmental policy document. Under a ‘sustainability practices’ tab on the website. You still mention them – because just as some people look for specific ingredients in food, so some people will check your sustainable tourism policy. And without it being there for those that look, how would they know?

There is much else to get right, once you have ensured your communications focus on the benefit for your guests. You need to avoid greenwash. Got the tone right so you aren’t preachy or angry. But everything starts here.

 

Looking for more help?

Over the years we’ve worked with hundreds of people and companies who are putting loads of effort into being more sustainable, and who are frustrated because they aren’t able to get their guests as excited about their efforts as they are. We’ve put together much of what we have learned, and the stories of many of the companies we have helped, into a free Essential Guide to Marketing and Communicating Sustainable Tourism. This 83-page ebook is filled with case studies of companies getting it right, and ideas and advice for people looking to do the same.

It can be downloaded from Travindy here. And if you want to talk to us about how we can help you get your sustainability stories heard, email anula@travindy.com, tweet @travindy or find us at facebook.com/travindy

Share

Tourism Marketing Agent: Tourism and more

April 2016 – There can be little doubt that food is a major part of the tourism experience.  If tourism is about seeing new sights and having new and unique experiences then the culinary world is a major part of the tourism experience.  Because eating is an essential part of living, food or culinary tourism has a broad base of appeal.  In fact, often when visitors return home, one of the first questions that people ask is ‘how is the food?”  The interaction between tourism and food is often called culinary tourism.  In reality this is a broad term that often means different things to different people.  Often scholars define culinary tourism along the lines of: visitors having the opportunity of partaking in unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences.  Culinary tourism tries to provide authentic local cuisines that represent both the tastes and smells of a nation as a part of that locale’s cultural offerings and heritage.  This definition, however, may speak more to a locale’s “haute cuisine” than to the eating experience of the average local resident.

The World Food Tourism Association supports this assertion noting that “only 8.1% of all foodies self-identify with the “gourmet” label.” Thus the association argues that most people enjoy good food and drink but there is no necessary relationship between the enjoyment of a culinary experiences and the cost of that experience.

Often the most interesting culinary experiences come from a variety of social and economic classes. Furthermore, every community has a culinary food potential, although often visitors or tourists do not get to experience it and at times the local population under appreciates it. To help you create a local culinary tourism experience that will add pride to your own community and at the same time, provide unique travel experiences, Tourism Tidbits offers the following ideas, cautions, and experiences.

  • Culinary tourism tends to work best when it is combined with other aspects of tourism.  Although we all love to eat, when visiting a location we usually want to do more than eat. Pair your tourism culinary offering with other compatible and complementary offerings. A good example of food and tourism activities is the ski business.  That business does a good job of encouraging people to ski during the day, use up calories and then not feel guilty about their caloric consumption during the après-ski period.
  • Know your own food traditions.  All too often locals either do not realize that a particular food expresses the unique flavor of a locale and all too often are ignorant of the food’s history. Combine the eating experience with the cultural or historical experience.  Create food centers that allow people to experience not only the local tastes but also the local atmosphere.  Create ways that people cannot only sample the local cuisine but either take samples home or purchase the receipts.
  • Make sure that people know what they are getting.  Although food consumption is big business we live in a world of multiple eating restrictions, be these restrictions due to religious, ethnic, medical, or health reasons.  A location can lose all the good will obtained through culinary tourism simply through misinformation or through a poorly trained staff.  Food is both an issue of pleasure and comfort, but also highly emotionally charged. Poor food training or lack of sensitivity toward food avoidance needs can result not only in an unhappy customer, but in worse case scenario, a law suite.
  • There are multiple subsets to culinary tourism. Culinary tourism has multiple sub-categories.  For example there are places that emphasize their beer tourism such as Germany, wine tourism such as California, France, Italy or Portugal, chocolate tourism such as Switzerland.  Each of these culinary tourisms is subset of the larger world of culinary tourism. All of these locations have a number of things in common. These include: (1) they base their tourism on numerous locations where visitors can both sample and compare. Thus, for wine tourism to work, there must be a cluster of vineyards in close proximity ton each other, (2) there is coordination with other components of the tourism industry, from tour companies to international guides, (3) the beer halls, vineyards, chocolate stores must collaborate with each other.
  • Assure that local foods are fresh and wholesome.  There is nothing that can destroy culinary tourism faster than a reputation for lack of hygiene or for being a place in which people get sick.  Make sure that the water supply is adequate and potable.  Emphasize foods that are fresh, local, organic, and sustainable.  Using seasonal foods means that your culinary tourism product changes with the seasons and that you can encourage repeat visitation.  Remember to keep things as uncomplicated as possible. When it comes to culinary tourism remember the simpler and easier to understand the better.
  • All forms of culinary tourism are especially appealing to rural areas.  These are areas that often lack indoor attractions, are close to food sources, and often have preserved local traditions. Rural food tourism locations that are most successful have found ways to protect their food ecology and offer interesting and hardy meals at reasonable prices.  The keys are (1) excellent and friendly customer service (2) unique or wholesome foods, reasonable prices, and local marketing so that the outsider knows not only where to go but also hours of service.  Rural culinary tourism can easily be linked to heritage and historical tourism.  These locations may not require a great deal of paid labor and often provide unique experiences.  For example, church suppers create a tourism experience, a social experience and a way for the local church to gain additional revenue.

By Dr. Peter Tarlow. You can find the original article Tourism & More, Inc.

Share

You might be a champion of sustainability and your tourism business might be addressing all sustainability issues – environmental, social and economical, but do customers know it?

Communicating Sustainability

Solar powered Koh Mak Seafood Restaurant, Thailand

Communicating sustainability practices is important both for educating the visitors of solutions to problems and for marketing – telling a story to customers can change their experience for the better.

While some might not communicate sustainability at all, others might communicate failing sustainability messages, perhaps  because the sustainability messages are put out as a list of facts without thought to how they might be received.

If you have some great environmental or social initiatives, you should tell people about them, be proud of it and influence others to follow. How can you do that?

 

 

Share

How Greenloons Is Helping People Book Responsible Travel Experiences

Categories: Accessibility, Marketing, Planet, Private Sector, Recommended Reading, Visitors
Comments Off on How Greenloons Is Helping People Book Responsible Travel Experiences

How Greenloons Is Helping People Book Responsible Travel Experiences

April 18 2014 – Are you an ethical traveler? Irene Lane of Greenloons helps us wade through the marketing jargon to discover which tour operators are actually eco-friendly and sustainable (and how to tell the difference between the two). Jessica Festa Read more.

October 21 2015 – Following the earthquake that struck Nepal earlier this year, many in the country’s tourism industry, supported by friends and colleagues from around the world, began to collaborate on ideas and solutions for how to get its tourism industry back on its feet as quickly as possible. Jeremy Smith Read more.

 

×
Welcome
  • Name*full name
    0
  • Position*
    1
  • Organisation*
    2
  • Industry/Sector*
    3
  • Email*a valid email address
    4
  • PATA member?*
    Yes
    No
    5
  • Country*select your country
    6
  • 7

This study found understanding the strategic value and design of collaborative linkages in tourism is likely to play a significant role in ensuring businesses’ competitiveness and supporting the sustainability of destinations. Its objectives were to determine the factors that hinder and/or foster collaboration between tourism and/or non-tourism businesses; identify the respondents’ perceptions of costs, benefits, risks, current barriers, and potential actions to encourage collaboration in and across regions. It then used the information to identify gaps, future opportunities and possible directions for collaboration in regional areas.

by Pascal Tremblay and Aggie Wegner

Download

Share

Wine tourism within the grape-growing areas of Australia is an integral part of local and regional tourism initiatives; however, it is an area that has been under-researched resulting in few available resources to wine tourism providers. This research set out to address this deficiency by establishing whether there is a link between the wine tourism experience and wine purchasing behaviour.  The research was also designed to develop a market segmentation process that will inform wineries about the buying behaviour of particular market segments so that they can fashion their marketing communications strategies in a focused manner.

by  Barry O’Mahony, John Hall, Larry Lockshin, Leo Jago and Graham Brown

Download

 

×
Welcome
  • Name*full name
    0
  • Position*
    1
  • Organisation*
    2
  • Industry/Sector*
    3
  • Email*a valid email address
    4
  • PATA member?*
    Yes
    No
    5
  • Country*select your country
    6
  • 7
Share

Food and Wine Tourism in Australia: Tools and Strategies for Industry Development

Categories: Attractions, Case Study, Land, Oceania, Pacific, People and Places, Planet, Private Sector, Visitors
Comments Off on Food and Wine Tourism in Australia: Tools and Strategies for Industry Development

This Snapshot profiles key research in the field of food and wine tourism, a growing and evolving industry in Australia. This publication has been developed with industry in mind—bringing together summaries, statistics, key findings and recommendations in an easily accessible resource. This research provides a comprehensive examination of food and wine tourism in Australia. There are five individual research projects featured, which cover a variety of elements impacting on and defining Australia’s food and wine tourism segment. This includes an examination of:  the role food and wine plays in attracting tourists to a destination; key characteristics of selected wine regions; profiling food and wine tourists; the relationship between food and wine and consumer lifestyle; purchasing and consumption patterns of the wine tourist and marketing implications

by Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC)

Download

Food and Wine Tourism in Australia: Tools and Strategies for Industry Development

×
Welcome
  • Name*full name
    0
  • Position*
    1
  • Organisation*
    2
  • Industry/Sector*
    3
  • Email*a valid email address
    4
  • PATA member?*
    Yes
    No
    5
  • Country*select your country
    6
  • 7
Share

This technical report presents a robust understanding of the major industry scoping study Health Tourism in Australia: Supply, Demand and Opportunities, presenting the research findings in full and supporting the summary developed by STCRC. It provides information and outcomes relevant for future development of the wellness and medical tourism industries in Australia.

by Cornelia Voigt, Jennifer Laing, Meredith Wray, Graham Brown, Gary Howat, Betty Weiler and Richard Trembath

Download

Health Tourism in Australia: Supply, Demand and Opportunities

×
Welcome
  • Name*full name
    0
  • Position*
    1
  • Organisation*
    2
  • Industry/Sector*
    3
  • Email*a valid email address
    4
  • PATA member?*
    Yes
    No
    5
  • Country*select your country
    6
  • 7
Share

The purpose of the study was to provide a comprehensive view of backpacker trends applicable to Australia leading to: short term strategies for capturing market share; longer term plans for optimal Australian and regional well being in the context of triple bottom line considerations.

by Philip L Pearce, Laurie Murphy and Eric Brymer

Download

Evolution of the Backpacker Market and the Potential for Australian Tourism

×
Welcome
  • Name*full name
    0
  • Position*
    1
  • Organisation*
    2
  • Industry/Sector*
    3
  • Email*a valid email address
    4
  • PATA member?*
    Yes
    No
    5
  • Country*select your country
    6
  • 7
Share