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In the tourism industry, one of the big issues at hand is the question of “how to reduce travelers’ impacts.” A far reaching approach to generate awareness about being a more responsible traveler could have an enormous impact. Such an approach can be an app that helps travelers by providing them with knowledge and resources on how to improve their positive impacts and reduce their impacts when traveling.
There already are various smartphone apps available that can help us to ‘go green.’ These apps range from as simple as carpooling to those that measure your progress made in your fight against climate change. Of course, there are many more and some of these can be found here.
The good thing about apps is that they can provide relevant information in a fun and engaging way, and they can be updated regularly. “Gamification” still is a very successful concept often used in consumer related industries; companies and organizations often use apps to better engage with their customers by including aspects of gamification, e.g. ranking systems, loyalty and reward programs, as well as other features that increase the consumer’s willingness to interact with the organization and get involved in the issues promoted by the app.
To be successful, we should consider the potential impact of both the leisure and business markets; all travelers should be provided with relevant information on how they can reduce their impacts and travel greener. This could be done by either an independent app, or as part of an event app, as PATA did as part of our 2016 Annual Summit. The app helped attendees to better manage their overall trip and to provide a better experience to them. Since PATA works to spread sustainability in tourism within the region of Asia Pacific and beyond, the app provided attendees with a Responsible Travel Guide.