The environmental and social impact of your tour or activity business can have a huge effect on your customers' buying decisions. In fact, a recent report shows that over 50 percent of travelers will avoid experiences that they believe are socially or environmentally irresponsible.
Over 30 percent say they are willing to adjust their behaviour to be more environmentally sustainable. Many of these travelers are millennials and Generation Z, which are the largest travel segment in today’s market - and a particular area of focus for today’s tour and activity operators.
That means it’s more important than ever to prioritize sustainability within your business and find solutions that have a lower impact on the world. By doing so, tour and activity operators will be able to attract more customers.
So what exactly can tour and activity operators do to be more sustainable? Here are six ideas to get you started:
6 ways to make your tour or activity more sustainable
- Make “slow travel” a priority
Slow travel emphasizes a connection between travelers and the local culture, food, music and people. By slowing down your tour or activity to allow tourists to really enjoy their environment and learn, it means you won’t have to travel as far or as long to provide a full experience.
When your mode of travel depends on buses and other motorized vehicles, slowing down and shortening the path traveled can help reduce emissions and lower your carbon footprint. As an added bonus, slow travel is trending, and more customers are looking for experiences that really let them enjoy local communities and environments at a slower pace.
- Update your fleet
If you are using aged vehicles to take your guests to their activities, it may be time to consider an upgrade. Consider replacing your current fleet with electric or hybrid cars, vans, boats or buses.
If this is not in your budget, consider public transit. Your initial thoughts to that idea may be negative, but public transit not only reduces your carbon footprint, it also gives your customers the slow travel experience they are yearning for.
If neither of these options fit your experience, consider hiking, biking, canoes, electric scooters or other environmentally-friendly modes of transportation.
- Reduce your waste
Ask guests to bring their own reusable bottles when coming on your tour. If you provide lunches, consider environmentally-friendly packaging that biodegrades. The less waste your business produces, the more you can market yourself as an environmentally-friendly company to potential new customers.
- Invest time into a sustainable practice
If there’s no easy way to reduce the carbon footprint of your business (i.e. you have to keep using transportation fueled by gasoline), consider investing in an initiative that will offset your carbon footprint. One easy project is tree planting. You can either partner with a tree-planting project or start your own.
You may even be able to integrate tree planting or another green initiative into your adventure - inspiring customers to reach specific goals for a certain number of trees to be planted. This is a fun way to engage the customer and improve the sustainability of your tour or activity business.
- Add green experiences
Instead of changing your current menu of tours and activities, consider adding some new experiences such as hiking, biking or sailing adventures. These will increase your portfolio, attracting new and repeat customers and stop customers who are otherwise put off by high carbon-producing activities from going elsewhere.
- Go digital
There are many ways that your business can switch from paper to digital. And one great way to do that is making the transition away from printed photos or providing customers with usb sticks, towards the use of a photo marketing platform that digitizes the entire experience.
Many tour and activity operators still print photos or sell pre-print photos that are never purchased, or provide usb sticks that are lost or thrown out by the customer. This creates a large amount of waste and is simply an unsustainable business practice that wastes company resources and doesn’t elevate the customer experience in any way.
A photo marketing platform not only allows you to create more sustainable practices by providing customers with digital copies of their photos on a custom-branded personalized website album, it also results in a wide range of benefits from improved referral marketing, a better guest experience, an opportunity for successful remarketing and more efficient processes for your guides.
Interested in learning more about how you can achieve greater results and transition to more sustainable business practices with the use of a photo marketing platform? Get a demo of Fotaflo today.