Posts Tagged ‘green tourism’

The Many Sides of Enviro-Conscious Travel Attracting eco-savvy guests can increase a hotel’s business.

Monday, December 12th, 2011

The Many Sides of Enviro-Conscious Travel

Attracting eco-savvy guests can increase a hotel’s business.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amy Carniol

Ecotourism. Nature Tourism. Green Travel. Sustainable Tourism. Responsible Travel. Today, these buzz-terms are on many guests’ lips, and often they are used interchangeably – and incorrectly. When hoteliers lump these movements together, they can miss out on opportunities to attract a more diverse and abundant customer base.

Many hoteliers have adopted some green practices, such as starting recycling programs or supplying fresh air to guests with open windows rather than using air conditioning. But moving to more involved steps and tying them together into a marketing program is a logical next step.

To help define these individual movements, Buyer Interactive spoke with Irene Lane, founder and president of Greenloons, which provides enviro-conscious consumers and vacation planners with information on earth-friendly travel. Here, Lane discusses eco-friendly travel, ways to attract eco-savvy guests, and how understanding the nuances of these customer segments can help hoteliers increase their business.

Why is eco-friendly travel important in the hotel industry?

Specific to hoteliers, eco-friendly travel demand is growing at a rapid pace and can no longer be ignored. Worldwide, the green travel segment is estimated to be growing 5 percent annually, representing 6 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and reflecting 11.4 percent of all consumer vacation spending. Moreover, more than two-thirds of U.S. and Australian travellers, and 90 percent of British tourists, consider active participation in the protection of the environment and support of local economies to be part of a hotel, lodge or tour operator’s responsibility. According to TripAdvisor’s 2011 Travel Trends survey, 47 percent of vacation planners take eco-friendly factors, such as their own carbon footprint or green hotel policies, into consideration when deciding on a vacation destination or activity, and 20 percent are expected to be more environmentally conscious in their travel choices overall. Travelzoo found also that more than 90 percent of travelers prefer to stay at an eco-certified hotel if price and amenities are comparable to a non-certified hotel. Even AAA has added an “eco” icon to its tour books.

Can you discuss the differences between Ecotourism, Sustainable Tourism, Responsible Tourism, Nature Tourism and Green Tourism?

Ecotourism is about supporting the conservation of natural areas and wildlife, minimizing air and water pollution as well as tourist waste, offering safe and enriching or educational visitor experiences, respecting the cultural tradition of the host destination, maintaining and enhancing the landscape so as to avoid physical or environmental degradation, maximizing opportunities for local prosperity for the host destination, and efficiently using scarce or non-renewable resources. Most of all, it’s about having fun and unique vacation experiences.

Sustainable Tourism does not deplete resources and allows for a smaller number of tourists to experience nature so as not to disturb the animal’s normal mating, feeding, or migratory patterns. It differs from ecotourism in that there may be no focus on the preservation of the natural habitat or economic benefit to the host destination.

Responsible Tourism attempts to minimize the environmental degradation of the host destination. An example is a wilderness camping trip using Leave No Trace ethics. Unlike ecotourism, responsible tourism might not take into account the economic benefit to the host destination.

Nature Tourism focuses on enjoying wildlife in its natural habitat. Examples include jungle lodgings in the Amazon or cruise ships that view penguins in Antarctica. The difference between ecotourism and nature tourism is that nature tourism trips may not have an educational component to them, may not be environmentally sustainable or responsible, and may not economically benefit the host destination.

Green Tourism applies to any activity or facility that operates in an environmentally friendly way. Examples include a rainforest lodge with composting toilets and solar powered lighting. These lodges may be centrally controlled by a large corporation and therefore not necessarily benefit the host destination nor focus on conservation education or the preservation of wildlife.

Why is it important for hoteliers to understand the distinctions between these terms?

So as not to add to the confusion consumers already have about the eco-travel industry. Hoteliers should understand the distinctions so that they can determine how they may want to market themselves and how to expand their service or concierge offerings to this growing market.

What are some more involved measures that hotels can take to appeal to this segment?

Although implementation of these measures require more planning, the following eco-friendly methods are quickly becoming stringent criteria for eco-hotel certification programs:

● stemming of common allergens
● using alternative or renewable energy sources (i.e. solar power for all hot water needs)
● conserving energy with light timers in all hallways
● managing composting programs
● using non-disposable and durable service items
● offering organic, locally harvested food in dining outlets
● educating guests about the hotel’s green practices (and green membership programs)
● using xeric gardening methods
● supporting a local conservation or educational effort in a meaningful way

What is the one key takeaway that you can give hoteliers who want to increase their appeal to eco-savvy travelers?

There is a business value in investing in defined resource conservation practices with respect to energy and water use, waste disposal, and environmental protection. The good news as well is that there are some reputable green hotel certification programs, including the Green Key Eco-Rating, Green Globe and LEED Building programs, which allow for an occasional inspection of a hotel’s sustainable operations in over 20 different areas.

Check out www.nebraskabb.com

The Many Sides of Enviro-Conscious Travel Attracting eco-savvy guests can increase a hotel’s business

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The Many Sides of Enviro-Conscious Travel

Attracting eco-savvy guests can increase a hotel’s business.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amy Carniol

Ecotourism. Nature Tourism. Green Travel. Sustainable Tourism. Responsible Travel. Today, these buzz-terms are on many guests’ lips, and often they are used interchangeably – and incorrectly. When hoteliers lump these movements together, they can miss out on opportunities to attract a more diverse and abundant customer base.

Many hoteliers have adopted some green practices, such as starting recycling programs or supplying fresh air to guests with open windows rather than using air conditioning. But moving to more involved steps and tying them together into a marketing program is a logical next step.

To help define these individual movements, Buyer Interactive spoke with Irene Lane, founder and president of Greenloons, which provides enviro-conscious consumers and vacation planners with information on earth-friendly travel. Here, Lane discusses eco-friendly travel, ways to attract eco-savvy guests, and how understanding the nuances of these customer segments can help hoteliers increase their business.

Why is eco-friendly travel important in the hotel industry?

Specific to hoteliers, eco-friendly travel demand is growing at a rapid pace and can no longer be ignored. Worldwide, the green travel segment is estimated to be growing 5 percent annually, representing 6 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and reflecting 11.4 percent of all consumer vacation spending. Moreover, more than two-thirds of U.S. and Australian travellers, and 90 percent of British tourists, consider active participation in the protection of the environment and support of local economies to be part of a hotel, lodge or tour operator’s responsibility. According to TripAdvisor’s 2011 Travel Trends survey, 47 percent of vacation planners take eco-friendly factors, such as their own carbon footprint or green hotel policies, into consideration when deciding on a vacation destination or activity, and 20 percent are expected to be more environmentally conscious in their travel choices overall. Travelzoo found also that more than 90 percent of travelers prefer to stay at an eco-certified hotel if price and amenities are comparable to a non-certified hotel. Even AAA has added an “eco” icon to its tour books.

Can you discuss the differences between Ecotourism, Sustainable Tourism, Responsible Tourism, Nature Tourism and Green Tourism?

Ecotourism is about supporting the conservation of natural areas and wildlife, minimizing air and water pollution as well as tourist waste, offering safe and enriching or educational visitor experiences, respecting the cultural tradition of the host destination, maintaining and enhancing the landscape so as to avoid physical or environmental degradation, maximizing opportunities for local prosperity for the host destination, and efficiently using scarce or non-renewable resources. Most of all, it’s about having fun and unique vacation experiences.

Sustainable Tourism does not deplete resources and allows for a smaller number of tourists to experience nature so as not to disturb the animal’s normal mating, feeding, or migratory patterns. It differs from ecotourism in that there may be no focus on the preservation of the natural habitat or economic benefit to the host destination.

Responsible Tourism attempts to minimize the environmental degradation of the host destination. An example is a wilderness camping trip using Leave No Trace ethics. Unlike ecotourism, responsible tourism might not take into account the economic benefit to the host destination.

Nature Tourism focuses on enjoying wildlife in its natural habitat. Examples include jungle lodgings in the Amazon or cruise ships that view penguins in Antarctica. The difference between ecotourism and nature tourism is that nature tourism trips may not have an educational component to them, may not be environmentally sustainable or responsible, and may not economically benefit the host destination.

Green Tourism applies to any activity or facility that operates in an environmentally friendly way. Examples include a rainforest lodge with composting toilets and solar powered lighting. These lodges may be centrally controlled by a large corporation and therefore not necessarily benefit the host destination nor focus on conservation education or the preservation of wildlife.

Why is it important for hoteliers to understand the distinctions between these terms?

So as not to add to the confusion consumers already have about the eco-travel industry. Hoteliers should understand the distinctions so that they can determine how they may want to market themselves and how to expand their service or concierge offerings to this growing market.

What are some more involved measures that hotels can take to appeal to this segment?

Although implementation of these measures require more planning, the following eco-friendly methods are quickly becoming stringent criteria for eco-hotel certification programs:

● stemming of common allergens
● using alternative or renewable energy sources (i.e. solar power for all hot water needs)
● conserving energy with light timers in all hallways
● managing composting programs
● using non-disposable and durable service items
● offering organic, locally harvested food in dining outlets
● educating guests about the hotel’s green practices (and green membership programs)
● using xeric gardening methods
● supporting a local conservation or educational effort in a meaningful way

What is the one key takeaway that you can give hoteliers who want to increase their appeal to eco-savvy travelers?

There is a business value in investing in defined resource conservation practices with respect to energy and water use, waste disposal, and environmental protection. The good news as well is that there are some reputable green hotel certification programs, including the Green Key Eco-Rating, Green Globe and LEED Building programs, which allow for an occasional inspection of a hotel’s sustainable operations in over 20 different areas.

Green Tourism is Beautiful Tourism by Dr. Peter Tarlow

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Green Tourism is Beautiful Tourism

It is no longer a rarely to find on your hotel bed a sign asking you to reuse your towel and/or to accept having your sheets changed once every three days rather than once a day. While tourism’s critics may have had some reasons to argue that tourism was an unfriendly industry to the environment, much of those criticisms are no longer valid. The reasons for tourism’s overuse of resources are numerous. Few people will argue against the notion that travel is hard, and that people on vacation or a business trip want to be pampered. Many travelers believe that part of the fun of traveling is leaving cares and concerns behind and enjoying those little extras luxuries that are not part of most people’s every day lives.

Tourism professionals are now keenly aware of the importance of green spaces. When urban areas have become fields of concrete held together by rivers of asphalt tourism suffers. These area are not only visually unappealing, but tend to hold heat in causing higher air conditioning usage. Tourism professionals are now working with locales to create green spaces that not only add beauty to their visitors (and citizens’) lives but also help to replenish the oxygen supply. Police are also aware of the fact that green and beautified locales tend to have lower crime rates. In fact, one of the least expensive ways to reduce crime rates is through beautification projects.
Tourism and travel then are faced with the issue of balancing the needs of the environment with the needs of its customer base. If travel becomes too hard, then it may lose its enchantment and glamor; if on the other hand, if tourism does not respect the Earth then there may be no place to which to travel!

From the perspective of tourism, beautification projects help the industry grow by attracting more visitors, providing positive word of mouth publicity, creating an inviting environment that tends to lift the spirits of service personnel, and creating community pride. Here are some suggestions on how to improve your tourism locale while caring for the environment.
-Look at your community the way others may see it. All too often we become so accustomed to run down appearances, dirt, or lack of green spaces that we simply come to accept these eyesores as part of our urban or rural landscaping. Take the time to view your area through the eyes of a visitor. Are there landfills in clear view? How well are lawns kept? Is garbage dealt with in a clean and efficient manner? Then ask yourself, would you want to visit or live in this community?

-Turn your Environmentalism into a form of marketing. All too often people in the travel and tourism industries forget that a clean and healthy environment does not take away from the bottom line it adds to it.

-Encourage hotels and restaurants to promote sensible laundry policies. Policies such as washing sheets every three days rather than every day do wonders for the environment, also consider the use of new technologies such as light bulbs that save on light/heat pollutions. Restaurants can be careful to use soaps that pollute less and serve water only upon request

-Involve the whole community/locale and not just tourism people, in beautification projects. Too many places have come to believe that beautification is the other person’s business. While governments must provide funding for major projects such as sidewalks or road reconstruction, there are a whole host of projects that local citizens can accomplish without government assistance. Among these are planting of gardens, cleaning of front yards, developing interesting street corners, creatively painting walls, and/or planting bushes to hide dumpsites.

-Choose one or two key and do-able projects. Nothing succeeds like success, and beautification projects reflect as much about a community’s insides as outer appearances. If a community does not like itself, that will be manifested by the way it looks to visitors and possible business developers. Before beginning a beautification project, set do-able goals and then make sure that as many people as possible are enthusiastic about the project and reject negative thought. Beautiful places begin with community harmony.

-Make sure that your tourism beautification projects fit your climate and terrain. A major mistake in beautification projects is trying to be what a locale is not. If you have a desert climate, then plant with water concerns in mind. If you have a cold climate, then seek ways to deal with not only a harsh winter climate but also in a manner to present a cheerful face during the gray winter months.

-Think of beautification as part of an economic development package. Remember that tax incentives can only do so much. No matter how much money a community offers in tax abatements, quality of life issues will always have a major impact on where people choose to live and locate their businesses. Tourism demands that a community offer a clean and healthy environment, with good restaurants and places of lodging, fun things to do and good customer service. The way your community appears has a lot to do with the choices which business executives make regarding site selections.

– Involve local police and security professionals in the planning of your community’s beautification projects. The New York City experience ought to prove to everyone in tourism that there is a connection between quality of life issues and crime. The basic principle is that as communities seek ways to beautify, crime decreases and money used to fight crime can be redirected to quality of life issues. Policing tends to be reactive by nature; beautification projects are proactive. While pretty flowers beds and tree-lined boulevards will not prevent all crimes, the elimination of garbage along streets, unkempt lawns and shoddy structures does a great deal to lower crime rates.

Do not define “green” in its most narrow sense, but rather in its broadest sense. Few people will spend a lot of money to eat over a garbage dump, but many people are more than willing to spend top dollar to eat in a charming setting, be that setting a table overlooking an ocean, a crystal clear lake, a beautiful garden, or a forest. By promoting green and by finding innovate ways to protect the environment, tourism is assuring that it will continue to offer products that are pleasant to the eye, and good for generations that are yet to be born.

Lincoln Welcomes Nebraska Travel & Tourism Conference

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Lincoln Welcomes Nebraska Travel & Tourism Conference

Oct. 12-14 event will explore state’s third largest industry

LINCOLN, NEB. (Sept. 3, 2010)—The Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Travel and Tourism Division invites the state’s travel industry to attend its annual Travel and Tourism Conference. This year, Lincoln is “Rollin’ Out the Red & White Carpet” for the Oct. 12-14 conference at The Cornhusker, a Marriott Hotel, 333 S. 13th St.

Tourism is Nebraska’s third largest earner of revenue from outside the state after agriculture and manufacturing.

In challenging economic times, promoting and increasing travel and tourism is a proven way to boost the economy as travelers come here and spend money on attractions, hotels, restaurants and other necessities. The annual travel conference educates members of the Nebraska tourism industry on how to grow their businesses and how to put Nebraska at the forefront of travelers’ minds.

Attendees at this year’s conference can discover social media strategies, explore green tourism opportunities and pick up tips for working with their senator.

The conference also includes educational workshops, general sessions and networking opportunities, as well as travel industry exhibitor booths displaying essential new products. Attendees can also participate in the Nebraska Travel Association’s Silent Auction, a fundraiser that will benefit tourism activities throughout Nebraska.

The Nebraska Travel & Tourism Conference wraps up with an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding achievements in tourism in 2010.

Check out the conference agenda or register online now at http://VisitNebraska.gov/tcregistration. A special conference hotel rate is available only until Sept. 24, so book your lodging reservation early.
Book your stay at a local B&B!



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