Tourism service providers can make a positive difference
In the time of constant growth in tourism businesses, what makes your service stand apart? Is your aim only to cater to the increasing demand? What could you do more that will ensure the business grows as well as contributes to positive impacts?
When the industry is growing and becoming increasingly aware of its social, economic and environmental impact, it is time to self-assess how your services fit into this changing scenario. Service providers for accommodation, transportation and food need to be aware of the strength and weaknesses of their practices. They have a potential not only to grow better but also to make significant positive contribution.
Sustainable accommodation services
The key is to adopt a holistic and integrated approach in each aspect of your accommodation development and management. Tourism accommodation sector - hotel, resorts, home-stays, etc. have started implementing common sustainability practices such as recycling and composting, developing authentic home-stays, using solar panels, etc. Going beyond these practices, the holistic approach is when accommodation demonstrates effective management, maximize social and economic benefits to the local community, maximize benefits to cultural heritage, environment and minimize negative impacts.
Sustainable transportation services
Tourism cannot thrive without transportation services. Rather, tourism in any region improves with better connectivity. But the negative impact and inconvenience due to increasing traffic and carbon emission is often neglected. Government policies and infrastructure play an important role in creating transportation services that would not harm the environment and sustain decorum of the place. Improved local public transportation that tourists can choose over private vehicles, improved and strict traffic rules, high parking fees are some of the strategies that can help to control these scenarios. It is important that suppliers use fuel-efficient vehicles, clean energy and encourage tourists to use public transport wherever it is possible.
Sustainable food services
The local cuisine at any tourist destination itself has the potential to create authentic tourism experiences. Gastronomic tourism is an emerging and growing market trend in the industry. Choosing local food over outsourcing and creating experiences around it can be an effective cost saving method. Making agricultural changes to produce food of tourists' choices may affect the local ecosystem. Involving local food and beverage providers in the supply chain, introducing traditional cuisine to tourists and developing local food products can create meaningful experiences for tourists and create employment opportunities. Implementation of simple measures can improve the quality of the products and make significant positive contribution.
Offer right to make them choose right!
Beyond just practicing these steps, it is important to promote these services and communicate the motive behind it to a wider audience. These positive strategies could be an unique selling point for the business growth. Tourists would be able to opt for such services only when they are aware of the approach. Tourism providers and practitioners must take the initiative to bring these sustainable services to mainstream tourism.