Profitability in Tourism: 1*100 = 100*1

With this post I just want to launch a personal reflection, I’m no expert on profitability or revenue management strategies, I am just a rural tourism worker who has knowledge of sustainability issues and that bases my business strategy on corporate social responsibility.Image

When I think of profit first thing that comes to mind is that Spain has always been one of the countries with more visitors worldwide, along with countries like France, the U.S., UK or Italy, *among others. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism). The problem is that when we look at the revenues generated by the large number of tourists we realize that we are not getting all the juice; the full potential of the large number of tourists coming to our country; and more important, that repeat year after year thanks to good customer service and quality of life that we offer.

When I visited other European countries I’ve noticed that prices of accommodation, transport, activities, restaurants and others; are usually more expensive than in Spain, while the quality offered is the same or even lower in many cases. A seemingly simple solution that would lead us to improve profitability at the national level would be to adjust prices in the quality offered.

It is clear that there is the eternal debate and it’s something the companies associated with my reservation center say; “if I raise the price I will lose customers” to which I usually respond “It’s the same to earn a euro with 100 customers than 100 euros with 1 customer”

(Having clear that the quality of service and products should be treated according to their price. We must focus to a tourist who is willing to pay more).

Image

In the past few years, Spain has entered a “price war” that in my humble opinion only makes us go plugging holes in the sinking ship. We know that Spain is international kwon and recognized for its tourism quality. From my own experience I have collaborated with specialized tour operators (adventure travel) who do not know my destination (Shire of la Vera – Extremadura) but I managed to work with them thanks to the great reputation that Spain has and is something that we must work towards.

What I want to convey is that it’s time to put the Spanish tourism industry where it deserves.

  • We have a diverse natural and cultural heritage and great potential.
  • A renowned cuisine, unique products and high quality.
  • We have a tourist infrastructure that could even consider even excessive.
  • We offer high quality accommodation and diversified.
  • Quality of life and great customer service acknowledged worldwide.
  • Tourism is one of the main drivers of the Spanish economy, directly and indirectly.
  • Our highly experienced professionals and well trained guides.
  • We offer a very good security for tourists and visitors.

It’s time to use the tourism sector as the driving force (engine) of development, creation of skilled jobs and position ourselves as a world leader in quality and sustainability.

We are seeing a clear shift in consumption patterns and there are innovative tools and new technologies that bring us anywhere in the world at minimal cost. Spain is currently in a critical situation like many other countries and it is time that we push what we do best, and let us develop the resources and culture that makes millions of tourists repeat our destination year after year.

Image

I return to the title phrase:

“It’s the same earning 100 euros with a client that 1 euro with 100 clients”

I would go even further; as fewer tourists;

  • It means less pressure on the territory.
  • Less impact on natural environments.
  • Less impact on the historical and artistic heritage.
  • Less need to increase tourism infrastructure.
  • Be able to better serve visitors.
  • It allows us to focus on improving the quality and sustainability.
  • Preserve our culture and put into value.
  • Promote the development of tourism specialists.
  • Increase skilled employment.
  • Position as reference for tourists worldwide.
  • Find new market niches new tourists who want something more and are willing to pay.
  • Move to the new tourist looking for unique experiences, learn about the culture and customs of the places you visit, enjoy nature and who is willing to pay a little more for it.
  • Create a model of sustainable tourism development that lasts over time and puts into value the place, culture, nature and local wealth.

I leave this thought:

Is it possible to increase profitability through focus on quality tourism and based on attracting responsible tourists; by them we mean those who seek to know the nature, culture and cuisine of a region putting them into value its resources?

Do you think Spain can become a world leader in responsible tourism?

Follow this and other related post on our Blog Sustainable Thinking. (https://royortiz.wordpress.com/)

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La sostenibilidad como argumento de venta – Herramientas de autodiagnóstico 3-3

Siguiendo con la serie de posts de Fitur 2012, estuve presente con PURAVERA en FITUR GREEN, espacio dirigido a todas aquellas empresas interesadas en integrar medidas de sostenibilidad en el turismo. Este año se centro en la financiación de la sostenibilidad a través del ahorro que produce en eficiencia energética.

En este ultimo post de herramientas de autodiagnóstico nos vamos a centrar el la Plataforma Responsible Hotels Travel. http://responsiblehotels.travel/

 Image

Esta es una plataforma que nace con el apoyo del Grupo Fuerte Hoteles y se diseña para incluir aspectos de la sostenibilidad e incluir estos parámetros en el proceso de compra del cliente. Aunque todavía parece que la sostenibilidad es un misterio dentro del proceso de compra, parece que cada vez es un factor más importante y que la sostenibilidad tiene que ser parte del viaje.

Esta herramienta se fundamenta en cuatro aspectos clave;

  1. Eficiencia energética
  2. Autenticidad
  3. Satisfacción del cliente
  4. Comportamiento responsable

Como conclusión identificamos los siguientes aspectos de esta herramienta;

  • Es un estándar fácil sencillo, pudiendo ser punto de partida para PYMES.
  • La sostenibilidad esta como concepto transversal.
  • Ofrece credibilidad a los turistas en el proceso de compra.
  • Aporta valor ya que es una verificación por terceros
  • Es Reconocible, visibilidad, reputación.

En los artículos anteriores; (Intelitur https://royortiz.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/la-sostenibilidad-como-argumento-de-venta-herramientas-de-autodiagnostico-1-3/ / Hotel Energy Solutions https://royortiz.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/la-sostenibilidad-como-argumento-de-venta-herramientas-de-autodiagnostico-2-3/) se han identificado diferentes en herramientas para mejorar el comportamiento en materia de sostenibilidad en el sector turístico y para reducir los costes de los hoteles en sus practicas hacia el medioambiente y mejorar la calidad de vida en las sociedades en la que operan.

A modo de conclusión me gustaría identificar la necesidad de crear un certificado genérico, un estándar a nivel español y de esta manera poder realizar una comparativa con una metodología común pudiendo seleccionar e identificar las mejores prácticas y líderes en el sector.

¿Estarías dispuesto a certificar tu hotel en sostenibilidad?

¿Conoces algún beneficio de este tipo de certificaciones?

Sigue este y otros posts relacionados en nuestro blog Sustainable Thinking!

Transformative Learning – Inspire

This was the final presentation of the ATWS in Scotland. It followed the title Inspire, and it was a breathtaking intervention with a lot of emotion and value. Truly inspiring!

Dr. Sakena Yacoobi is Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan women-led NGO she founded in 1995. Established to provide teacher training, education and health services to women and children, over 7 million have benefited from AIL’s programs to date. Sakena’s vision of a healthier Afghanistan evolved after watching her mother give birth to 15 children, only to have 5 children survive. Under Sakena’s leadership, AIL has established itself as a visionary organization which works at the grassroots level and empowers women and communities to bring education and health services to poor rural and urban girls and women, as well as other disenfranchised Afghans. AIL was the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women in the 1990s. AIL supported 80 underground home schools for 3000 girls in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. AIL was first to open Women’s Learning Centers for Afghan women—a concept now copied by many organizations throughout Afghanistan. Dr. Yacoobi has received multiple recognition-of-service awards in Afghanistan.ATWS Scotland Inspire

Who she is:

Not much more can be said to this introduction. She was the first in her family to be able to go to university in the US, when she finished and wanted to go back to Afghanistan but the border was closed. When she finally was able to go back to her house, she created a learning center for women, which was illegal at the time.

She told some stories that she has to live through, this is an example:

One day while travelling as of any other day she got stopped by a line of armed men with riffles. When she saw the line of men in the middle of the road that she travelled every day, she was very afraid for her life and those on board the truck. The young men aged between 16-22 years wanted her to get out of the vehicle. The people inside requested for her to stay but she knew they were all in danger if she did not do what they said. Finally when she confronted the men they told her that they wanted education and they would stop her every day until she accepted, they knew that she had a school. She said she will try to look for a solution, even though the school was for women and that she had no means to take care of them. When she got to the school the phone rang and it was from the aid program, she explained what had happened to her that morning and they told her they would take care of them too. Finally next day when she was stooped she told them she would teach them to write and read but on the condition that they would come every day, clean and behave correctly. After 4months in the program they had learned to read and write and today they are their guides and protect her.

This is a true story and shows the feelings and how everybody wants to learn and be educated. They wanted to improve their life and change, education as a means of transformation and growth.

Another story was that of a young girl who wanted to go to school to read. She was told by her parents that the only way to go to school was if she woke up at 4 o’clock and did her labor before leaving every morning. For the first 4 months she did not speak a word but from the work she was doing by knitting she could pay his brother to do her work at home and take care of her 3 children. By the age of 22 she had become the leader of the local center with 300 women under her training, and people come and ask her for advice. She has become an important figure in her village and people come to her for advice. She is in the local council and is spreading the word to other areas.

This is an example of how empowerment of women thorough education can lead to development.

Finally she told us that her main aim is to make the world and the afghan women aware that they are individuals and that they can do anything they set to do. She is doing a great work in developing a women liberal right movement in Afghanistan and creating leader in that country. Empowering women in a very complicated country.

Best is to listen to her:

Do you think it´s an inspiring story?

After hearing this incredible story that I feel charged up with positive energy and feel to continue with our mission of achieving sustainable development in the region of la Vera through the promotion of responsible tourism.

Ejemplo de Eco-diseño vernáculo – El techo verde.

Seguimos con la serie de posts del libro “Cradle to Cradle” y mostramos un ejemplo de cómo hacer las cosas de otra manera, de forma sostenible tanto económicamente como ambiental y socialmente.

Las superficies de los techos son de los materiales que más cuestan de mantener en una edificación. Durante el día se tuestan al sol y son expuestos a la degradación de la luz ultravioleta. El cambio de temperatura entre el día y la noche causando un shock térmico que desgasta la superficie. Si lo analizamos en un contexto mayor vemos que junto con las carreteras asfaltadas, los parkings, aceras y edificios en sí; está creciendo la superficie impermeable causando mayores inundaciones, calentamiento de las ciudades en verano y acabando con los hábitats de muchas especies.

Si miramos este efecto desde el pensamiento tradicional, intentaremos solucionar los problemas de inundación con pequeños estanques para recolectar el agua caída, solucionaríamos el problema del calentamiento mediante la instalación de aires acondicionados en los edificios, intentando olvidar que estas mismas unidades contribuirán a un mayor calor ambiental que es lo que hizo que lo necesitáramos en un primer lugar/instante. En cuanto a la reducción de hábitat, bueno;

¿no es la perdida de especies y diversidad una causa inevitable del desarrollo urbano?”

Existe un tipo de techo que soluciona todos estos contratiempos, retos, incluyendo los costes económicos (Reducido precio y mantenimiento). Son los techos verdes, que se componen de una pequeña capa de tierra con vegetación. Esta hace que la temperatura del techo se mantenga constante, proporciona frio en verano a través de la evapotranspiración y aislamiento en época de frio. Protege de los rayos destructores del sol haciendo que dure más tiempo. Además proporciona oxígeno, captura las pequeñas partículas (soot) y absorbe el agua de las tormentas. Tiene un aspecto más bonito que el asfalto y ahorra dinero ya que se producirán menos inundaciones. En zonas apropiadas y con la orientación adecuada puede incluso producir energía solar.

La idea de utilizar techos verdes, puede parecer algo innovador pero esto ya sucede desde hace mucho tiempo. En Islandia muchas granjas lo tienen y en muchos países europeos este tipo de techos ya existe. Todos estos son cosas que se transmitían de generación en generación y que son fruto de muchos años de observación y adecuación al entorno en el que vivimos. Es vital que recuperemos el conocimiento vernáculo y mantengamos estas costumbres y buenas prácticas.

Estos techos verdes no solo regulan la temperatura y producen energía y oxígeno, además son pequeños santuarios dentro de la ciudad para pájaros e incluso los seres humanos.

¿No es hora de promocionar este tipo de iniciativas que por razones de moda se han perdido?

¿Pondrías un techo verde en tu casa?

Sustainable Tourism Best Practices: From theory to Action

This session focused on real case studies on best practices for the promotion of sustainable tourism. How to achieve the theoretical goals and how to carry out these practices in the real world:

Some of the speakers in this session included;

You may find more information about the speakers in the following link: (http://www.adventuretravel.biz/connect/summit/summit-agenda/2010-featured-content/speakers/).

At the beginning the idea that there is a growing threat from mass tourism was put forward. The middle class population of china and India is growing dramatically and tourism is a fast growing market in these regions. These middle class people will be travellers in the near future and we have to target them and be careful with the consequences that will result. One of the key issues that we need to address is to harmonize and group the different certifications of:

  • Green tourism.
  • Ecotourism.
  • Cultural tourism.
  • Adventure travel.
  • Community tourism.
  • Sustainable tourism.

The GSCT is developing a global standard on sustainable practices in tourism:

The Global Sustainability Tourism Criteria.

Erika Harms is the Executive Director of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and Senior Advisor on Tourism at the United Nations Foundation. In this role, Ms. Harms manages and oversees the implementation of activities under the framework of the GTSC, a cutting edge initiative that provides a clear set of standards, protocols, processes and measurements for how businesses can better the planet and practice sustainable tourism.

She set out to explain the process of elaborating the guide which has been summarized into 37 criteria and some of the goals that have been achieved include;

  • Created a platform for information exchange and the feedback process.
  • Maximize and promote collaboration of all the stakeholders
  • Cultural aspects of different communities
  • Reduce negative impacts, (not only economic but also environmental and social)
  • Develop the local economy,

The criteria is set to mark a minimum level, is used as a guideline, it’s a baseline accredited standard, it certifies the certifiers. It is based on the 4500 existing standards and more than 50 certifications. It’s been a long consultative process where all stakeholders have given their input.

There are four main actions or principles in which the indicators have been structured. The indicators will be defined locally, from the global principles or guidelines.

  1. Demonstrate effective sustainable management.
  2. Maximize social-economic impacts.
  3. Minimize the cultural negative impacts.
  4. Minimize the environmental negative impacts.

Implement criteria trough the Global Sustainable Tourism Council

  • Sets out to transmit, communicate, expand the criteria, best practices
  • Educate about the sustainability principles
  • Generate and increase market share
  • Increase public awareness.
  • Collaboration between tour operators, hotels, transport and all the key stakeholders.

After the introduction of the Criteria we have some practical examples form the speakers.

Starting with Mandip Singh Soin FRGS; who likes to be described as a Mountaineer, Explorer, Eco-tourism & Adventure Travel Specialist and Motivational Speaker.

Mandip is the only Indian to be awarded the Ness Award by the Royal Geographical Society, UK, for mountaineering and polar expeditions and encouragement of youth exploration. He is the Founder President of the Ecotourism Society of India and a Judge for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards for the World Travel & Tourism Council.

After more than 30 years in the Himalayan doing diverse expeditions, he has been being doing diverse project for the development of remote areas. He focuses on identifying the local issues, it is vital for the sustainable development to use the local knowledge and it´s key to empower the local population and understand what their real needs are.

The second speaker was Lennart Pittja of Pathfinder Lapland; a Sami person from Sweden who started his business as a small family company in 1995. Their philosophy includes:

We work close with nature and are proud of our origin and our history. We wish to spread knowledge about Sami culture, but also how to enjoy being close to animals and nature. For reasons of sustainability and “Natures Best” we always find new trails, a way of not leaving marks behind us“.

Vägvisaren – Pathfinder Lapland’s products are certified as “Natures Best” by the Swedish Eco-tourism Society, one of the first systems in the world for Eco-tourism certification.

He focuses on 6 pillars:

  • Education culture
  • Local economy
  • Environmental impact
  • Conservation
  • Create responsibility, respect from guests to their culture
  • Quality, reliable.

The success factors that he has identified include;

  • Right Staff
  • Government Support
  • National Label
  • Stakeholder process
  • Practical tool
  • Local and social content (Create rural value for visitors)

Visit Sápmi, has developed Sustainability Criteria including Social and Cultural Aspects of the Samis.

Tourism Community Management plan.

Lennard works normally with small groups, 5 or 6 days journeys in the Lapland sami region. The trip is to guide the reindeer between Sweden and Norway. (Sapmi: area or land, Sami is the person) Their parents and ancestors where reindeer herder and wanted to keep their traditions and cultural heritage. Visitor can experience being reindeer herders for the spring Migration.

Next speaker was Federico Solano who brought the approach from the Rainforest Alliance. The programs they are developing in order to certify organizations with the rainforest alliance badge. The programs include agriculture, forest and now they are beginning with the tourism one. The main goal s of the tourism program includes;

  • Improve operations, become more sustainable in the whole process
  • Build business awareness and increase in numbers.
  • Create global standards that can be compared in different locations.
  • GSTC are a guideline for companies to follow if they want to improve their behavior, become more transparent and responsible for their operations.

Global Sustainability Tourism Criteria as backbone of Training Manuals:

  • Best management goals of sustainable tourism.
  • Tool for operators.
  • Best Management Guides for communities.
  • Heritage based tourism (UN Guidelines).

www.sustainabletrip.org

For the last 8 years they have been looking at 100 inbound and 500 outbound tour operators. Now they are in the process of creating a blog where they will share the experiences.

GSTC helps to:

  • Create a common language worldwide.
  • Strengthen organization through its tools.
  • Increase benefits to organizations and local communities.
  • Establish partnerships, connect stakeholders.
  • Accomplish their mission: which is to conserve and broaden sustainability issues to more population, increase awareness.

What do you think of this tourism criteria, could you be interested in been certified in sustainability issues?

This certification is a guideline and all indicators and action differ from location to location but the principles are global. Do you think this is a correct approach?

Creating demand for Sustainable Tourism – Case Studies

The Crash Course Creating demand for Sustainable Tourism took place in the Alvie, Morlich & Glenmoore room. It was organized by the Rainforest Alliance (www.rainforestalliance.org/), which was represented by Federico Solano.

Federico has worked in the tourism industry since 1994 focusing in the marketing field in different areas such as hospitality, airlines, travel agencies and car rentals. He joined the Rainforest Alliance ´s Sustainable Tourism program in 2004. During his time in the Rainforest Alliance, Solano has coordinated projects in several Latin American, North American and European countries, and supporting sustainable tourism by helping offer and demand to adopt responsible practices towards the environment and local communities. His dedication in promoting sustainable tourism to consumers and the tourism industry has led to multiple strategic alliances with local governments, international organizations and private industry.

More information on speakers: (http://www.adventuretravel.biz/connect/summit/summit-agenda/2010-featured-content/speakers/)

The session began with a small presentation of the Rainforest Alliance. The organization sets to create best practice guides (Forest, coastal environments or anywhere). They create these tools to aid companies in different areas around the world to increase their sustainability strategies and efforts. It provides tools and a work structure which has been adopted in many different areas with a lot of feedback to improve these tools.

They provide a certification for sustainable practices in tourism, through this guideline. We are aware that as nobody is perfect, therefore no business can be 100% sustainable but this program aids companies in order to work in the direction of sustainability and implements these types of strategies. They look for win-win situations where business and local communities benefit from the developments and give back to the community some of the industry incomes in order to preserve the natural and cultural heritage.

They also have an agricultural, forestry programs among others. The agricultural is the second biggest, a figure is for example of the British tea consumed, and 50% is certified by the Rainforest Alliance. In terms of the tourism program it is growing rapidly and has various programs, some targeting companies and best practices, the sustainabletrip.org organization which educates travellers, or the green travel program.

After this initial presentation there is a panel of companies that will debate some of their actions and activities that they have carried out in order to try and increase demand for their sustainable products and practices.

Enrique experience has been a learning process towards sustainability. He focused on this idea of comfort versus sustainability in terms of managing expectations. We must understand that we are selling emotional comfort and quality. He educates the visitor and explains why things are done in a certain way. He transmits what are the benefits to the environment and local population of carrying the operations in the way they do.

She works in a rural community in Peru which is self-sustained, (agriculture, fishing, school). She focuses on local development but through community integration. The local people are the ones who identify their needs, for example a small playing area for the children, a greenhouse with vegetables so that they don’t have to travel so much to trade. For example: The visitors are the ones who learn the language of the local inhabitants. Shows a great job of conservation of ancient cultures and how this community continues to live in the traditional way and it is they who have the control to continue in this manner or introduce products and services of the “new world.”

The program plants trees in the rainforest and there is a strong commitment to keep this community intact and living in their traditional ways.

Randy has been part of the World Travel & Tourism Council, and now manages his has his own organization with other partners. HE put forward the idea that there is a clear change towards more sustainable practices and especially in tourism sector. There are EU guidelines, carbon emissions reduction Schemes and programs, surveys show there is a societal change occurring. People are becoming more aware of our impacts on the environment and there is an increase in people and tourist who look to reduce their ecological footprint. There is the greening of suppliers as airlines improve efficiency, companies want to do community development and tour operators travel and audit the greenness of their suppliers.

For example: Country walkers, (Part of TUI) has created a step program certification and awareness campaign to educate, clients, providers, suppliers and all their supply chain to reduce their impacts and becoming more sustainable. Another example he put forward was travel agency that has zero emissions as it neutralizes through forestry programs and using the lower emissions jets.

The represent a unique production and distribution team for US & North America. They carry over 175 events around the world. They create movies on experiential travel, we had a meeting with them and we are trying to produce a documentary on the shire of la Vera. According to their expertise the Nicaragua market needs more work in ecotourism and Costa Rica has been the leader year’s back. Their final goal is to educate the consumer. Today they are working on Granada in San Jose for their next event.

www.greenlivingproject.com

Conclusions:

European Escapes are increasing and there are everyday more people looking for different type of travel:

  • Sustainable Travel – standards are evolving and more and more companies are increasing their sustainable practices.
  • We need to unify these standards. There are many standards and in order to compare different destinations these need to be unified.
  • Increase in the number of certifications (TI) carbon offset arena.
    • Formation education, it’s a process. No one is 100% sustainable!
    • Standards A to B and finally to C. (Long term Process)
    • Sustainableairlines.org set criteria and international language for transport companies.

From this session we can identify the changing trends in travel and how the sustainable market is increasing and been every day more demanded. Its changing from an additional value to something that is been demanded by the adventure traveller.

Adventure Travellers want more sustainable practices to be implemented.

Would you be willing to pay a little more for your holiday if you knew that this money is used for recovery and protection of natural environments to recover cultures, communities and ancestral customs?

Creating demand for Sustainable Tourism – Case Studies.

The Crash Course Creating demand for Sustainable Tourism took place in the Alvie, Morlich & Glenmoore room. It was organized by the Rainforest Alliance (www.rainforestalliance.org/), which was represented by Federico Solano.

Federico has worked in the tourism industry since 1994 focusing in the marketing field in different areas such as hospitality, airlines, travel agencies and car rentals. He joined the Rainforest Alliance ´s Sustainable Tourism program in 2004. During his time in the Rainforest Alliance, Solano has coordinated projects in several Latin American, North American and European countries, and supporting sustainable tourism by helping offer and demand to adopt responsible practices towards the environment and local communities. His dedication in promoting sustainable tourism to consumers and the tourism industry has led to multiple strategic alliances with local governments, international organizations and private industry.

More information on speakers: (http://www.adventuretravel.biz/connect/summit/summit-agenda/2010-featured-content/speakers/)

The session began with a small presentation of the Rainforest Alliance. The organization sets to create best practice guides (Forest, coastal environments or anywhere). They create these tools to aid companies in different areas around the world to increase their sustainability strategies and efforts. It provides tools and a work structure which has been adopted in many different areas with a lot of feedback to improve these tools.

They provide a certification for sustainable practices in tourism, through this guideline. We are aware that as nobody is perfect, therefore no business can be 100% sustainable but this program aids companies in order to work in the direction of sustainability and implements these types of strategies. They look for win-win situations where business and local communities benefit from the developments and give back to the community some of the industry incomes in order to preserve the natural and cultural heritage.

They also have an agricultural, forestry programs among others. The agricultural is the second biggest, a figure is for example of the British tea consumed, and 50% is certified by the Rainforest Alliance. In terms of the tourism program it is growing rapidly and has various programs, some targeting companies and best practices, the sustainabletrip.org organization which educates travellers, or the green travel program.

After this initial presentation there is a panel of companies that will debate some of their actions and activities that they have carried out in order to try and increase demand for their sustainable products and practices.

Enrique experience has been a learning process towards sustainability. He focused on this idea of comfort versus sustainability in terms of managing expectations. We must understand that we are selling emotional comfort and quality. He educates the visitor and explains why things are done in a certain way. He transmits what are the benefits to the environment and local population of carrying the operations in the way they do.

She works in a rural community in Peru which is self-sustained, (agriculture, fishing, school). She focuses on local development but through community integration. The local people are the ones who identify their needs, for example a small playing area for the children, a greenhouse with vegetables so that they don’t have to travel so much to trade. For example: The visitors are the ones who learn the language of the local inhabitants. Shows a great job of conservation of ancient cultures and how this community continues to live in the traditional way and it is they who have the control to continue in this manner or introduce products and services of the “new world.”

The program plants trees in the rainforest and there is a strong commitment to keep this community intact and living in their traditional ways.

Randy has been part of the World Travel & Tourism Council, and now manages his has his own organization with other partners. HE put forward the idea that there is a clear change towards more sustainable practices and especially in tourism sector. There are EU guidelines, carbon emissions reduction Schemes and programs, surveys show there is a societal change occurring. People are becoming more aware of our impacts on the environment and there is an increase in people and tourist who look to reduce their ecological footprint. There is the greening of suppliers as airlines improve efficiency, companies want to do community development and tour operators travel and audit the greenness of their suppliers.

For example: Country walkers, (Part of TUI) has created a step program certification and awareness campaign to educate, clients, providers, suppliers and all their supply chain to reduce their impacts and becoming more sustainable. Another example he put forward was travel agency that has zero emissions as it neutralizes through forestry programs and using the lower emissions jets.

The represent a unique production and distribution team for US & North America. They carry over 175 events around the world. They create movies on experiential travel, we had a meeting with them and we are trying to produce a documentary on the shire of la Vera. According to their expertise the Nicaragua market needs more work in ecotourism and Costa Rica has been the leader year’s back. Their final goal is to educate the consumer. Today they are working on Granada in San Jose for their next event.

www.greenlivingproject.com

Conclusions:

European Escapes are increasing and there are everyday more people looking for different type of travel:

  • Sustainable Travel – standards are evolving and more and more companies are increasing their sustainable practices.
  • We need to unify these standards. There are many standards and in order to compare different destinations these need to be unified.
  • Increase in the number of certifications (TI) carbon offset arena.
    • Formation education, it’s a process. No one is 100% sustainable!
    • Standards A to B and finally to C. (Long term Process)
    • Sustainableairlines.org set criteria and international language for transport companies.

From this session we can identify the changing trends in travel and how the sustainable market is increasing and been every day more demanded. Its changing from an additional value to something that is been demanded by the adventure traveller.

Adventure Travellers want more sustainable practices to be implemented.

Would you be willing to pay a little more for your holiday if you knew that this money is used for recovery and protection of natural environments to recover cultures, communities and ancestral customs?