Whether you’re an environmentalist, a business owner or just someone planning your next trip, you’re likely to have heard the buzz around ecotourism grow to a deafening roar in recent years. Climate change is ultimately been the catalyst behind the rise in volume but you might be interested to find out the economics of ‘going green’ should not be discounted.
As suppliers of renewable energy systems, going green, or moving to a more sustainable energy management practice is a concept that SEC supports whole-heartedly. And, with more ecotourism clients approaching us for solutions to either reduce their reliance on, or remove their businesses from traditional grid energy, we thought it was past time to speak up about the benefits renewable energy can have on tourism operations.
Reputation And Bottom Line
While pro-environmental strategies are the driver behind the shift to alternative energy for many ecotourism businesses, there are many more positive effects to installing solar and energy storage systems in your operation.
If your reputation, your operation’s future and your current bottom line are on the agenda, then make sure you read on to find out where the industry trends are heading and how you can take advantage of travellers’ appetite for the cleaner, greener option.
Going Green: One Cause With Many Names
We’ll start by defining the various names and terms related to ecotourism. Depending on whom you speak with – and which country you operate in – you’ll find the concept of eco-tourism has a unique meaning to the communities and government institutions that will ultimately recognize your efforts. Included below is definitive list of these sourced from research, which was compiled by responsibletravel.org.
Ecotourism: First on the list, this ultimately means responsible travel to natural areas that both conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.
Geotourism: Is the type of tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture and the well-being of its residents.
Pro-Poor Tourism: Tourism that results in increased net benefits for poor people that are directly related to, or affected by the operation.
Responsible Tourism: This is defined as the type of tourism that maximizes the benefits to local communities, minimizes negative social or environmental impacts, and helps local people conserve fragile cultures and habitats or species.
Sustainable Tourism: Lastly, the most over-arching term is sustainable tourism. This takes full account of current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.
The development guidelines and practices of sustainable tourism are applicable to all forms of tourism in all types of destinations, including mass tourism and the various niche tourism segments.
We hear our customers use all of these terms in our day to day dealings. While there are subtle differences and emphasis to each strain, they are united by a common purpose. To reduce environmental impact, one of the primary benefits that correct energy management offers.
What Do Your Guests And Customers Think?
Apart from the obvious and driving benefits of protecting our global environment while enhancing social and financial sustainability within our communities. Business efforts towards eco-tourism can produce tangible financial side gains.
We looked at a survey collated by Conde Naste and found overwhelming evidence that your attitude towards ecotourism initiatives, like renewable energy system, could well determine your future success as a popular and chosen operator. Whether you’re a hotel, an adventure outfit or an historic or natural location.
Below are some of the stats from the survey we thought pertinent:
• 93% said that travel companies should be responsible for protecting the Environment.
• 58% said their hotel choice is influenced by the support the hotel gives to the local community.
• 71% of Trip Advisor members said they plan to make more eco-friendly choices in the next 12 months. The ‘green’ travel trend is gaining momentum!
• 90% of U.S. travelers said that they would choose a green, environmentally conscious hotel if the price and amenities were comparable to those at a non-sustainable, non-green hotel.
• 95% of US travelers think that lodging companies should be undertaking ‘green’ initiatives.
• 43% say they would be willing to pay up to 5% more to decrease their ‘ecological footprint’ on their next trip; almost as many say they would pay more than that.”
What Does This Really Mean For Your Business?
Overwhelmingly these stats show us that operations that establish green initiatives like renewable energy, are likely to experience the following benefits.
1. An increase in customer and guest bookings
2. A decrease in long term energy costs
3. A reduction in fossil fuel usage
4. A reduction in long-term environmental impact
With offices around the globe, SEC has been slowly but surely helping tourism operations take advantage of renewable energy. In fact, with the right marketing efforts, renewable energy has become a direct pathway to the ecotourism market share that the above statistics mention.
“We help companies to offer their guests the option for responsible travel, to enjoy the natural beauty, to educate and increase the income of local communities and most importantly, to raise public awareness of the energy supply issues we face as a planet.” – CEO Heston Harper
Ultimately, our goal is to give companies a way to address both the environmental and economic concerns they have by offering a sensible and a sustainable solution. If you wish to see the real time effects that this has on an operation, refer to a recent case study on an eco-lodge in Borneo. SEC helped them to reduce their reliance on traditional energy sources and redirect funds into education.
As an established energy storage company, one of our passions is to help people realise the potentials that energy storage has. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here. Let’s see if together, we can increase the value of your special offering to the world of international travel.