How to market your environmental sustainability efforts
Promoting your sustainability efforts as a tourism and hospitality business may not be up there on a list of priorities prior to reopening. However, it is still something that your customers and guests care about. Probably even more so than before the Covid 19 pandemic. The vast majority of Tourism and hospitality business have already put sustainable practices and processes into effect- but they are not telling their customers and guests about them. According to Statista.com, over 61% of frequent travellers chose a sustainable hotel to book into when searching for places to stay. It has never been more important to get the message out there about your eco friendly efforts. Here’s how to market your environmental sustainability efforts.
- Be Loud about Local
Tell everyone about the local suppliers you buy from. From the butcher that’s up the road, to the printer in the next town, to the marketing person who runs your facebook page. Let your guests and customers know that you are keeping business as local as possible to benefit the local economy. The stay local message has been very relevant throughout Covid 19.
- Be Visual
The best way to be transparent with your customers and guests is to visualise the efforts you are taking to become more sustainable. Create a video of all your activities. Staff turning off lights or sensor lights being installed. A new system you have in place for waste segregation. New eco friendly chemicals you are using in cleaning etc. If a video is too much work, then take some high quality photos to share on your website, social media and google my business.
- Get certified
The best way to get noticed as a business that cares about their Carbon footprint is to get certified as a green business. Certification can be awarded from a number of bodies in Ireland. Sustainable Travel Ireland, Green Hospitality and The Green Awards. Shout about your certification, get as much PR from the local and national press and display your certification badge on all of your marketing material.
- Communicate the benefits
There is no point in promoting the sustainable activities that you participating in without explaining the benefits . Tell people the outcomes of these activities and how they are helping the local environment. For example- by changing all our lightbulbs to energy saving ones we have saved x amount of energy over the year- reducing our carbon footprint by x.
- Get your message online
Dedicate a full landing page to your environmental efforts. The Killarney Park has a great one. Explain all the activities that you are involved in so that your guests can educate themselves on it when choosing a place to visit. Write a monthly blog on updates with your efforts. Add a piece to your newsletter to keep your contacts up to date. Slot a post into your social media once a week to promote your sustainable efforts. If its not online then who will know about it?
To help you along the way on your sustainable journey there are a few supports available. Intrepid Traveller have a very useful 10 step guide to decarbonise your travel business. The SEAI have an energy academy which is completely free and offers 16 modules with a certificate of completion. They also offer a free energy management course.
Sustainable Travel Ireland are also offering a free 6 month membership to organisations along with their first two courses completely free.
For help on marketing your hospitality and tourism business, please do not hesitate to contact Helen on firstname.lastname@example.org
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