How Tourism For Good, Is Good For Business

How Tourism 'For Good,' Is Good For Business

By Nic Cooper, Regenerative Tourism Specialist
Published on February 22, 2023
David Clode YLxQRYpuwqg Unsplash

It may come as a surprise to some that businesses can boost their bottom line by making their business more sustainable.

Tourism businesses with solid sustainable practices who communicate these strongly can earn more revenue whilst also saving business costs.

So not only does it make business sense environmentally and socially to become a purpose driven tourism business, it’s also good for business from an economic perspective.

A Nielsen report found that 73% of younger generations – Millennials and Generation Z – are more likely to pay more for sustainability.’ And Tourism Australia has recently shared in their Future of Tourism Demand Report, that one third of travellers are willing to pay more for sustainable experiences.



A Competitive Edge

The consumer demand for sustainable travel experiences has grown exponentially over the last few years and these days the majority of travellers are conscious in some shape or form.

American Express Travel’s 2022 Global Travel Trends Report found that 78% of travellers are wanting to have a positive impact on the community they are visiting.

As Business Victoria describes: ‘Being a 'green' tourism business should provide a marketing edge by attracting and impressing customers who share a concern for the environment.’

Tourism businesses with green credentials have benefited from keeping their messages simple and accurate and promoting them through marketing and publicity activities.

If a business has a unique eco offering, this might garner media attention or make a business eligible to enter sustainability awards.

The Keep it Real toolkit created by Visit England is also relevant to Australian tourism businesses to sell sustainability as part of their unique offer. It's designed for those businesses who've already taken action to be more sustainable and want to maximise the marketing opportunities that may exist.

I’d just change this to say it’s also very relevant to Australian businesses as well (and anytime referencing resources from outside Australia) or just not mention it’s for English Businesses, and tourism businesses in general.


Passing The Cost On to Guests

Even though there are many budget-friendly ways to implement sustainable practices, there is a cost involved for businesses to adopt certain sustainable practices.

Businesses may consider passing this cost on to the customer by increasing prices. This can be a tough decision but a strong play in these circumstances is transparency where a business announces the price change to the customer whilst explaining why with the logic behind it.

Often consumers will respect this honesty and be more than happy to pay the extra if they understand (and believe in) what the money is going towards (as Tourism Australia has indicated in their Future of Demand Report above).

Expedia Group’s Sustainable Travel Study (April 2022) confirms that 74% of consumers would choose a destination or experience that is committed to supporting the local community and culture, even if it was more expensive.

So, when a customer is on their booking journey and at a crossroads of choice between two tourism businesses, the most ethical option will increasingly come out on top regardless of which is the more expensive.


Reduced Business Costs

There are long-term cost saving benefits for tourism businesses investing in renewable or waste reducing infrastructure.

With the Australian government introducing several measures to promote environmentally friendly initiatives including assistance programs in the form of grants, incentives, awards and subsidies to businesses, now is a golden time to capitalise on programs to help businesses fund installations such as solar panels.

Tourism businesses may also consider:

  • Saving water costs by harnessing rainwater for water supply.
  • Switching to LED lighting (uses up to 80% less energy than halogen bulbs).
  • Planting a garden to produce vegetables and herbs for the kitchen.


Improved Reputation & Reviews

Word of mouth is the most trusted forms of marketing and travels even faster when a business is at the forefront of purpose driven tourism.

Tourism businesses that are actively supporting and giving back to the local community via social and environmental practices, will nurture a community that supports them.

The domino effect of this is improved community sentiment, community that become advocates for your business promoting it on their channels, and a community that is more welcoming to your customers.

If a business can show and communicate that they care for the environment, as well as the visitor's comfort, they’ll gain customer respect and loyalty.

Purpose driven businesses whose practices are clearly visible to the customer, are much more likely to receive a 5-star review even if those practices are just a little eco-friendly touch they have noticed.


Over to you...

We’d love to hear from you and any business successes you have had from your purpose driven practices. Have you found any other benefits for your business after implementing sustainable initiatives?

Nic Cooper

Nic 'Coops' Cooper is our Regenerative Tourism Specialist, and is also owner/operator of micro adventure tour operator Wild Adventures Melbourne. He is a leader in Sustainability in Australia, one of the few B-Corp Tourism Operators in Australia, and a Tourism Australia Sustainability Storyteller.