Sustainable Tourism - Iceland Naturally Event | Williamsburg, VA | June 9, 2011


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Defining sustainable tourism and how its capacity as a brand amplifier and marketing platform are relevant to all tourism businesses and destinations - specifically Iceland. Examples from San Francisco, TUI, Fairmont Hotels, National Geographic, and the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria

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  • What is this buzz word that’s been floating around?Ideas…?
  • Several buzz words…. Niche markets…. Speciaized travel companies…. Websites.Are they all different?Are they doing the same thing?Does it matter?
  • Clearly defined… Minimizing the harm, and maximizing the good.Why is this important?
  • Everyone is familiar with these factsSo many people traveling, huge impactFinite resources, Finite ability to manage people flows
  • In 1950 we had less than 10 million international arrivalsToday, we have just shy of one billionIn ten years, we’re looking at almost doubling that amountThis is just international – not including domestic.
  • There are real economic impacts as well. About 6 trillion dollars generated this year… in ten years increasing by a third to over 9 trillion
  • Let’s take a look at IcelandIncrease by 50%Constraints on infrastructure – more solid waste, more foot traffic, more carbonReal impacts, especially for a place with so many unique environmental assets.
  • Sustainable tourism isn’t just about minimizing harm… but has a real power for change.When done correctly it can do all sorts of things that are ultimately beneficial for the tourism industry & travelersExample: Only five percent of mainstream tourism dollars stay within a destinationExample: Help reduce costs by investing in training, reducing consumption, and thinking strategically about business
  • All of those things sound
  • 66% of U.S. consumers believe their travel choices can make a difference to the environmentLifestyle changes toward sustainability represent a $200 billion industry in the U.S. alone 56% are skeptical of companies making green claims and look for information elsewhere
  • Green Travelers are those that specifically travel for sustainability or consider sustainability at least half of the time.“Dark Green” travelers – those on the forefront of the movement- Tech savvy – resourceful, investigative and rely on the word of mouth experience of others
  • These are things typically associated with sustainability by the majority of people
  • Sustainable tourism goes beyond being obsessed with recycling and living in a treehouse. High quality tourism that embraces the uniqueness of the destination, creates an authentic experience, and encourages interaction with the place and its people is also sustainable.So, being a sustainable business is not JUST about the environment, being crunchy… but it’s about being a GOOD business and providing GOOD opportunities to clientele
  • Pigeon Forge, TN
  • Costa del Sol, SpainGreatest example of mass tourism developmentLeader of sun, sand, and sea destinations and experiences. (None of us would disagree)
  • By building sustainable, authentic experiences we encourage a different kind of traveler:Stay LongerTravel FurtherMinimize ImpactGenerate a more positive experience for everyoneIncrease positive word of mouth marketingBenefits
  • Tourism as an industry has a fairly common set of indicators it uses Ministries, CVBs, tour operators all use arrivals and income generators as a way to measure viability (These are all relevant – still a business) Sustainable tourism goes one step further to look at impacts Using these indicators whether building a business or a destination promotes healthier more long-term success that isn’t victim to economic trends or fads
  • Tourism that is truly sustainable has very important impacts for everyone. Travelers are more happy – WoMBusinesses – reduce cost, new marketsDestinations – positive association, new marketsGovernments – increased revenue, increased jobs, money stays localResidents – new jobs, money stays local, healthy destination
  • At Solimar we work primarily in “destination development” – which is looking at the complete view of the destination and how to make it sustainable (in the sense we described) and also financially sustainableWe’ve embraced an ethos called “geotourism”
  • SF: Home of Golden Gate, Alcatraz, Crazy Hippies and the Folsom Street FairLeader in sustainable destination management both in US and globally
  • I dea is that create a healthy citizenry, minimize impact on infrastructure in long-term, reduce costs Public Transit: Hybrid Taxi Cab System / First Hybrid Ferry Minimize Solid Waste: Ban on plastic bags Solar-Paneled Convention Center and Stadiums, including the Urban Center – LEED CERTIFIEDThey also make use of their website to encourage travelers to travel “greenly”Participating in bike toursEngaging with locally owned businessesTraveling off the beaten path
  • Encourage travel outside of
  • TUI is onethe world’s largest tour operator.30 million travelers. 118 Countries.
  • Important: IF A COMPANY OFFERED A SUSTAINBLE OPTION – I’D BOO“What is Sustainable though?!”
  • They have made a huge commitment towards sustainability – not just in their services but in requiring that their partners and affiliates commit to it as well
  • TUI has a massive supply chain – its supply chains have supply chains – on and on. Recognize the importance of managing the expectations of their partnersThey have one of the largest collection of certified hotels and tour operators and receive numerous awards.We recognized that the “green traveler” market is small… but if they’re going to book a tour, they’re going to go with TUI.
  • North America’s Largest Hotel Chain / 50 Hotels in 9 Countries Initiated in 1990Locations: UNESCO World Heritage Sites, National Parks, Biosphere Reserves, and Fragile ecosystems Sonoran Desert Coastal Zones, Mangove Wetlands Protection and Conservation of these resources = sustaining business
  • Waste Management: Recycling, Organics Diversion/Composting, Food and Goods RedistributionEnergy Conservation: Lighting Retrofits, HVAC Upgrades, Alt. EnergyWater Conservation: Tap Aerators, LowFlow Showerheads, Low Flush Toilets, Wastewater recycling systemsCommunity: Turtle Conservation (Mexico), Coral Reef Protection (Hawaii), Beluga Whale Adoption (Quebec)
  • Fairmont Royal – Installed new soft water washing machinesFairmont Vancouver – BC Energy Savings Plan
  • Outreach to 80,000 constituenciesInput from over 2,000 experts18 month consultation process5 rounds of consultationAnalysis of 4,500 criteria already in useApproval over 91% for any one criterionISEAL compliant
  • Sustainable Tourism - Iceland Naturally Event | Williamsburg, VA | June 9, 2011

    1. 1. Sustainable Tourism<br />Kingsmill Resort & Spa |Williamsburg, VA | June 9, 2011<br />Bruno Maia/<br />Bruno Maia/<br />Bruno Maia/<br />
    2. 2. What is sustainable tourism?<br />
    3. 3. What is sustainable tourism?<br />
    4. 4. The tourism industry has trouble defining it…<br />Green Tourism<br />Ecotourism<br />Geotourism<br />Authentic Travel<br />Cultural Tourism<br />Adventure Tourism<br />Community Tourism<br />Responsible Tourism<br />
    5. 5. Sustainability is vital to the life of the tourism industry.<br />Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development. A suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability. <br />UN World Tourism Organization<br />
    6. 6. Every day, tourismplays a larger role in our world.<br />
    7. 7.
    8. 8.
    9. 9. Tourism in Iceland<br />Current Arrivals: 1.1 million<br />2021 Arrivals: 1.6 million<br />
    10. 10. Tourism in Iceland<br />Current Direct Impact: ISK250 bn<br />2021 Direct Impact: ISK350 bn<br />
    11. 11. Tourism in Iceland<br />Source: Elías Bj. Gíslason<br />
    12. 12. Sustainable Tourism has the power to create change on a global scale.<br /><ul><li>Preserve destinations for generations to come
    13. 13. Safeguard our cultural and environmental heritage
    14. 14. Promote social equality
    15. 15. Energize new markets to travel to the destination
    16. 16. Revitalize local communities
    17. 17. Create jobs along the rich value chain
    18. 18. Keep tourism dollars within destinations
    19. 19. Help businesses reduce costs </li></ul>Bruno Maia/<br />
    20. 20. … but there is hesitancy.<br /><ul><li>“It’s Just a Fad”
    21. 21. “Too Expensive”
    22. 22. “Too Complicated”
    23. 23. “Requires Sacrificing Quality”
    24. 24. “No Return on Investment”</li></li></ul><li>Consumers are ready.<br /><ul><li>66% in U.S. believe their travel choices make a difference
    25. 25. 80% in Europe believe their travel choices make a difference
    26. 26. 95% of business travelers think hotels should be “green”
    27. 27. 44% consider the environment when making travel decisions
    28. 28. 67% would change travel habits if they knew it made a difference</li></ul>*Sabre Holdings, 2010<br />**TUI<br />***Deloitte<br />Bruno Maia/<br />
    29. 29. What do “sustainable travelers” look like?<br /><ul><li>Younger. Average age is 39. Non-green traveler is 44.
    30. 30. Educated. 48% have a college degree.
    31. 31. Wealthier. 13% higher income.
    32. 32. Spendy-er. $2,000 more on travel per year.
    33. 33. Tech Savvy. Book online and value technology.</li></ul>*Saber Holdings, 2010<br />** LOHAS<br />**TUI* <br />Bruno Maia/<br />
    34. 34. But what are they looking for?<br />Bruno Maia/<br />
    35. 35. The things that you can probably guess…<br /><ul><li> Conservation of natural resources
    36. 36. Protecting biodiversity
    37. 37. Reduction of waste
    38. 38. Minimizing effects on climate change</li></ul>Bruno Maia/<br />
    39. 39. And some you didn’t know you knew...<br />Uniqueness<br />Quality<br />Participation<br />Authenticity<br />Bruno Maia/<br />Bruno Maia/<br />
    40. 40.
    41. 41.
    42. 42.
    43. 43.
    44. 44. Sustainable tourismmeasures success in different ways<br />Type of Travel<br />Number of Visitors<br />How much money is spent<br />Quality of Travel<br />Length of Stay<br />Where the<br />money is spent<br />
    45. 45. With sustainable tourismWe all benefit.<br />Bruno Maia/<br />Travelers<br />Businesses <br />Tourism Boards<br />Governments<br />Residents <br />
    46. 46. Geotourism<br />Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place – its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents<br />SUSTAINABLE<br />TOURISM<br />A way to travel sustainably<br />A way to engage residents in tourism<br />GEOTOURISM<br />A way to market sustainable travel<br />
    47. 47. National Geographic and Travel Industry AssociationResearch of American Travelers:<br /><ul><li>Over one-half think its harder to find unspoiled places than it used to be
    48. 48. Three out of four don’t want their travel to harm the place they visit
    49. 49. 74% seek “authentic”, “local,” and “distinct” experiences
    50. 50. 55 – 65 million Americans can be considered “geotourists”
    51. 51. These travelers spend 75% more than other travelers on each trip.</li></li></ul><li>The Geotourism Process<br />Local Geotourism Council<br />Local Public Forums<br />Local Nominations<br />National Geographic Review & Editing<br />Geotourism<br />Mapguide<br />
    52. 52. Completed<br />In Progress<br />Coming<br />Western Balkans<br />Southern Ethiopia<br />Eastern Tennessee<br />Douro Valley, Portugal<br />Eastern Newfoundland<br />Sonora Desert<br />Lakes to Locks<br />NE Vermont<br />Vilcanota Valley<br />Yellowstone<br />Baja California<br />Central Cascades <br />Redwood Coast<br />Sierra Nevada<br />Four Corners<br />Guatemala<br />Montreal<br />Crown of the Continent<br />West Virginia<br />Island of Hawai’I<br />Crete/Athens<br />Shenandoah<br />Bahamas<br />Namibia<br />
    53. 53. Geotourism MapGuides<br />
    54. 54.
    55. 55.
    56. 56. Geotourism Websites<br />
    57. 57. Geotourism Websites<br />
    58. 58. Geotourism Process<br />Think Beyond the Map<br />Engage Stewardship Council for next steps and<br />Ongoing strategy<br />
    59. 59. San Francisco<br />Rated one of the Top 10 green cities in the United States<br />by National Geographic’s Green Guide<br />
    60. 60. Cultural Heritage Preservation<br />Advocating for Green Travel<br />Green Business Program<br />Innovative Public Transit<br />Minimize Solid Waste<br />Energy Conscious<br />Green Meeting Spaces <br />Local Food Movement<br />
    61. 61.
    62. 62.
    63. 63.
    64. 64. Key Destination Activities<br />Sustainable Tourism Planning<br />Destination Marketing for Sustainable Businesses<br />Promotion of Sustainable Resources & Activities<br />Training and Services<br />Certification Programs<br />
    65. 65.
    66. 66.
    67. 67. TUI Travel<br />“Sustainability is still not a major deciding factor for most people when they choose a holiday…<br />“… but it is in the interests of our destinations and the environment that it becomes a strong influence factor.”<br />
    68. 68. TUI Travel <br />Acommitment to communicating theimportance of sustainability<br />Encouragement ofnew practices<br />Rewardingefforts<br />
    69. 69. TUI Travel <br />6% cut in carbon emissions by 2014<br />94% are engaging with social or environmental projects issues or organizations<br />77% of businesses are engaging their partners on environmental issues<br />92% of businesses have put in place sustainability management plans<br />
    70. 70. Introducing the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria<br />A set of common guidelines created with the input of experts, groups and companies from around the planet, defining sustainable tourism in a way that is actionable, measurable and credible. Setting a minimum standard of sustainability for tourism businesses across the globe.<br />
    71. 71. Fairmont Green Partnership Program<br />First chain-wide environmental program<br />Unique location of hotels<br />
    72. 72. Fairmont Green Partnership Program<br />Waste Management<br />Energy<br />Conservation<br />Water<br />Conservation<br />Community<br />Partnerships<br />
    73. 73. Fairmont Green Partnership Program<br />Fairmont Royal York<br />Reduced water intake by 476,000 liters/day<br />Received award from City of Toronto for $50,000<br />Exceptional public relations<br />Fairmont Vancouver<br />Reduced carbon emissions by 7800 tons<br />Saved $700,000<br />Exceptional public relations<br />
    74. 74. Sustainable Hotel Certification<br />Provide Information to Improve Sustainability<br />Verify claims to consumers<br />Help market businesses and attract new customers<br />Cumulative benefit for destination brand<br />
    75. 75. Hundreds of organizations are doingthe right thing. But each in different ways. <br />
    76. 76. Introducing the Global Sustainable Tourism CriteriaA truly global initiative.<br />
    77. 77. What are the Criteria?<br /><ul><li>37 criteria organized in 4 pillars of best practice:</li></ul>Sustainability Management<br />Social & Economic<br />Cultural<br />Environmental<br /><ul><li>Minimum that any business should meet in order to consider themselves sustainable</li></li></ul><li>GSTC Criteria: Global input.Global standard.<br />Establishment of GSTC Criteria:<br /><ul><li>Outreach to 80,000 constituencies
    78. 78. 2,000experts
    79. 79. 18-month process
    80. 80. 5rounds
    81. 81. 4,500 existing criteria analyzed
    82. 82. 91% approval for any criterion
    83. 83. ISEAL compliant</li></li></ul><li>What do the Criteria do?<br /><ul><li>A universal language defining a minimum standard for sustainability
    84. 84. A roadmap for businesses and destinations
    85. 85. A guideline for establishing certification
    86. 86. A way to build confidence for travelers
    87. 87. The next big thing</li></li></ul><li>The Criteria Today<br />Certification Programs: baseline standards<br />Hotels: training programs and strategies<br />Destinations: legislation and marketing<br />Travelers: identification of best practices<br />
    88. 88. The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria<br /><br />
    89. 89. The journey may be long.But it’s worth it.<br />Sustainability will not happen all at once.<br />But, every little bit counts – for you and the traveler.<br />
    90. 90. Shared Rewards.<br />Shared Responsibilities.<br />David Brown<br />Solimar International<br /><br />(202) 518-6192<br />