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Cost Effective Ways To Achieving Sustainable Tourism Best Practices


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It is easy to assume that only high tech solutions can be applied to achieve sustainability. This may be the case for economies that have very high labour costs and relatively cheap access to technology. In economies where labour costs are low and imported technology is very expensive there are alternative solutions to achieve sustainability and to provide memorable tourism experiences. This presentation will draw on case studies from across the globe and relate the findings that are relevant to the ASEAN region.

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Cost Effective Ways To Achieving Sustainable Tourism Best Practices

  1. 1. Cost Effective Ways To Achieving Sustainable Tourism Tony Charters AM Principal, Tony Charters and Associates AustraliaOctober 2014
  2. 2. Topics to be Covered Trends in ecotourism What are the key factors behind successful ecotourism projects? Approaches to assist Case studies
  3. 3. Trends in Tourism Ecotourism Features Unique Nature and Culture –can’t be duplicated Small scale operations favour developing economies/communities and offer more intimate tourism expereinces Often countries with emerging tourism industry have more intact natural and cultural heritage – ideal for ecotourism
  4. 4. Trends in Tourism Desire for Experiences and Escape from Routine Pressures Doing rather than looking Hands on involvement eg building, habitat conservation A desire to seek a complete change from normal life (eg job pressures, family pressures, stress situations)
  5. 5. Trends in Tourism Putting Something Back and Bragging Rights Volunteer tourism (conservation projects, community projects, philanthropy), operators recognising this through social enterprises. Looking for something their friends colleagues haven’t done –creating new stories
  6. 6. Trends in Tourism Consumer Desire for Authenticity •Real exposure to culture –not manufactured or theme park equivalent •Natural environments –not manicured or exotic (imported) •Local architecture, local customs, local people
  7. 7. Trends in Tourism Ever Expanding Frontiers for Experienced Travellers Seasoned travellers –looking for more remote, less structured, more independent travel
  8. 8. Trends in Tourism Online Presence and Social Networking An instant source of reviews - nowhere to hide! Word of Mouse Social Enterprises building relationship marketing efforts through social enterprise activities – indigenous projects, conservation projects Equal footing with clever website and social media
  9. 9. Key factors behind successful ecotourism projects Destinations formed by distinctive nature and culture, infrastructure and services that attract visitors. Profitable Authenticity and uniqueness is gold –protect at all costs Blind to political boundaries Scalable -from small to big Share access and gateways Unique destination values provide competitive advantage
  10. 10. Key factors behind successful ecotourism projects Uniqueness Access Continuity –or series of seasonal events/activities Link to community Authenticity Endorsement –certification, social media, awards etc Consistency Links to destination and adjoining destinations Profitable Understanding consumer demands of source markets
  11. 11. Achieving sustainability within a budget Best Practice doesn’t always Require Expensive Technology In this global environment access to technology is pretty universal, but the cost of technology is often prohibitive. In developing economies the cost of labour is affordable – many excellent environmental and social outcomes can be achieved through application of labour instead of technology.
  12. 12. Achieving sustainability with low tech solutions 
  13. 13. People can do the job of machines 
  14. 14. Achieving cost effective sustainability Environmental Traditional design and construction techniques Energy Water conservation Waste water Minimal impact -landscaping Transport Social Use local materials, products, cuisine, music Handicrafts and art Facilitate micro-businesses Apply labour instead of technology Work with the local community –involve them Education and training
  15. 15. Environmental aspects of sustainability Issues are inter-related: native vegetation is good for the environment and saves water; traditional building techniques result in less earthmoving and disturbance; traditional building materials are nearby and are biodegradable
  16. 16. Traditional Design and Construction Techniques
  17. 17. Traditional Design and Construction Techniques
  18. 18. Low energy lighting and appliances Significant advances:  Micro-hydro  Solar  LED lighting  Biogass  Wind
  19. 19. Low tech, effective sewage treatment  Wetland system Worm farms Creation of fertilizer
  20. 20. Native vegetation landscaping  Native vegetation: Authentic Attracts native wildlife Low cost, low water useage Not introducing weeds Self sustaining
  21. 21. Traditional Transport Affordable, common Employs local boat builders and bus builders Unique tourism experience Must be balanced by safety
  22. 22. Social Aspects of Sustainability – Education and Training
  23. 23. Local or on-site organic gardens 
  24. 24. Local Produce and handicrafts 
  25. 25. Local employment 
  26. 26. Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat, Indonesia Opened in 2007/8, Misoolepitomisesthe use of recycled materials and use of local skills. Grey and black water is treated through natural waste water gardens attached to each villa Creation of organic gardens Integration of local foods into the menus Significant community and conservation contributions
  27. 27. Misool Eco Lodge, RaJa Ampat Salvaged timber used entirely – milled by local workforce and the owners.
  28. 28. Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat Salvaged wood is used in most furnishings and all the structures –all made by local tradesmen.
  29. 29. Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat Local grass thatching was used in all buildings and kept a local village in employment for more than a year. Ongoing building and maintenance will need continuing supplies.
  30. 30. Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat Accommodation, diving and snorkeling amongst the protected reefs surrounding Misoolnow provides a significant income for the local community through resort related jobs and ranger patrols.
  31. 31. Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat Bush products keep costs down, add interest and originality, reduce transport needs, employs local people.
  32. 32. Misool Eco Lodge, Raja Ampat Reef monitoring and shark and manta ray conservation are a major focus of the Resort and it has significant partnerships with international conservation NGO’s. Community development programs including the provision of a kindergarten, payment of teacher salaries and provision of library resources for local children.
  33. 33. Misool Eco Lodge, Raja Ampat Shark fin and mantra ray gill rack illegal fisherman had decimated local populations. Misool was a major partner in the development of a marine reserve with a no take zone policed by the local community with patrol boats and wages supplied by the conservation including Misool.
  34. 34. EL NIDO Palawan, Philippines Multi-award winning resorts Operates sewage treatment plant combined with native reed bed filters. Treated water is utilised in flushing toilets, watering the plants, and supplying fire hydrants. Compost waste to the organic farms supply resort (60% of needs) Locally reared livestock comprise 90% of total kitchen purchases.
  35. 35. EL NIDO Palawan, Philippines Micro-financing of local community for support operations egtour and transfer boats Strong local employment into all levels of operation Strong support for El NidoFoundation Women from several barangays (villages) in El trained in weaving to produce native bags and slippers that are purchased by the resort.
  36. 36. Andaman Discoveries, Thailand Social enterprise, locally based Voluntourism Supporting 7 local villages Training and English important Handicrafts, guiding, homestay Local restaurants and transport Banana leaf sandwich wraps Homestay offers authenticity but requires accurate expectation setting.
  37. 37. Feynan Ecolodge, Jordan Integrates profit, people, nature, education 80% of purchases within 60km radius For 95% of staff this is their first job in tourism Conservation of nature a key driver Local Bedouin woman bakes all bread Assisting the retention of culture and provision of jobs for young 100% solar off grid Indigenous planting Local clay pots for guest water
  38. 38. Fragipani Ecolodge, Langkawi Wetland grey and black water treatment Organic farm servicing kitchen Composting kitchen waste for farm Education and interpretive commitment 95% local staff More profitable through energy, water, savings, fertiliser and farm prod.
  39. 39. Grootbos, South Africa Organic farm supplying lodge and lodge workers – veggies, fruit, micro herbs, eggs, pork
  40. 40. Grootbos, South Africa Honey production Nursery and horticulture training Interpretive training Production of spa and bathroom amenities – soaps, natural oils
  41. 41. Global Eco Forum 12 November 2014 – Sydney