• Understanding The Concept of Sustainable Traveling

    Considering how we are trying to make everything as sustainable as possible, the one thing that has come a long way is sustainable travel. I am not just talking about the perspective of resorts and travel businesses, but tourists are actually becoming a lot more aware about this as well. They are a lot more concerned about whether the resorts are offering sustainable means of checking in, or how sustainable the location they are visiting is. Needless to say, it has become important for the tourism and travel industry to finally take notice of sustainable traveling, as well as what most of the tourists in need of.

    Ramesh Jeenarain, who happens to be a managing director at World Leisure Holidays in South Africa helped answer some of the questions regarding sustainable traveling.

    What is The Meaning of “Sustainable Travel”?

    Sustainable travel emphasizes on two factors; economic and social. Looking at it from an economic factor, it means that sustainable travel makes sure of the fact that all the money that is spent on the trip remains in the community. Meaning that all the work that has been put in has some sort of positive effect on the environment, as well as the culture, along with the community is not compromised in any way.

    There is no doubt that Millennials have more spending power than people before them, but this spending power also comes with an awareness of their effect on the world. That is because the travelers are asking for traveling options that are sustainable, and they are even willing to pay a higher amount if they get to stay at eco-friendly hotels or resorts.

    This type of vacationing is being called barefoot luxury, and there is no denying that we are seeing a growth in its popularity. At this point, the people who organize holidays, or the hospitality industry will be making a big mistake if they do not start implementing the sustainable methods into their business.

    How Can The Travel Industry Make Sure That It is Playing a Part in Sustainable Travel?

    There are multiple ways hotels can make sure that they are reducing the impact on environment. Below are a few examples.

    • Eliminating the use of paper while checking in and out.
    • Using toiletries that help reduce the use of plastic, as well as waste.
    • Donating all the leftover food to the locals who cannot afford rather than throwing the food away.
    • Offering an experience that reflects on the place the tourists are visiting rather than having large hotels.
    • Taking care of the natural sites, as well as lifestyles that are synonymous with the destination. This is not only good for promoting the place, but also helping the tourists have a better understand of the place.
    • Emphasizing on farm to table dining experience rather than going for food that is imported.
    • Showing respect towards the locals, as well as the staff.

    How Can Tourists Figure Out Whether a Resort Engages in Sustainable Travel?

    The resorts need to clearly state that they are offering experiences that are certified eco-friendly. This was not possible before, but now there are many international certificates that a resort can obtain. There is no denying that the drive towards a sustainable experiences is growing for the travelers and rather than opting for traditional hotels, travelers are looking for more sustainable options. Additionally, resorts can start showing that they are actively working on reducing their carbon footprint through the way they accommodate everything.

    A Piece of Advice For Sustainable Travel in 2018?

    By handling and spreading the efforts for sustainable travel, the resorts have made a place in the minds of the people who are trying to plan their next holiday. The people now looking for places that are good for sustainable travel, and are certainly spreading the word towards others.

  • This Island is Completely Free of All Plastic And Electronic Waste

    A village by the name of Thuruthikkara located in Mulanthuruthy panchayat is famous for a number of things. For starters, it was the first village that became completely free of all the incandescent bulbs, plastic, as well as other electronic waste. Additionally, the village is also known for having water that is proven to be safe after proper scientific tests.

    It does not end here, the village has worked on a number of different methods that help it become less of a burden on the environment itself. The village stopped using the incandescent bulbs, and replaced them with LED lights in order to save energy. Additionally, Thuruthikkara has several LED clinics where LED light systems are created, as well as repaired. According to an office worker of Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Praishad, these units are then sold in the market. Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Praishad is also responsible for starting a project named “Oorja, Nirmala, Haritha Gramam’. This project forms the 10th ward of Mulanthuruthy panchayat. The villagers are also responsible for charging the water wells using rainwater.

    A Rural Science and Technology Center was started in the village on Sunday. T.Gangadharan, who is a Parishad president was the man who did the inauguration. The center will be used as a region’s center of Integrated Rural Technology Center at Mundoor in Palakkad. P.G. Shankaran who is the Pro Vice Chancellor of Cochin University of Science and Technology was there to deliver the keynote.

    According to Mr. Shankaran, the purpose of the center is to ensure that people of the island are aware of the new technology that is being used in different fields. Additionally, the center will be used to raise awareness of all the technological advancements and breakthroughs that are happening around us. He further stated that the initiatives that are included are going to be the likes of bio-bins and kitchen bins in in the village. These bins would allow the entirety of kitchen waste to be turned into fertilizers that will be used in the farming.

    Every month, all the homes have been the reason behind the generation of 12 kilograms of bio-fertilizers. Additionally, the distribution of vegetable saplings aided the families in the preparation of areas for cultivation that they can use for their own needs. This initiative was made successful because of contribution from a total of 349 families along with 25 institutions as well as organizations.

    In order to remove the plastic waste, cloth bags were distributed in all the households. After that, plastic was carefully collected, and then disposed of. Another step to achieve self-sufficiency as well as sustainability was the introduction of aquaponics.

  • Gaining Customer Trust Through Environmental Sustainability

    Raking in profits is not the only thing that a company should be focusing on. Your company values count for a lot as well since they have a major and lasting impact on how your customers perceive you. A company that has a hard time defining its values is most likely going to have a much harder time appealing to its customers in the long run. Why would a company want to woo a customer with their values? Because this allows consumers to connect with a company on an emotional level, and once that happens, your customers are bound to stay around for longer.

    Consumers are increasingly becoming more aware of how companies affect the environments in which they operate. This awareness is leading to consumers basing their buying decisions not only on price tags and product features, but also on factors such as whether companies are actively doing something to make a difference. Organizations that continue to operate in grey zones or are not gearing themselves to deal with environmental concerns are beginning to lose their customers.

    This is because customers like supporting businesses that are giving back to the environment. Every interaction with a “green” business makes consumers feel that their buying decisions are making a difference for the planet. A study revealed that customers like to buy from organizations that make an effort to be socially responsible. Social responsibility shows that a company actually cares about its environment and the results of its actions.

    Going green is a hot topic nowadays and also an essential one since the business world is largely to blame for the many environmental problems the world is going through at the moment. Social responsibility is definitely important, however, if a company is unable to communicate its values and adhere to them then they will not do much for them.

    Research has shown that many consumers are not familiar with the social responsibility values of companies that they interact with regularly. This is due to the fact that these companies fail to communicate their values with their customers. One could say that a company that has impressive values and adheres to them is wasting a valuable resource if it is not making an active effort to share these values with its customer base.

    Sharing your values with your customers does not necessarily involve huge marketing campaigns that cost a lot of money. You can communicate with your customers on a much more personal level through your customer support. With the right help desk software, one that allows a business to efficiently and effectively connect with its customer base, you can preach your values just as effectively. Kayako’s help desk solutions are renowned for their easy usability and the powerful tools that they offer.

    Many experts claim that the best way to acquaint your customers with your value system is by connecting with them first, and the best way to connect with them is through two-way communication.

    Companies encourage two-sided interactions with their customers in many ways, such as opening forums where customers can gather and talk to one another about their experiences with the company. Companies in turn interact with their customers and gather valuable insight on their performance and what area do they need to work on. You can find plenty of companies encouraging customer interaction through this way.

    Organizations can even get creative with two-way interaction like Vers Corporation did. They started a campaign that encouraged customers to plant trees and share their plantation on social media. For every tree that a customer planted, Vers promised to plant one themselves. This allowed the company to get close to their customers while also shedding light on their environmental friendliness.

    The best form of two-sided interaction is when a company manages to engage its customers through some sort of actionable and measurable campaign. This can work wonders for a company’s image and simultaneously help it develop strong and long lasting bonds with its customer base. This approach should not be limited to your customers, companies should also engage their employees in a similar fashion. This instills a sense of empowerment and actually encourages your employees to act out on your value systems.

    While there is a ton of evidence backing up the positive effects of becoming socially responsible, very few companies are actually taking steps to become green. Not only is this unfortunate for our environment, but also for the companies that continue to stay as they are since their customers will eventually leave them for a more socially responsible competitor.