Is Now the Time to Start a Sustainable Tourism Business?

Georgia Davies
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Are you interested in starting a business in the tourism industry? Worth $5.8 trillion, tourism is clearly a profitable sector to enter. With competition intense, choosing to start a sustainable travel company may be the way forward. Not only good for profits, eco-friendly living is a global priority. 

Despite this, starting a tourism business can be daunting. There are lots to consider, including initial costs, risk mitigation, and branding. So settle in as we cover the current state of the industry, the ins and outs of ethical tourism, and the advantages of starting a sustainable tourism business in 2023.

The Current State of the Tourism Industry

The tourism industry is in a slow recovery as of 2023. With the Covid-19 pandemic halting travel overnight, international tourist arrivals dropped by a monumental 74% in 2020. While it will take time for international travel to return to pre-pandemic levels, the tourism industry is slowly beginning to rebuild itself. 

Thanks to the wide circulation of vaccines, there are no longer significant restrictions on travel. Now, vacationers are focusing on sustainability and the impact of international travel via boat or air. 61% of travelers say the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future. Although many are renting electric vehicles, the technology isn’t quite there for eco-friendly air and boat travel. 

However, as a result of increased demand, the sustainable tourism industry is booming. As of 2022, the market value was estimated at $1 trillion. This is set to rise to $8.4 trillion by 2032. Clearly, experts are expecting eco-friendly tourism to dominate the future of the industry. 

What is a Sustainable Tourism Business?

A sustainable tourism business, also known as an eco-friendly or responsible tourism company, is an enterprise operating in the tourism industry that prioritizes environmental and cultural sustainability. 

Eco-tourism businesses work to reduce the negative impacts that traditional travel has on the environment. For instance, airplane and boat travel emit harmful carbon and nitrogen oxide into the environment. While there’s yet to be any technology that truly counteracts the effects on the planet, many eco-tourism businesses will re-invest profits in projects like reforestation to reduce the negative impacts of traditional forms of travel. 

Tourism has historically damaged the natural and cultural heritage of destinations like Thailand and the Maldives. High levels of tourism can lead to habitat degradation and loss and increased pollution in populated areas. An eco-tourism business is well aware of these issues and will responsibly plan and manage tours while engaging with the local community to counteract issues. 

The eco-tourism industry adopts numerous strategies to counteract the carbon footprint of its travelers. This typically involves giving back to the planet through reforestation or ocean cleanups, as well as running their businesses responsibly. A sustainable tourism business may choose to put remote working practices in place, like allowing their employees to access iPhone remotely or introducing video conferencing, to help offset harmful emissions. 

By prioritizing sustainability above all else, eco-friendly tourism businesses improve environmental conservation by supporting local communities. They work to bring responsible travel practices into the mainstream to make tourism a force for good in the world.

What Are the 5  Main Benefits of Starting Your Own Sustainable Tourism Business?

If you’re considering the option of starting a sustainable tourism business, you’re on the right path. Promoting eco-friendly travel practices is a great step in fixing our planet over time. 

Earth has already seen detrimental consequences from frequent air travel. Unfortunately, Aeroplanes burn fossil fuels which releases CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Vapor trails stay in the atmosphere well after the airplane has landed, leaving harmful emissions in the atmosphere. 

No one wants to stop going on holiday, but holiday goers can no longer ignore the impact of air and boat travel. Sustainable tourism businesses are set to be the future of the industry, allowing travelers to go around the world while reducing their environmental impact. 

Let’s look at the many advantages of starting a sustainable tourism business in 2023. 

1. Satisfy the Need for Eco-Friendly Travel Opportunities

Modern-day travelers, especially millennials and Gen Z, are turning their attention to sustainability when planning their vacations. Tourism businesses that focus on sustainability appeal to the increasing number of environmentally aware travelers.

By catering to this growing trend, businesses will see high profits and returning customers. Setting up an eco-friendly travel company is not only good for the environment—it sets you up for success. 

2. Attracts Environmentally Conscious Travelers

Communicating your commitment to sustainability and responsible travel means your sustainable tourism business can attract eco-friendly and self-aware travelers seeking better options for their holidays. 

Combining word-of-mouth recommendations from eco-conscious customers and a good online presence will help improve your reputation and bring in more eco-friendly travelers looking to switch up their vacation experiences. 

With more and more holiday goers paying close attention to the environment, attracting customers to an eco-friendly tourism business will become easier as time goes on.

3. Positive Brand Image and Reputation

Consumers are far more aware of environmental and social issues in 2023. If you take the plunge and start an eco-friendly tourism business, you will find more and more environmentally conscious travelers preferring companies that prioritize the future of the planet. 

Start a truly sustainable travel company to build a positive brand image and increase customer loyalty.

4. Long-term Viability and Resilience

Eco-friendly tourism businesses are resilient to changing priorities for travelers. They adopt strategies that not only improve our environment but vacation experiences as a whole. 

With sustainability front of minds for sustainable tourism businesses, they will pay particular attention to creating a positive impact for all those involved with the business. This includes travelers and stakeholders.

Profitable eco-tourism businesses will diversify their offerings to attract varying types of eco-conscious travelers. They may offer unique experiences that typical travel companies don’t offer. For instance, popular sustainable tourism businesses offer opportunities like adventure-based activities or cultural immersion programs. 

Furthermore, these businesses will need to consider economic factors that affect their long-term viability, such as the natural rate of interest, which can impact their investment decisions and financial planning. 

Finally, companies will likely talk to experts to improve their travel resources and improve knowledge sharing for the whole company. This all works to solidify the positive future of Earth.

5. Preserve and Improve Natural and Cultural Heritage

Unlike traditional tourism companies, sustainable tourism businesses will constantly work with local communities to create job opportunities and support their economies. Sustainable tourism emphasizes the importance of respecting and preserving local cultures and traditions. They will work to offer authentic experiences that showcase the region’s unique heritage and customs. 

Considerations When Starting a Sustainable Tourism Business

Despite the need for sustainable and ethical tourism businesses, competition can be tough. You’ll need to consider how you’re going to reduce your carbon footprint, how to support customers, and build your brand credibility. 

Here are some considerations before starting your tourism company. 

Reduce Carbon Footprint 

The entire point of an ethical tourism business is offering travel that actively reduces an individual’s carbon footprint. Here are some key ways you can provide sustainable travel: 

  • Remote Services: Remote work and cloud services can help reduce your carbon footprint. Many companies now operate without a physical office, hugely cutting down on energy usage. You’ll have to invest in the right solutions, like a phone system in the cloud and remote collaboration tools. This eliminates the need for traditional landlines and on-premises hardware—even potentially the need for premises entirely.
  • Carbon Offsetting: Investing in carbon offsetting projects or initiatives will balance out the carbon emissions from business operations. Support projects like reforestation, renewable energy generation, or sustainable agriculture. 
  • Sustainable Transportation: Encourage the use of sustainable transportation, like walking and cycling, for staff and guests. Offer electric vehicle charging stations if possible.

Customer Support 

It’s essential that your customers feel supported while booking a vacation with your company. They may have questions about their carbon footprint and how your tourism business is working to improve the environment. 

Here’s how to provide sustainable customer support: 

  • Remote Customer Support: Offer virtual customer support through chat, email, or video calls whenever possible. Avoid unnecessary travel for in-person interactions by providing comprehensive virtual assistance. You can do this with a small business telephone service or cloud contact center. 
  • Encourage Self-Service: Create user-friendly online resources and FAQs to enable customers to find answers independently. Encouraging self-service reduces the need for contacting customer support. 

Branding and Credibility 

With sustainable tourism being a new and burgeoning industry, building a credible brand is essential to make customers feel secure and confident in your business. Here’s how to build your sustainable brand: 

  • Use Local Domains: Local domains build trust in your website and business, as it shows you have a presence in that area. This is particularly important for a travel company operating in many cities. For instance, using ae domains can add to your credibility if you’re operating in UAE.
  • Stay transparent: Don’t keep customers in the dark regarding your environmental efforts. Showcase how you’re reducing their carbon footprint, whether you’re investing in reforestation or promoting the use of electric vehicles. 

If you’re struggling to come up with a unique and memorable name for your sustainable tourism business, consider using a Business Name Generator to spark your creativity.

Live Sustainably with Forest Nation

We’re all on a mission to reduce our effects on the environment. Whether you choose to travel sustainably or aim smaller by recycling and reducing your meat intake, even small steps can lead to a healthier planet. Forest Nation is committed to making sustainable gifts that directly invest in reforestation efforts. Find out more by checking out the Forest Nation website today. 

Georgia Davies

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