Sustainable Tourism via Social Media
January 11, 2022 8:53 pm
Sustainable tourism via social media is about more than posting a few hashtags and inspirations posts here and there.
While social media is often used for marketing purposes, it also has the power to influence eager travellers into making more sustainable choices when heading off in search of adventure or a little bit of rest and relaxation.
According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation, sustainable tourism is “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”.
From the impact of travel on the environment to the waste we create while on holiday, more and more people are factoring sustainability into their holiday planning.
As a tourism and hospitality professional, it is your responsibility to promote sustainable tourism, and one of the best ways to do so is through social media.
Let’s take a look at how you can promote sustainable tourism via social media.
Educate tourists on sustainable tourism
Whether it is cultural differences, language barriers, or a host of other factors, sustainable tourism is often negatively impacted because of a lack of education and information.
If you’re a hotel, a restaurant, or a tour company, people are often going to turn to your social media pages for information, to read reviews, and seek help. Your social media pages are excellent tools to educate people before they visit you.
For example, on Instagram, why not create a series of stories answering FAQs and save them to your highlights? You’ll make this information more accessible, and you’ll likely save your team some time answering the same questions over and over again.
Promote and support local businesses
When on holiday, it’s all too easy to stay cooped up in your hotel and order room service or dine at attached restaurants.
Why not team up with a bunch of local restaurants? You could run a social media takeover, create a behind-the-scenes tour, or even run a competition that encourages people to dine locally.
How about a custom hashtag that offers diners a discount on their meal or a free drink?
Supporting local businesses and restaurants stimulates the local economy, encourages travellers to immerse themselves in local culture, and creates more memorable experiences.
Focus on local travel destinations
People are always going to want to travel internationally. There’s something about heading off overseas that you just can’t recreate at home. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for incredible travel experiences in your own backyard.
Tourism and hospitality marketers spend so much time marketing their experiences to international travellers. That’s one of the benefits of social media, and it allows us to reach audiences all around the world at the click of a button. However, social media also allows marketers to hyper-focus on specific audiences based on location.
The main reason people don’t travel close to home is that the experiences are either too familiar or they don’t know about them at all. Use the power of social media to reach local audiences and encourage them to take a staycation or a road trip.
Lead by example
When eager travellers visit your social media pages, they’ll often take on board what you’re doing and automatically assume they should behave in the same manner.
Set a good example by promoting reusable and green alternatives. Create blog posts and videos about the steps you’re taking to make your business practices more sustainable and share them with your followers and potential travellers. You could even offer incentives to tourists who go as green as possible while staying with you.
Support a charity
People love businesses that stand for something. Sure, you can use your social media pages to promote your business and reach new audiences, but you can also use your influence to make a difference.
Did you know that Instagram offers a donation sticker through the stories feature?
Your support doesn’t even have to be financial. Simply making people aware of organisations that are doing great things for the environment and promoting sustainability is a great way to help out, and it costs you nothing more than a few social media posts.