Here are some ways to bring Sustainable Tourism into the daily routine at your place of business:
By effectively communicating your sustainable efforts, you can raise awareness about the environmental and cultural aspects of tourism. A mission statement can help demonstrate your commitment to sustainable business practices. Communicating regularly with staff around how to achieve this mission will help your business move forward.
Support Local, Buy Local
Purchasing from local producers, retailers and suppliers will support the local economy, as well as reduce your ecological footprint. Consider using at least 20% local food in your dishes. Showcase local art and grow your own vegetables and herbs if applicable. Sell organic and fair trade products, such as teas and coffees, and use environmentally-friendly suppliers.
Habitat Conservation and Landscaping Practices
Sustainable landscaping practices can save you money, are aesthetically pleasing and help conserve local habitat. Planting native and drought-tolerant species will minimize the inputs needed to maintain your garden. Rainwater harvesting, and watering when evaporation is less likely to occur can help conserve water. Leave clippings on the lawn after mowing. Support local wildlife by putting up bird and bat boxes.
Encourage visitors to adhere to the Visitor Code of Conduct and get them thinking about how their actions affect the local community. Education can go a long way to change habits. Offer visitor incentives and discounts for sustainable transportation and low impact activities.
Efficient Resource Use
Track energy and water use, and waste production at your business. Efficient appliances, low-flush toilets, low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, and programmable thermostats all help reduce waste and save money. Diverting food waste for composting will help reduce your footprint.
Community Support and Respect
Local heritage and culture can be promoted through collaborative efforts, showcasing of local art, and marketing of local heritage activities. Community support can include financial or in-kind support for local not-for-profits and community groups.
Transportation plays a pivotal role in sustainable tourism. Promote sustainable transportation by providing secure bike racks and offering incentives for cyclists and people who carpool or take transit. Provide information on local cycling and walking tours and organize or promote the use of bus shuttles or public transit for events and conferences.
Roles and Responsibilities
Develop a long-term sustainability management plan suitable to the scale of your business. Consult with staff to identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement. Designate a sustainable tourism champion to track progress and communicate with employees. Consider obtaining third-party accreditation to verify and promote the sustainability of your operation.