This week’s top comment was made on an article about integrating aspects of sustainability and ethics into tourism marketing.
A panel of experts discussed the importance of ethics and sustainability in destination marketing at Africa Travel Week. Tourism Update reader Colin Fryer added this:
“A destination/product reflecting sound ethics, long term sustainability and meaningful authenticity will attract visitors. Weave this platform into a story of environmental responsibility towards the biomes, local souls and bingo we have it!
Fortunately within southern Africa we are blessed with hugely divergent topography - from vast, open arid desert to the world’s largest inland river delta system, where those responsible for running both destinations/properties reflect these traits in abundance. There is without doubt the need for these energies to communicate their 'story’ upon social media and other respected media platforms to inform, direct and engage their past and potential visitors.
The role of influencers is of interest. Are they authentic or bought voice pieces? Do they scribe a series of words on a destination/product for their own income/profile growth or through the need to be ethical and authentic? Do these fine souls appreciate, fully appreciate, inculcate and feel the entire game plan of what they are writing about? There is every belief that potential visitors to southern Africa will be sifting through the plethora of information available but where will they put their ' hat ', sign off on the story line and commit to coming our side?
We as a destination (southern Africa) would do well if we would take a leaf from the pages of Hawaii and Estonia where they promote 'staying home' (for now) and 'wait until you are ready' as their tag lines during this COVID moment. This message reflects appreciation of the mind-set of those who may wish to visit but have perceptions & reality energies that are immersed within doubt, concern and the need to be respected.
Time to get creative, bring our story to bear, reflect your responsibility, the attraction of Ubuntu, local community and ‘Africa-ness’ that has and always will pass the test of the African sundial.”