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Consumer demand for sustainable, responsible tourism practices growing

Sustainability, environmental protection and local benefit sharing are hot topics in tourism, too. As more Europeans make better informed choices about how sustainably they travel on holiday, consumer attitudes like Sweden’s flysgskam (flight shaming) continue to gain prominence in the tourism industry. This trend is set to start affecting the tourism sector in developing countries soon, creating new challenges and opportunities for local tourism operators.

Local tourism operators, that are offering sustainable and responsible tourism products, can seize these opportunities and stand out from competitors by appealing to the growing number of environmentally conscious European tourists.

Benefits to local communities

When they do fly on holiday, Europeans are increasingly seeking ways to minimise their environmental impact, choosing destinations that are responsibly managed. They also like to see that their trips can generate measurable benefits to local communities by bringing economic growth to the area and helping to conserve biodiversity, preserve wildlife and habitats.

Tour operators seek professional, reliable suppliers

Large and small European tour operators have recently adopted codes of conduct, which they expect their suppliers to comply with as well. The standards in their codes cover health and safety issues, business ethics issues and corporate social responsibility matters. They want to make sure that their suppliers work to minimise tourism’s effects on the environment, that they work with local people and locally owned businesses, and that they have policies in place to address various issues, such as child labour and animal and environmental protection.

Good reputation is essential

European tour operators continually monitor satisfaction ratings on social media, which can be negatively affected by as much as one negative review. They are looking for suppliers that can show good reputation, work professionally and ensure sustainable and responsible tourism practices throughout their supply chains.

To find out more about expected standards and how to create a professional code of conduct that meets European tour operator requirements, read the new CBI report on the requirements for tourism services offered in the European market and the CBI’s tips for finding buyers in the European tourism market.

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This news article has been written for CBI by Acorn Tourism Consulting Limited.