Telum Vox Pop: How to shape thoughtful messaging to promote sustainable tourism?

Telum Vox Pop: How to shape thoughtful messaging to promote sustainable tourism?

The global tourism industry has experienced major shifts in the past few years. But as travel recovers steadily, this year's World Tourism Day takes on a special significance, celebrating the opportunities of a renewed sector.

A sustainable travel study released by Expedia in 2022 found more people exploring the Asia Pacific region are now willing to spend big on sustainable travel options, something which brands are now eager to embrace.

To commemorate World Tourism Day 2023, Telum Media spoke with communications leaders across APAC about how their teams shape thoughtful messaging to promote sustainable tourism to their stakeholders.

I. G. A. Dewi Hendriyani, Head of Communications Bureau at The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia
Indonesia is currently focused on encouraging quality sustainable tourism instead of pushing for increasing numbers of tourist visits. To promote this goal, The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has developed four focus pillars:
  • Sustainable management for tourism businesses
  • Developing a long-term sustainable economy
  • Cultural sustainability that is continuously developed and maintained
  • Environmental sustainability
We created several programmes including the development of tourist villages through Anugrah Desa Wisata Indonesia, the "Kita Mulai Sekarang / We Start Now" campaign for domestic tourists, the "Every Step Matters" campaign for foreign tourists, and the Carbon Footprint Calculator and Offsetting programme.

The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy also partners with the Indonesia Sustainable Tourism Council (ISTC) to regulate, facilitate and assist tourist destinations across the country. This is done by conducting assessments, ensuring cleanliness, health, safety and environmental sustainability, and awarding tourist destinations that successfully implement our sustainable tourism standards.

These efforts to promote sustainable tourism cannot be carried out by the government alone. It requires collaboration between stakeholders such as ministries, academics, business actors, organisations, the media and, of course, the public.

Russell Yuan, Director of Sales & Marketing at HUALUXE Shanghai Changfeng Park
In 2022, IHG Hotels & Resorts partnered with Ant Group’s Green Energy Initiative to promote eco-friendly practices among IHG One Rewards members and guests in Greater China through the Responsible Travel programme.

The programme encourages guests to skip single-use toiletries like toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, and soap during their stays. As a reward, guests receive “green energy points” via Alipay app’s Ant Forest mini programme, which they can use to support conservation projects such as tree planting in Gansu.

As an IHG hotel, HUALUXE Shanghai Changfeng Park has participated in the Responsible Travel programme since we opened last year.

To foster active participation, our team at HUALUXE Shanghai Changfeng Park identified the reservation confirmation email as a starting point of our guests’ sustainability journey with us. We have forgone the use of physical brochures and promotional materials in hotel rooms, and instead provide guests access to the mini programme’s QR code and links to further information in the email, before they even check-in. This has also allowed us to cater to guests who appreciate the additional information such as foreign residents and infrequent travellers. 

In April 2023, to celebrate the 54th annual Earth Day, IHG One Rewards and Ant Forest held an offline activation in Shanghai to educate attendees about the importance of sustainable tourism. The event featured low-carbon, environmentally friendly experiences and an art exhibition that remained open for a month.

Phatthawut Wutthipraphanphong, Director of Marketing Communications at Conrad Bangkok
Our messaging emphasises the integration of environmental, social and economic aspects across our hotel’s operations. We achieve this through our Travel with Purpose, ESG strategy and LightStay campaigns. We aim to create a positive impact on the environment and local communities through engaging and educational communications work.

One way we demonstrate our commitment to sustainable tourism is through responsible sourcing and the use of environmentally friendly products. We prioritise locally produced ingredients from the Royal Project in our kitchen, reducing our carbon footprint and supporting local communities.

We have also established our own organic garden where we cultivate local herbs and vegetables for use in the hotel.

Conrad Bangkok uses social media, our website, blogs and press releases to regularly communicate the importance of sustainable tourism. By sharing compelling stories, specific examples and success stories, we showcase our environmentally friendly practices, community engagement projects and conservation efforts.

We strive to make sustainable tourism relatable and engaging to all our guests. Additionally, we collaborate with influencers and sustainability experts to amplify our messaging and inspire others to make conscious travel choices.

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