Communication and Sustainable Tourism
- Following up on a previous post
Elsewhere on the Web
NEW PUBLICATION -- The summary is now available in PDF format from the summer's e-
conference Communication and Sustainable Tourism - World Bank
The need for governments to create and maintain websites with regularly updated
information was stressed, as was the notion that websites should not serve just for
tourism promotion purposes, but also to disseminate information on tourism policies and
National tourism portals could be rated not only by what they have online, but also by how
they participate in independent groups (e.g., ECOCLUB, green-travel, and Planeta) and
whether or not they link to independent sites, including blogs (internet logbooks) and
flicker galleries (online pictures presentation). Bonus points could be awarded for showing
visitors where they can stay, eat and drink.
Tourism portals, however, fail to provide regularly updated calendars of events with
descriptions of courses and instructors. Also, participants should be able to rate their
instructors and some sort of public evaluation should occur after six to twelve months.
Consumer surveys are confusing, for although they often proclaim a general willingness to
pay a premium for products that demonstrate a commitment to sustainable tourism
practices, only a small percentage of consumers appear to seek these products or
understand much about what appropriate environmental, social or cultural standards are.
Certification should be much more holistic in its approach and, if we are to judge
individual operators and hotels, we should also review tourism officials, academics, NGOs
and international institutions including World Bank, UNEP and UNWTO.
Marketing has been revolutionized by the Internet. Instead of suppliers selling through
agencies, businesses can offer their services directly to an international market. Without
large monetary investments, small businesses can perhaps profit from the Internet
through "buzzing campaigns" in which email messages "buzz" around on their own to
specific Internet communities with the invitation to add news.
Toward effective communication in sustainable tourism
WISH LIST -- We look forward to World Bank's next e-conference on communication and
tourism. If possible, we'd like to see advance notice of 3-6 months.