Source: Travel Age West
TravelAge West speaks with Richard Edwards, founder and CEO of Ecoism
In researching its cover story on Selling Green Travel, TravelAge West caught up with Richard Edwards, founder Ecoism, an organization that works with travel suppliers to help them develop a more socially responsible approach to travel marketing. Edwards shared a number of insights on developing sustainable program
What got you started on your path to Ecoism?
Over and over again, my first question to organizations has been, “What are your business goals?” When most people begin to consider a sustainability program, they don’t realize it has anything to do with business. They know they want to use it in their marketing, but they see it as separate, and possibly even as a cost of doing business.
There are many top quality marketing firms that focus on the tourism industry. There are also a number of organizations very familiar with helping companies and destinations with their sustainability programs. I didn’t see agencies or organizations that addressed marketing and business planning with sustainability as an integrated piece of the equation, which is where it is most effective in helping to achieve the economic and environmental goals the organization may have its eye on, as well as actually helping to drive revenue.
Economics and ecology meet at a point where sustainability is integrated into a business model that measures and achieves financial goals with sustainability as a contributing factor to that financial success. We see the void in the marketplace around practical, industry-focused and revenue driven sustainable tourism marketing, and ecoism is actively filling that need for travel companies and destinations.
The research we are seeing suggests that the next hurdle for travel suppliers is finding messaging that effectively communicates their green policies to their clients. Would you agree with this? If not, what are some of the companies you work with doing to communicate green standards/policies.