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Ecotourism products for local economic development
Transcript of Ecotourism products for local economic development
Facilitate the journey!
The perfect product
Need to connect with nature
"Industry without chimneys"
Ecotourism can return as much as 95% of revenues to the local economy, compared to only about 20% for “standard all-inclusive package tours”.
Quality, not quantity
In 2010, international tourists to Costa Rica spent on average $944 per visit, while tourists in France spent $666 per visit. Costa Rica, a predominantly ecotourism destination, therefore generated 42% more revenue per tourist than did France, a more conventional, mass market tourism destination.
Invest to earn
In 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged to spend at least $160 million over the next five years to build and improve ecotourism attractions, in order to increase visitation to Russia’s parks. This decision came after Russian experts saw the economic benefits of ecotourism in the United States where tourists pay $14.5 billion per year to visit the national parks.
People from big cities, particularly younger ones, search for active outdoor adventure travel, in order to reconnect with nature while maintaining their fast-paced lifestyle.
Demand for authenticity
Consumers search for experiences that are engaging, personable, memorable = authentic. They expect interactions with cultures and communities.
Families are taking three-generation journeys. They seek holidays offering a range of activities.
Search for fulfillment
Travelers are searching for deeper meaning in their vacation experiences. Voluntourism and traveler's philanthropy are on the rise.
Engage locals in the process of product development: discuss, ask for feedback, find ideas in local customs & traditions.
Facilitate the whole traveler's journey
(attractions, amenities, infrastructure),
instead of providing accommodation or organizing separate activities, such as hiking, biking or fishing, etc.
Empower locals & involve all stakeholders.
Find the right people from your local community (suppliers, artists, leaders of opinion)
to support your products.
Create new products with "local" supply chain (buy local, cooperate local).
Think about the whole supply chain
and all elements of a traveler's experience.
Give ecotourists a chance to get “involved”’ or “participate” in local community matters and interact with “locals” in some way.
Participative approach to Ecotourism
Educating about the region through promotional materials, website, blog.
"Making a difference" section:
Traveler's contribution clarified on tour pages.
"Responsible travel" cheat sheet in welcome package.
family-owned guest houses.
Walking or usage of public transportation instead of big coaches.
If not possible - locally owned small buses.
Dining in locally-owned restaurants.
"Active" element in natural areas, such as national parks.
Always combined with education about environmental challenges of the region.
Walking, biking, hiking, canoeing...
Handicraft workshops, possibility to buy souvenirs directly from the artist or to make a souvenir yourself.
Big focus on the rural areas and forgotten ethnic groups
(e.g. Hutsuls in Carpathians)
Participation in daily activities, interactions with locals: cooking together, feeding animals, etc.
e.g. working in the bear sanctuary
or cleaning up National Reserves.
Cooperation with local NGOs and schools.
Opportunity to donate "left-over coins" to 1 out of 3 local projects. Special certificates provided afterwords.
Make tourists "aware".
Travel Consulting Services
Poland | Germany | Russia
National & regional structures are helpful. but not necessary!
Involves different stakeholders & suppliers, all aware of sustainable tourism.
Reflects the needs of a community (result of research, analysis and discussion).
Is a good mixture of nature, cultural and social elements.
Increases awareness about local issues (through education & participation).
Gives tourists chance to discover local culture - taste, touch & experience.
Is constantly improved (through evaluation & feedback).