To Make a Sustainable Ecotourism Marketing Way

In my search for an effective marketing strategy for ecotourism business, I now look at the potential of linking sustainability and ecotourism marketing together. The best marketing strategy for ecotourism is what is called sustainable ecotourism marketing. How does this work?

If we examine the definition of sustainability, we always go back to the Triple Bottom Line Framework of Elkington (1997) in which he identifies three criteria to be addressed for a sustainable future. These criteria are economic, social, and environment. Ecotourism is also called sustainable tourism. As such, it has to meet the criteria of sustainability. An effective strategy, therefore, to market world ecotourism is through sustainable ecotourism marketing. Font and McCabe (2017) define sustainable ecotourism marketing as the application of marketing functions, processes, and techniques to a destination, natural resource or offerings to serve the needs of the visitors, stakeholders, and community today and ensures the opportunities of future visitors, stakeholders, and community to meet their needs in the future.


Sustainability and Ecotourism Marketing

If we look at the role of marketing as a function of corporate strategy, then we can note that it can influence decision making. How do we go about combining sustainability and ecotourism marketing? In order to meet the sustainability goals of the United Nations, this new marketing strategy of ecotourism satisfies the goals of sustainability. While marketing is always linked with consumerism, the concept of sustainable ecotourism marketing enables the tourist to have a pleasant tourist experience but at the same time, he is able to contribute to conservation and environmental protection. Thus, combining sustainability and ecotourism marketing is the best path to follow as a marketing strategy.


Two Approaches of Sustainable Ecotourism Marketing

According to Font and McCabe (2017), there are two approaches to carry out sustainable ecotourism marketing. These two approaches are market development and product development.


Market Development Approach. This pertains to increasing sustainability-driven consumerism by selling ecotourism products to a small and growing market. For instance, targetting ecotourists and offering them sustainability products in their visit to the ecotourism destination. It can be that the ecotourists will buy a sustainable accommodation like eco-lodges or green hotels and purchase eco-transport with less carbon emissions. In the process, the aim of market development approach is to change the behavior of the tourists in order that they will willingly purchase sustainability products. This is the focus of marketing sustainability products, particularly, with eco-labels.


Product Development Approach. In contrast with the market development approach, the product development way is to design and market products that are sustainable for the entire ecotourism market, according to Font and McCabe (2017). This also concerns how marketers have the responsibility to design products that are sustainable. The burden is not on the market but on the producers. For instance, tour operators can design a product that is sustainable but not so obvious to the tourists or visitors. They may provide incentives to travel by train instead of taking the airplane to reduce their ecological footprint. However, they will market the travel by train as convenience. The point is it is product design that is the focus of the marketing strategy for sustainability. The advantage of the product development approach is that it is possible to engage in continuous improvement of the sustainability product until it meets certain standards or achieve certification for an eco-label.



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