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Why marketing matters in responsible tourism

Claims by businesses that they are green, sustainable, socially responsible or environmentally friendly are often met with cynicism, which is partly why some tourism businesses prefer to greenhush than greenwash.

Xavier Font‘s piece on “green gimmicks” introduces us to the dark arts of marketing, which are relevant to the responsible tourism movement for two broad reasons.  Firstly, we need to be able to identify why businesses present their green claims to the market.  As Xavier points out, sometimes increasing brand awareness is the real motive, and this may be especially true where stunts or bolt-on initiatives are involved.

Secondly, responsible tourism businesses need to be able to deploy marketing to ensure their economic sustainability, and they need to know which marketing tools to use and how and when and…  After all, too much donor money has been irresponsibly invested in the past in well-intentioned tourism schemes for local economic development–the money wasted and expectations falsely raised–where there was little or no feasibility for tourism; where the marketing groundwork had not been done.

Interested in learning more?  If so, “get in the shoes of a marketer to see how they would instinctively use ethical consumer values“.

ROBIN BARDEN

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