Updated: May 8, 2020
Covid-19 has been devastating to many of our lives, our businesses, to the entire world's economy.
There is a Silver Lining.
We cannot deny that it has had a positive impact on the environment. we have seen significant drop in carbon emissions levels all over the world.
This is a perfect opportunity for the entire Belize tourism industry to re-position itself in the global tourism market as a true green destination.
In marketing and business strategy, market position refers to the consumer's perception of a brand or product in relation to competing brands or products. Market positioning refers to the process of establishing the image or identity of a brand or product so that consumers perceive it in a certain way.
In April of 2020 the state of Virginia in the US held their Green Travel Star Awards which was a great reminder that the tourism industry can and does play an important role in fighting negative climate change.
So, why not consider these few tips on how you can make your tourism business in Belize "green" and make the most of this growing trend.
Change can be...scary. Especially when we start to contemplate everything at once. This is why it is important to start small when it comes to making your business eco-friendly.
Use eco-friendly paper.
Change light bulbs to eco-friendly models.
Standard coffee mugs instead of single-use.
Minimize use of paper in general (move towards paperless).
Recycle - consider an office compost bin.
Turn off or unplug electronics, lighting and whatever else you can to conserve electricity.
Don't throw out old furniture like office chairs, repair them or donate them. Replace old ones with higher quality that will last longer.
REALITY IS SHAPED BY OUR OPINION - Marcus Aurelius
We truly need to change our way of thinking in Belize. If you are food tour company, for example, why not take guests to restaurants and cafes that use locally sourced produce and who minimize their food waste?
Create a green tour and offer them as school trips, so that we can teach our children how to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle, or teaching them about green initiatives in your area.
This is a great opportunity for tour guide associations to create green initiatives in their area, or you can do it on your own and put your area and your business on the map.
Work with businesses that offer eco-friendly accommodation for your guests, and look into fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicles.
Also, consider the waste that happens when you have a tour guide, tour operator meeting - travel (carbon emissions), light, water, food, garbage produced etc...that can be easily done on apps like Zoom, where members can join in from the comforts of their home. This can become a part of the new normal in the tourism industry in Belize.
Is it time that we consider overtourism...and start to really focus more on high-value, low-impact overnight tourism?
in 2019 Park Güell in Barcelona won Gold at the World Responsible Tourism Awards for dealing with overtourism. Here is what they did:
Started a free shuttle bus service, included with the purchase of a ticket in order to reduce congestion on public transport and the roads.
There are so many initiatives your business can adopt to make your company greener. Using some of these ideas can give you the edge on your competitors and be a great way to improve your Value Proposition to your clients.
A value proposition refers to the value a company promises to deliver to customers should they choose to buy their product. ... A value proposition can be presented as a business or marketing statement that a company uses to summarize why a consumer should buy a product or use a service.
Example: Tours Designed To Let Your Memories and Our Barrier Reef, Last A Lifetime.
Want more ideas? There is plenty out there. Check out this online resource for guidance and inspiration so that you can continue to make these positive changes.
Take the initiative. Go green!
PS: Local companies like Green Care Products Ltd. is already in the process of rolling out "Green Initiatives" in partnership with hotels and other tourism-related businesses across Belize. Check out what they have done with Imani's Inn in Placencia.