Green Means Go When it Comes to Travel
In a report done by McKinsey regarding the impacts of integrating sustainability into company principles, 70% of sustainability leaders found they were achieving higher prices or market share because of sustainable products.
The same is true for tourism. Sustainable Travel International and Mandala Research, LLC, found that “63% of travelers say they are much more likely to consider destinations where there is a strong effort to conserve and protect natural resources.”
Many tourist destinations and resorts are following this trend, realizing the economic opportunities of going green.
Gapa Island, located south of South Korea, is currently meeting 42% of its energy needs from renewable energy sources as part of its plan to achieve full, carbon-free energy self-sufficiency by 2030. Since the project began in 2011, the number of tourists rose from 40,000 to 110,000 in 2015. Their electricity bills for the summer also fell 80%, from between 120,000 and 130,000 South Korean won per month to between 20,000 and 25,000 won.
Earlier this July, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Pacific Community (SPC) held a workshop on Building Capacity for Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) in Lami, Fiji.
Katerina Syngellakis, a Global Green Growth Institute Representative for Fiji and Vanuatu, gave a presentation onSustainable Energy Tourism in the Pacific Islands, focusing on the need for energy efficiency in hotels. Syngellakis highlighted the need for reliable and affordable energy supply as part of maintaining the tourism industry, a huge economic driver for the Pacific Islands.
On the island of Palawan in the Philippines, we helped premier hotel chain Astoria offset their grid-electricity consumption with rooftop solar installations. Facing some of Asia’s highest electricity rates, going solar was a crucial part of reducing the resort’s operating expenses. It also helped make this hotel location an eco-resort, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability.
A growing number of customers are showing an interest in sustainability, whether that be in the products and services they use or the destinations they visit. By investing in renewable energy and going green, companies are taking advantage of huge market opportunities and realizing the returns.