Help at hand for responsible hotels
Following the news that TripAdvisor now require all lodges to provide environmental data relating to their business, the respondeco website, www.responsibletourismcommunication.com, has been created by the University's International Centre for Research in Events, Tourism and Hospitality (ICRETH) to support companies in communicating this effectively, making them stand out from competitors.
repondeco offers both standard and premium services to analyse accommodation businesses websites' sustainability messages and give feedback, helping them to write clearer and more persuasive messages, showing a commitment with society and involving customers in sustainability as part of their travel experience.
One of the website's founders, Dr Xavier Font, explains: "Companies make great efforts to be more sustainable, but fail to communicate it convincingly to their customers. This is a great missed opportunity to increase revenue, reduce seasonality, retain loyal customers and increase customer satisfaction. Taking seriously how you communicate sustainability will improve your overall efficiency, motivate staff and allow you to achieve more in less time. Be smart: tell them about your sustainability actions and how they benefit from them; be social: post reviews about customers' green actions during their stay and how great they felt about it; be reliable: share what new improvements you make and how this is good for them, you and the environment."
The standard package includes a 20-page report analysing the website and making tailored practical suggestions on what to do differently, covering 42 indicators across eight themes, as well as a case study which will be promoted by respondeco.travel.
The premium package includes all standard package services as well as benchmarking reports and a month of telephone support in implementing the changes.
Since the launch of the new service, ICRETH have worked with governments worldwide, hotel groups and tour operators, VisitEngland, VisitWales and Failte Ireland and national parks to improve their responsible tourism communication. It will have its official launch at the World Travel Market 2013 in November.
respondeco is the Esperanto word for responsibility. Esperanto hopes to solve communication barriers, and ICRETH aims to do the same by helping accommodation businesses to learn how to communicate sustainability messages.