Setting aside that it’s undoubtedly the right (and essential) thing to do, there are powerful commercial arguments to put positive impact tourism high up in your business priorities. I may be preaching to the converted, but for sceptics, it certainly shouldn’t be seen as a sacrifice, and I’d argue that it can provide a tangible boost to your bottom line.
For a growing segment of the consumer and trade, sustainability and ethics is part of the purchase decision, a direct desire not to do anything harmful and contribute positively. A recent YouGov survey revealed two in five consumers worldwide (44%) say they try to buy only from socially and environmentally responsible companies. So a safari lodge that has conservation initiatives, environmental measures and supports the local community has a clear demand from a significant segment of the market.
BUT there’s an equally powerful factor that sits beneath the surface and goes beyond this, and that’s trust. Businesses that pursue an ethical and responsible agenda have integrity as a core value, a major contributor to trust – a brand’s success, or failure, is built on consumer trust. That value of integrity translates directly to employees too, helping you attract and retain talented higher calibre staff. Your employee brand and, ultimately, your bottom line benefit.
If you’re a business owner, at some point you may consider selling your business or attracting investment. What your business is worth will be determined by its profitability and a ‘multiple’ factor – its ability to carry on being profitable and potential to grow. Businesses tend to be bought by larger businesses or investment companies. Both these, certainly in the UK and elsewhere too, have much more formalised ESG (Environmental Social Governance) criteria to adhere to, so your ethical business will be attractive to them. It goes beyond this, the rise of ethical investing means that your business has even greater value, and could even be part of an ethical fund. Good business means your ‘multiple’ is higher – your business is worth more.
“Increasingly, a company that can demonstrate it is creating an environmental or social benefit will typically attract higher valuations than those that can’t. Investment partners will often look beyond the pure financial metrics to gain comfort that growth is being delivered in a sustainable way.” Growth Capital Partners (private equity business)
Positive impact travel is good business.
Written by Jim Millward
For more help with marketing strategy and practical support, contact Jim Millward at Spruce Marketing
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