The need to lower emissions
The tourism industry is responsible for around 5-8% of global emissions. We all know it’s important to reduce our emissions in tourism to prevent the earth from warming up. Climate change is a real threat to the tourism industry. If we are not careful, we’ll experience consequences such as:
- Increased heats, droughts and wildfires
- Declining water supplies
- Flooding and erosion in coastal areas
- Risks for human health and wildlife survival
To slow global warming, we need to lower our emissions. But who said this can’t also enhance the customer experience at the same time?
“Enjoying the destination to the fullest is best done when travelling slow”
In this article
5 benefits of carbon-free travel experiences
To develop unique slow travel experiences and to lower your emissions comes together perfectly in carbon-free travel experiences. Discover the 5 main benefits of offering carbon-free travel experiences to your customers.
1. Customers truly experience the destination
Travelling slow gives customers the opportunity to truly experience the destination. By walking instead of driving, they connect with the environment and the locals. They take their time and explore the surroundings in their own pace. Slow travel increases the quality of the experience.
2. Lower operational costs for your business
Offering carbon-free experiences saves costs for your business. When you have customers hike, bike or canoe for a change you reduce costs on fuel and oil for transfers. Also, the maintenance of bikes and canoes is a lot cheaper than cars or motorboats.
3. No disturbance to wildlife or the environment
When you walk on foot or take a bike instead of using an engine, there is almost no disturbance to wildlife or the environment. Wildlife won’t be alarmed, and customers are able to come up a little closer without threatening their habitat. It’s a win-win situation!
4. Stimulates the local economy
Hiking and biking experiences take customers to places that are more off the beaten track. Those places that can’t be reached easily by car. You have the opportunity to take them to lesser known restaurants and shops and support the locals. Spread your impact and support locals and their economy in as many places as possible.
5. Emits less CO2 emissions
Last but not least, a carbon-free travel experience emits no CO2 emissions. It’s the most obvious benefit but a very important one. It gives the customer an active and wonderful experience while combating climate change. It’s the perfect combination of offering the best experiences while doing good for the world.
Examples of carbon-free travel experiences
There are already many tour operators who offer carbon-free travel experiences. They have made the combination of enhancing the customer experience while lowering their emissions during their tours. Be inspired by the following examples of the tourism industry.
Horse-back riding safaris
Instead of driving around together with hundred other safari vehicles in a National Park searching for wildlife, you can also track them on horse-back. Wildlife is less alarmed of horses than cars, which means customers have the opportunity to come closer. Thereby, they are also able to experience the beauty of the environment in a silent, easy paced safari on horse-back.
On a horseback safari, you go from being a spectator to an active participant in the wilderness around you. Riders get off the beaten track. Following trails made by herds of elephant or antelope, rather than man-made roads. Riding through areas inaccessible to vehicles allows some exciting and intimate wildlife sightings. Whether it is your first or hundredth safari.
Pictures by: African Horse Safaris
Mangroves, but also rivers and lakes, are best experienced in silence. Only the sound of paddles and birds. By leaving motorboats ashore, you can offer customers a wonderful experience on the water in a canoe. Wildlife is less disturbed by canoes and customers can easily access smaller river branches not accessible by larger boats.
Walking food tours
This type of experience has it all: carbon-free, exploring the local cuisine and authentic interaction with the local communities. Walking food tours are easy-to develop experiences that are popular with travellers! Combine the walking tour with nature, insights in the local culture and take your time to build connections.
During food tours, travellers explore hidden gems and authentic local food. Food that is new to them and they have never tried before. Have them eat and drink out like a local to discover the culinary scene of a destination. Love for a destination goes through the stomach!
Pictures by: Ninja Food Tours
Silent whale watching
Whales are too often disturbed in their natural habitat by boat engines of tour operators. The perfect alternative is silent, carbon-free engines. Engines that don’t make a sound and that allow operators to come close to wildlife without disturbing whales and to offer customers a silent experience.
City bike tours
Avoid the hop-on-hop-off business in larger cities and let customers explore the city by bike instead. Customers will discover the city in a different and better way. When provided with tips and tricks on where to go, where to shop, and where to eat, customers will have a perfect day.
Bike tours are the ultimate city experience. With routes designed in a way that allow travellers to see different parts of the city while biking. With a guide, you never have to worry about safety or where to go next. Often, bike tours combine entertainment and eduction in one where travellers learn more about the city in a fun, interactive way.
Pictures by: Green Bike Tours
Scenic train rides
Not entirely without a carbon footprint, but including public transport in itineraries definitely helps you lower emissions. It replaces a private transfer, offers the opportunity to connect with the local community and it takes customers to places that can’t be accessed by car.
Use slow travel to truly experience a destination
Looking at the above-mentioned carbon-free travel experiences, the similarity is the non-disturbance of wildlife and the true experience. Carbon-free travel experiences allow travellers to come closer to wildlife in their own habitat, to have a better look and enjoy the destination at a slower pace. They are able to take their time in the experience and to truly appreciate it.
Lowering carbon emissions is necessary if we want to tourism to have a future. The best way to do so is offering carbon-free travel experiences in a way that it enhances the customer experience. It’s the perfect way to slow down climate change, to be successful and responsible in business, and to give customers the ultimate experience they will remember you for!