Our customer’s buying process is increasingly influenced by global and ethical issues. It is difficult not to think about hunger, deforestation, global warming, poverty and even crisis when we buy or dispose of a product. In the United Kingdom there are already more than 3.5 million vegans and 66% of the world’s consumers are already willing to pay more for sustainable brands.
According to the Conscious Consumption Indicator developed by SPC Brazil and CNDL, Brazilians are also evolving towards conscious consumption. We are still only 28% of consumers, but there is a great opportunity and openness for us to be educated and transformed, with 56% of consumers considered “in transition stage”.
Conscious consumption in Brazil is almost exclusively related to financial benefits, which often leads us to “unsustainable” paths. We still don’t understand or accept paying more for the organic product, the local handicraft or the hotel with sustainability practices. And price is often our only focus.
The 2018 Booking.com Global Sustainability Report revealed that 94% of Brazilians intend to travel sustainably this year. But do they know how? And are they really interested in going beyond the financial comparison? On the other hand, the market keeps asking itself: “where are these conscious travellers that don’t get to my door? Do they really exist?”.
What we never ask ourselves is “what can I do to know more about my choices?”, or “what can I do to make the customer understand better my offer?”. This mismatch between consumers and conscious services in tourism is related to education. In order for travellers to begin to base their choices on factors such as ethics, social and environmental impact, and transparency, they must argue, know and understand. And it is also our responsibility, as tourism industry, to educate them.
According to the Booking.com report, 32% of Brazilian travellers say lack of information is an impediment to a more sustainable journey and many of them still believe that sustainable tourism is necessarily related to nature or luxury. It’s time we break these myths and become more transparent.
We should talk more about ethics, conscious consumption, empowerment, responsible and community tourism. We need to communicate our social and environmental best practices and involve our customers in them. Transparency and education are the solution for sustainable tourism supply and demand to meet and grow together.