Boulder, Colorado – In response to concerns from its operators and suppliers in remote destinations about the impact of diminishing ecotourism dollars during a tough economy, Natural Habitat Adventures worked with the small businesses to create a collaborative discount pricing strategy that encourages guest travel while supporting conservation measures. Branded as “Eco-Pricing,” the consumer discounts communicate the conservation impact of travel – central to the eco tour provider’s sustainable travel message – using the example of Natural Habitat Adventures “Great African Primate Expedition,” where tour dollars help protect Uganda’s mountain gorillas.
“We’re always looking for that next idea that will support our sustainable travel message,” says Natural Habitat Adventures founder and director Ben Bressler, whose company was first in the U.S. to go carbon neutral with all trips and office operations several years ago. “It suddenly hit us that in challenging economic times perhaps the biggest idea is the simplest: Lower prices mean more travel – which means more support for threatened places. And we appreciated the level of buy-in we received from our small lodge and camp operators; we were able to create a win-win situation.”
Bressler counts the new program, which adds a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) element to the pricing strategy, a success so far. “You’ll see our ‘Eco-Pricing’ logo all over our catalog and website, and we’ve had a great response to those efforts,” he says. “It’s not a discount for discount’s sake; it’s clearly tied to our broader environmental mission, and that deeper message seems to resonate with our guests.”
The new Eco-Pricing program offers significant savings on more than 25 of Natural Habitat Adventures’ small-group experiential nature expeditions, from a remote grizzly bear adventure in Alaska; to Peru’s biologically diverse Amazon; to secluded areas of Tanzania and Botswana.
Natural Habitat Adventures tours give back to the destinations they visit through local business support, conservation education and sustainable practices. A member of Adventure Collection and the Adventure Travel Trade Association, and exclusive Conservation Travel Provider to World Wildlife Fund, the company’s recent awards include a 2009 Best Adventure Travel Company ranking from National Geographic Adventure and a 2009 World’s Best Tour Operator rating from Travel + Leisure. All Natural Habitat Adventures trips are carbon neutral. For information on the company, visit www.nathab.com.