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In Tourism (And Beyond), Talking About Sustainability Is Dead. Tell A Story Instead.

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Khajavi addresses the conference in Costa Rica (Paula Alvarado).

A report in Treehugger profiled the Planet, People, Peace conference on ecotourism in Costa Rica recently and focused on the talk given by Director of Global Strategy at Mercury CSC Alexi Khajavi and General Director Dierdre Campbell of  the Tartan Group, both active ATTA members.

The focus of the session was how communication with customers must shift away from certifications and labels and towards storytelling, especially in a climate where consumers increasingly expect sustainability from brands:

“The traveler has advanced past looking for green travel products in the stage of purchase to having to have those experiences and sustainability practices embedded into the business and the experience themselves,” explained Khajavi. “Sustainability is still a component of the criteria, part of the story, but not the story itself. People don’t travel for sustainability, they expect it to be sustainable but they travel for the authenticity of the destination or the place and for the experience.”

Campbell expanded on the storytelling aspect of brand development, which is increasingly seen as critical in the age of content marketing – and will also be a key component of multiple sessions at the 2011 Adventure Travel World Summit in Chiapas, Mexico.

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