Climate-Customer-Communication - Panel discussion about sustainability in travel sales on the ITB
“No industry is so dependent on the preservation of our destinations, like the tourism industry. Sustainable products must not be seen as niche products or as complementary products, but must completely dominate the market in the long term”, initiated Matthias Beyer of mascontour GmbH the panel discussion “Klima – Kunde – Kommunikation” on Friday at the ITB. The interest in the event was great: there was not enough space for the whole audience in the hall. Beyer reported at the beginning of an experiment of his students, who asked travel agencies in Bremen for sustainable travel products. The conclusion was sad: Never before had a customer asked in one of the 24 visited travel agencies for a sustainable trip. What a sustainable trip exactly should be, the travel agency workers themselves did not know. In a customer survey conducted by the Leuphana University in the pedestrian zone in Lüneburg, however, the surveyed travelers expressed a strong interest in sustainable travel products and even assumed the travel agencies would have expertise in consulting.
These two small experiments illustrate the core problem: demand for & offer of sustainable travels, which are not yet or only insufficiently matched at the point of sale – the central questions of the panel discussion were as follows: How to communicate sustainable travels in travel sales? Which tools have proven their worth? With which arguments do you convince costumers to book sustainable vacations? Dr. Dietrich Brockhagen, Managing Director of atmosfair, DRV President and Futouris Patron Norbert Fiebig, Prof. Dr. Edgar Kreilkamp, Leuphana University and Futouris Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Oliver Bengelshausen, Managing Director of Traveltainment, Brian Young, Managing Director G Adventures and Hasso von Düring, Futouris CEO and Managing Director of Lufthansa City Center shared their experiences and discussed solutions.
The Green Travel Transformation project plays an important role, which is carried out in cooperation with the Leuphana University, the DRV, Futouris and other partners from the travel industry to increase the sale of sustainable travel in the travel agency. In the project, possibilities for labeling sustainable travel offers are developed and tested in the current information and booking system at the counter as well as qualification programmes for travel agency workers on sustainable travel. Regular updates on the project progress you will find here.
In dialogue with the travel industry this project aims at finding ways how to make sustainable travel offers in travel agencies visible and easily bookable.