Erlebbare Nachhaltigkeit I, Germany and South Africa
Travel agencies are going green. Sustainability and the question how we can preserve our world's natural and cultural ressources have reached a large part of the world's population. Many industries (energy, food and clothing) are trying to react to these challenges and the customers are becoming more aware of these efforts. The tourism industry is acting rather cautious. Studies initiated by Futouris show that especially the important interface between travel marketing and consumers largely neglects the topic of sustainability. Often this is not due to the will of the travel agents but due to missing awareness, information and offers.
Travel agents often have no access to knowledge about sustainable tourism. The existing programms are not matured far enough to educate travel agents about sustainability. In consequence, consumers get an unsufficient consultation about travel options. In order to change that it is necessary for travel agents to get involved with sustainability and understand what it means, and on the other side, appripriate education programs and travel products have to be generated.
The DRV as a strong association of the travel industry and as patron of Futouris aims to support this goal and asked Futouris to test sustainability programs with its members. Two of the leading travel agency cooperations (LCC and TLT) were willing to develop education programs for travel agencies.
The Projekt „Erlebbare Nachhaltigkeit“ integrates a travel agent education program into two current Futouris' sustainability programs. Thereby, sustainability will not only be taught theoretically, but the participants will also learn its practical implications. Didactic experts know that during learning processes, only 10 % are learned through passive listening, 20 % through complementary exercises and 60 % through own participation and autonomous elaboration. This is where the project starts from: Sustainability projects are used as a platform for direct experiences for travel agents. The members TLT and LCC provide their projects for this purpose and, at the same time, support the sensitivation of the industry. Based on the projects "Safari Runner" and "Life Cycle" in South Africa an education program of three seminars is developed which teaches travel agents all aspects of sustainable travel offers and aims at a deepening context understanding with interactive elements.
The aim of the project is to spread a basic knowledge about sustainability, a consolidation of the experiences and of the knowledge in the travel agency business. The participants shall be able to use their knowledge when being at the counter. The knowledge basis for the seminars are online programs which are already existing. Based on that, the realization of the project "Erlebbare Nachhaltigkeit" should enable a deepening understanding of sociocultural responsibility. Green Counter will be a modular element of "Erlebbare Nachhaltigkeit".
The project sponsor "Infer" uses the educational concept "experiential learning" in order to develop the program. Experiential learning is taught by means of a effective combination of theoretical and pratical learning- and experience moduls. The high effectiveness of the methods has been shown by several studies.
- The development of a holistic sustainability sensitivation tool for travel agencies with interactive elements in order to reach a deepened understanding and individual seminars for different training purposes of LCC and TLT. The training program will be tested by Futouris' members Lufthansa City Center (LCC) and TUI Leisure Travel (TLT).
- Development and conceptualization of the training program in close collaboration with LCC and TLT as welle as the project partners of "Safari Runner“ and „Life Cycle“ in South Africa. The tools aims at teaching travel agents an understanding of sustainability and, in a second step, teaching the dimensions, possibilities and challenges of sustainable travel offers..
- Implementation of the training program with theoretical and practical content. The program will consist of preparatory and a follow-up seminar and the seminars can also be used individually for different schooling purposes by LCC and TLT. The centrepiece of the training program is the interactive training part where the participants become an active part of the Futouris projects.
- Integration of the program into the DRV's overall project (Green Counter) with the objective to develop a standard program for the whole travel industry