Sustainability measures allow savings of up to 30% for tourist companies

Sustainability. New perspectives on the benefits of sustainable tourism were offered at the assembly held by Barcelona Sustainable Tourism (BST), the Turisme de Barcelona programme that promotes the city as a sustainable tourist destination.

Recycling waste products, reducing electricity and water consumption and offering environmentally-friendly tourist activities are just some examples of sustainability measures that hotels and tourist companies can offer visitors, with the aim of reducing costs. Barcelona is the first city in the world to be honoured with the Biosphere World Class Destination certificate, which recognises the city as a sustainable destination that manages its tourist activities responsibly.

Tourist companies could save up to 30% of their costs by adopting sustainability measures. This is what Xavier Font, a tourism and sustainability marketing expert, declared at a conference today, part of the Barcelona Sustainable Tourism (BST) assembly organised by Turisme de Barcelona.

Under the heading “Marketing Sustainability”, Xavier Font, a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University (United Kingdom) and codirector of The International Centre of Responsible Tourism, explained how the marketing and communication of sustainable tourism help to reduce costs, create demand, improve tourists’ satisfaction, increase the length of stays and reduce seasonal variability for the client.

His talk, which was held at MACBA, closed the “Des de Barcelona: cuidem el Planeta” [In Barcelona, we care for the planet] campaign.

Reducing environmental impact to ensure customer loyalty

Recycling waste products, reducing the consumption of electricity and water and offering environmentally-friendly tourist activities are just some examples of sustainability measures that hotels and tourist companies can offer visitors, with the aim of reducing costs.

“Offering guests free bicycles and routes they can cycle, lowering the cost of their stay if they reuse towels and promoting longer stays that reduce air traffic, are some examples of simple actions that reduce environmental impact while also saving hotels money”, affirmed Xavier Font.

“Companies should opt for sustainability as an added value, but most of them have problems getting the message over”, he said. “A company that doesn’t understand this message does not have a future”, he reiterated.

More sustainability measures means bigger profit margins

According to this university lecturer, multinational companies are well aware of the measures that companies can adopt to lower carbon emissions when holding a conference or purchasing a hotel. “If they lower costs and offer different products, they can increase the price of their services and their profit margins will increase”, he added.

This marketing and sustainability conference, aimed at the tourist sector, closed the “Des de Barcelona: cuidem el Planeta” [In Barcelona, we care for the planet] campaign, which began on 5 June, to coincide with the World Environment Day.

Prior to Xavier Font’s talk, there were other speakers, including Agustí Colom, Councillor for Business and Tourism at Barcelona City Council; Joan Gaspart, president of the Turisme de Barcelona Executive Committee; María José Pujol, president of the BST programme; Carme Rubió, deputy general manager of the Generalitat’s Tourist Programme; and Miquel Forns, Tourism Delegate at the Barcelona Provincial Council.

BST members hold their assembly

The members of Barcelona Sustainable Tourism (BST), the Turisme de Barcelona programme that promotes the city as a sustainable tourist destination, also held their assembly. They assessed the actions that are being undertaken in environmental, cultural, social and economic areas.

Barcelona is the first city in the world to be honoured with the Biosphere World Class Destination certificate, which recognises the city as a sustainable destination that manages its tourist activities responsibly.