Green travel and it's challenges
I’ve got to write a piece soon analysing a destination’s sustainability initiatives. This is difficult, particularly when it comes to environmentally targeted efforts.
Stats — carbon-footprint numbers, turbine counts, plastic usage — may be forthcoming, but they aren’t always quantifiable because those of other rival or relevant countries remain unavailable. Many also can’t be proved. A hotel I stayed at earlier in spring claimed to recycle 100 per cent of its paper and cardboard. Does it actually? How could I possibly know?!
There are numerous bodies which try and regulate this area, offering certification of certain resorts. But their judges visit these resorts only once or occasionally, and certainly can’t say that the green practices they see are upheld daily. Even in those cases, much of this stuff must be taken on trust; much of it undoubtedly constitutes greenwashing.
The additional challenge is that most eco-friendly initiatives are, while important, insipid as writing fodder: water run-off, composting, cooling towers. Yawn. Would you rather hear about a secret cove in Tobago or the Caribbean island’s solar-power technology? I could deep-dive into electric charging ports at Gallic hotels, or instead reveal France’s most scenic train ride and how it costs a fiver. You get the point. Eco-friendly travel initiatives tend to be statistical, stale and samey.
As PRs then, what can you do? Just try to find an interesting, verifiable angle, I think. Something that hasn’t been widely covered. Offer journalists a chance to help your hotel choose a new local jam or honey provider as they ditch sachets. Or perhaps offer an honest exclusive into the economic challenges of a hotel, operator or destination being eco-friendly: I think that sort of vulnerability would come across as far more believable.
What Richard thinks…
“Simply put, great images make this one by Dennis the winner. It’s a story that’ll lives and dies by its images — and his, front and centre, are superb.”