Tour and activity operators are in the business of getting visitors to fall in love with their destination. Your destination is what brings you customers in the first place, so it makes sense to help develop it!
Giving back to your local community…
Improves your local reputation. 82% of US consumers consider corporate social responsibility when deciding which products or services to buy, moms and millennials in particular (source). Locals are your best sources of word-of-mouth referrals and repeat customers, so investing in your reputation is worthwhile.
Improves employee morale. By allowing your business to be a part of something bigger, your staff will see that you care about more than just profit. Additionally, many of your staff will be from your local community, and will be keen to give back.
So what are some ways you can start getting involved with your local community?
There are so many ways to give back to your community, but a good way to start would be to think about which projects your customers care about, that also align with your business’ goals and products.
For example, if your ecosystem is the focal point of your tour or activity, then a cause that supports preserving the environment or local animal habitats makes perfect sense.
It’s all a part of being an active local business. You can contribute to your local community’s causes in three ways:
Think of creative ways to do this. Take the non profit out on one of your tours for free, or if your tours are educational, why not serve on a local school board?
You can also make a day of it.
Organise your employees to block out a day and volunteer together!
You can simply donate a percentage of your profits or a set dollar amount to the cause of your choice. To get more out of it, you can build a following at the same time.
For example, ask people to Like your Facebook page, and say that you will donate an amount once you hit a certain number of followers.
Donate a resource for the greater good of your community.
For example, if you are a scenic flight operator, allow one of your helicopters to be used to put out bushfires, as in the example above.
Tour and activity operators should band together alongside other travel operators in order to support and promote their destination.
There are three crucial elements of a traveler’s stay – hotel, transport, and tours & activities. Package your products with other operators to make an offering that you can sell to the public, and donate to local causes.
Approach your local destination marketing organisation (DMO) and help to create a community event. You can plan and host the event with other businesses.
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