4.13 Sustainability & Effective Communication: Pledge Strategies Feature

This feature will allow you to understand how destinations have made a commitment to local people and the environment through pledges, as well as to understand when you should use these.

Have a look at the different pledges presented below, all of which aim to achieve a variety of goals and have been presented in different formats and channels

Have a look at the different pledges presented below, all of which aim to achieve a variety of goals and have been presented in different formats and channels. Take this opportunity to reflect on the existing pledges within your destination, or maybe the possibility of developing one.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pledges can help change visitors' behaviours to obtain their support for the destination's sustainable transformation.
  • You should take advantage of all available channels to promote your pledges, as this will increase the chances of achieving impactful results.
  • Through pledges, you can achieve environmental commitments, increase the support of the local communities, and ensure that visitors commit themselves to the destination's values.

As we discussed during the live presentation, pledges can be relevant because they allow destinations to make a commitment to local people and the environment, but they also require a strong commitment and monitoring to ensure their real value. Sustainable tourism and purposeful travel practices are key to the destination's pledges in order to care for and preserve destinations for future generations.

Now more than ever, destinations and businesses have a social responsibility to provide support to local communities and the environment. By developing a pledge strategy, organisations are able to put in place sustainable initiatives that will have a positive global impact.

When to use a pledge?

For destinations, pledges are used to make a commitment to the destination’s wellbeing. They allow a destination to publicly demonstrate its intentions and actions. Pledges can provide the facility to make significant improvements that will benefit the destination. The best time to implement a pledge is when a destination is developing its customer-facing strategy. People are always keen to see what the destinations' values are and if they match their own. Pledges are a great way to connect with the target audience and their values.

Popular pledges that we have seen at the DTTT focus on the following:

  • The Environment.
  • Local People’s lives.
  • Sustainable Tourism.
  • Customer Service.

Why use a pledge?

A pledge can bring about a change of behaviour in people. For destinations, creating pledges can ensure their message and guidance to visitors are clear. Destination pledges can connect with people and instil respect towards the destination. Pledges also ensure that people can make their own personal promises and commitment to a destination when they visit, bringing positive benefits and impact for everyone.

For example, when visiting a destination visitors can pledge to:

  • Think local.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Leave no trace of waste.
  • Tread lightly.
  • Make a positive impact.
  • Spread kindness.
  • Be mindful.
  • Be a responsible tourist.
  • Respect the environment and the wildlife.
  • Respect the local culture.

These pledges are a great place to start for destinations that want to enhance the destination experience.

Channels used to promote pledges

With so many ways to reach people now, it is fairly easy to ensure that a pledge is seen and heard. Within the industry, many businesses are using pledges to communicate their intentions and socially responsible actions to customers. The main channels being used to promote pledges are:

  • Social Media.
  • Airlines.
  • Media.
  • Local Governments.
  • Tourism businesses.
  • Visitor Information Centres.
  • Embassies.
  • Community Groups.

At the DTTT, we have seen 3 approaches to pledges that are extremely relevant at this time.

1. The Environmental Commitment

Prior to COVID-19, destinations in the industry were feeling the impact of over-tourism and damage to the environment. In order to encourage sustainable tourism and respectful etiquette when travelling, many destinations around the world have developed pledges to protect their destinations and preserve them for future generations.

These pledges are created for the benefit of the local community and visitors. They encompass a wide range of initiatives and promises and act as a guide for all who visit the destination. These include thinking local, planning ahead, leaving no trace of waste, treading lightly, travelling kindly, not going off the beaten track and being mindful of the environment and wildlife.

Some great examples of industry pledges are the Icelandic Pledge, the Tiaki Promise, the Contiki Pledge, and Pura Vida Pledge by Costa Rica Tourism Board. All show a high level of care and responsibility to the environment, as well as present interesting and strong designs, such as the Icelandic Pledge.

Pura Vida Pledge

The Costa Rica Tourism Board launched the Pura Vida Pledge to educate visitors about responsible tourism and their impact on the destination.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognised Costa Rica as the Champions of the Earth award in 2019, which shows how this destination values responsible travel and puts efforts into combating climate change and protecting nature.

This Pledge encourages travellers in taking four actions while visiting the country, these are:

  1. Ensuring the UK tour operator works with local Costa Rican companies that have a Certificate of Sustainable Tourism (CST) by the tourism board.
  2. Check the carbon footprint and donate to local environmental projects.
  3. Volunteer in local communities and visit more off the beaten track places to spread tourism across the country.
  4. Make a conscious effort to respect the environment.

Addo - Visit Wales 2021

Addo means to promise. This is Visit Wales' pledge, which has already been signed by over 7.000 visitors who have made a promise to care for each other, care for the land and the local communities.

Video

This Pledge encourages travellers in taking three actions while visiting the country, each of which has three smaller promises within itself:

  1. Caring for each other includes taking care of oneself and others, and enjoying the experience.
  2. Taking care of the land includes leaving no trace behind, respecting the countryside and embracing the destination's open spaces.
  3. Caring for the communities includes enjoying the culture and language, choosing locally and showing respect to the communities.

2. The Support People Commitment

In order to support people through this difficult time, governments have pledged money to support the tourism industry. Many multinational, global organisations have also pledged money, time and resources.

The AirAsia Save Our Shops (S.O.S.) and the GoDaddy Initiatives are great examples of commitment and support being shown to people and businesses.

3. Customer Commitment

In uncertain times such as the ones we have experienced during the pandemic, the industry and businesses must demonstrate their commitment to customers who are their lifeline to recovery.

Some great examples of customer commitment have been shown by Virgin Atlantic, Microsoft, and most recently Business Events Montreal, who are putting customers at the heart of their commitments.

Guaranteed Worry-free Pledge

Post-pandemic event planning is very uncertain, unexpected and sometimes very costly. Taking this into consideration, Business Events Montréal introduced the Guaranteed Worry-free Pledge that provides flexibility to event planning companies.

It offers flexible cancellations until 31st December 2022, this also includes no room block attrition fees and no F&B minimum. The pledge offers a hybrid event package so that companies don’t have to worry about all the digital and technological components of their event, and it includes the "Our 720-degree Safety Protocol" to ensure all the health and safety regulations are being imposed, including COVID-19 rapid testing on-site, face masks, disinfectant stations and rigorous cleaning of meeting spaces before and during the event.

The Meetings Planner would also be responsible for providing complimentary consultation services, professional evaluation of the event’s hybrid needs, assessment of technical requirements to run the event, and financial assistance with related expenses.

Business Events Montreal and local hotels also developed an all-inclusive hotel package that includes the main meeting room, AV equipment, and Food and Beverage.

We have collected a series of pledges given by different organisations. To allow you to see examples of pledge strategies we have developed a Mural Board. You can click on the link below to access it. 👇

Have a look at the different pledges presented below, all of which aim to achieve a variety of goals and have been presented in different formats and channels

Have a look at the different pledges presented below, all of which aim to achieve a variety of goals and have been presented in different formats and channels. Take this opportunity to reflect on the existing pledges within your destination, or maybe the possibility of developing one.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pledges can help change visitors' behaviours to obtain their support for the destination's sustainable transformation.
  • You should take advantage of all available channels to promote your pledges, as this will increase the chances of achieving impactful results.
  • Through pledges, you can achieve environmental commitments, increase the support of the local communities, and ensure that visitors commit themselves to the destination's values.

As we discussed during the live presentation, pledges can be relevant because they allow destinations to make a commitment to local people and the environment, but they also require a strong commitment and monitoring to ensure their real value. Sustainable tourism and purposeful travel practices are key to the destination's pledges in order to care for and preserve destinations for future generations.

Now more than ever, destinations and businesses have a social responsibility to provide support to local communities and the environment. By developing a pledge strategy, organisations are able to put in place sustainable initiatives that will have a positive global impact.

When to use a pledge?

For destinations, pledges are used to make a commitment to the destination’s wellbeing. They allow a destination to publicly demonstrate its intentions and actions. Pledges can provide the facility to make significant improvements that will benefit the destination. The best time to implement a pledge is when a destination is developing its customer-facing strategy. People are always keen to see what the destinations' values are and if they match their own. Pledges are a great way to connect with the target audience and their values.

Popular pledges that we have seen at the DTTT focus on the following:

  • The Environment.
  • Local People’s lives.
  • Sustainable Tourism.
  • Customer Service.

Why use a pledge?

A pledge can bring about a change of behaviour in people. For destinations, creating pledges can ensure their message and guidance to visitors are clear. Destination pledges can connect with people and instil respect towards the destination. Pledges also ensure that people can make their own personal promises and commitment to a destination when they visit, bringing positive benefits and impact for everyone.

For example, when visiting a destination visitors can pledge to:

  • Think local.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Leave no trace of waste.
  • Tread lightly.
  • Make a positive impact.
  • Spread kindness.
  • Be mindful.
  • Be a responsible tourist.
  • Respect the environment and the wildlife.
  • Respect the local culture.

These pledges are a great place to start for destinations that want to enhance the destination experience.

Channels used to promote pledges

With so many ways to reach people now, it is fairly easy to ensure that a pledge is seen and heard. Within the industry, many businesses are using pledges to communicate their intentions and socially responsible actions to customers. The main channels being used to promote pledges are:

  • Social Media.
  • Airlines.
  • Media.
  • Local Governments.
  • Tourism businesses.
  • Visitor Information Centres.
  • Embassies.
  • Community Groups.

At the DTTT, we have seen 3 approaches to pledges that are extremely relevant at this time.

1. The Environmental Commitment

Prior to COVID-19, destinations in the industry were feeling the impact of over-tourism and damage to the environment. In order to encourage sustainable tourism and respectful etiquette when travelling, many destinations around the world have developed pledges to protect their destinations and preserve them for future generations.

These pledges are created for the benefit of the local community and visitors. They encompass a wide range of initiatives and promises and act as a guide for all who visit the destination. These include thinking local, planning ahead, leaving no trace of waste, treading lightly, travelling kindly, not going off the beaten track and being mindful of the environment and wildlife.

Some great examples of industry pledges are the Icelandic Pledge, the Tiaki Promise, the Contiki Pledge, and Pura Vida Pledge by Costa Rica Tourism Board. All show a high level of care and responsibility to the environment, as well as present interesting and strong designs, such as the Icelandic Pledge.

Pura Vida Pledge

The Costa Rica Tourism Board launched the Pura Vida Pledge to educate visitors about responsible tourism and their impact on the destination.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) recognised Costa Rica as the Champions of the Earth award in 2019, which shows how this destination values responsible travel and puts efforts into combating climate change and protecting nature.

This Pledge encourages travellers in taking four actions while visiting the country, these are:

  1. Ensuring the UK tour operator works with local Costa Rican companies that have a Certificate of Sustainable Tourism (CST) by the tourism board.
  2. Check the carbon footprint and donate to local environmental projects.
  3. Volunteer in local communities and visit more off the beaten track places to spread tourism across the country.
  4. Make a conscious effort to respect the environment.

Addo - Visit Wales 2021

Addo means to promise. This is Visit Wales' pledge, which has already been signed by over 7.000 visitors who have made a promise to care for each other, care for the land and the local communities.

Video

This Pledge encourages travellers in taking three actions while visiting the country, each of which has three smaller promises within itself:

  1. Caring for each other includes taking care of oneself and others, and enjoying the experience.
  2. Taking care of the land includes leaving no trace behind, respecting the countryside and embracing the destination's open spaces.
  3. Caring for the communities includes enjoying the culture and language, choosing locally and showing respect to the communities.

2. The Support People Commitment

In order to support people through this difficult time, governments have pledged money to support the tourism industry. Many multinational, global organisations have also pledged money, time and resources.

The AirAsia Save Our Shops (S.O.S.) and the GoDaddy Initiatives are great examples of commitment and support being shown to people and businesses.

3. Customer Commitment

In uncertain times such as the ones we have experienced during the pandemic, the industry and businesses must demonstrate their commitment to customers who are their lifeline to recovery.

Some great examples of customer commitment have been shown by Virgin Atlantic, Microsoft, and most recently Business Events Montreal, who are putting customers at the heart of their commitments.

Guaranteed Worry-free Pledge

Post-pandemic event planning is very uncertain, unexpected and sometimes very costly. Taking this into consideration, Business Events Montréal introduced the Guaranteed Worry-free Pledge that provides flexibility to event planning companies.

It offers flexible cancellations until 31st December 2022, this also includes no room block attrition fees and no F&B minimum. The pledge offers a hybrid event package so that companies don’t have to worry about all the digital and technological components of their event, and it includes the "Our 720-degree Safety Protocol" to ensure all the health and safety regulations are being imposed, including COVID-19 rapid testing on-site, face masks, disinfectant stations and rigorous cleaning of meeting spaces before and during the event.

The Meetings Planner would also be responsible for providing complimentary consultation services, professional evaluation of the event’s hybrid needs, assessment of technical requirements to run the event, and financial assistance with related expenses.

Business Events Montreal and local hotels also developed an all-inclusive hotel package that includes the main meeting room, AV equipment, and Food and Beverage.

We have collected a series of pledges given by different organisations. To allow you to see examples of pledge strategies we have developed a Mural Board. You can click on the link below to access it. 👇