The IoD Convention closed by asking how viewing our tourism industry through a sustainability lens could help build our nation brand.
Simon Anholt’s Nation Brand Index ranks a jurisdiction’s attractiveness and success based on six key areas: people, tourism, exports, governance, investment and heritage.
Reset Life is a simple remake of Visit Guernsey’s excellent Unpause Life TV campaign and shows how close we are to a sustainable tourism positioning for the island.
Sustainable goals aside, Covid-19 has changed the way consumers view travel. According to market intelligence agency Mintel, making memories has become a focus, travellers will stay closer to home or choose self-drive holidays and the environment has become a higher priority for many.
70% of UK travellers said they were more aware about the impact of travel on the environment due to Covid.
Many travellers will not feel comfortable being part of crowds. 76% would like to reconnect with nature on holiday and 80% say they would like to learn more about local culture.
The pandemic has accelerated demand for wellness travel as consumers’ health has become a bigger priority.
Against the backdrop of this research, it’s easy to see Guernsey’s appeal as a destination, meeting travellers’ desire for wellness and connecting with nature whilst minimising the impact of tourism on the environment.
The critical points we hoped to communicate through the film include:
Protecting our coastline isn’t just about rising sea levels. Sea dunes and beaches are part of our natural capital, benefiting visitors, islanders and native species. We have a water sports playground that appeals to adventurers, eco-warriors or just those seeking family fun. Maintaining the health of our ocean is critical for Guernsey’s visitor appeal, and our ecology.
Sustainable fishing protects our seas and provides employment, and our local seafood contributes to the islands’ appeal to visitors.
Committing to zero-impact travel or being an early adopter of solar-powered sailing means we can benefit from a blue economy that is truly green.
The Bailiwick has a living history to maintain, and our cultural heritage contributes to our sense of self as well as to tourism.
Culture is the soft power of Guernsey’s brand and creates opportunities for economic growth without damaging our environment.
Our small farms preserve the land, raising livestock in such a way that the impact on the environment is minimal whilst reducing our imports and food miles.
Visitors to Guernsey need to be reassured that they are treading lightly, and that the island is sustainable and ecologically balanced.
We know we can’t change the world, but through our approach to tourism, we can set an example.
The three asks put to the audience as individuals, business leaders and States of Guernsey members were:
Guernsey has the social capital, environmental capital, intellectual capital and financial capital to make this vision for tourism a reality – can we make the commitment?
We support eco-tourism initiatives all year round and, as well demonstrating to visitors that Guernsey is an authentic sustainable tourism destination, we consider how we, as locals, can enjoy sustainable staycations.
We encourage and support start-ups that build Guernsey’s credibility as a sustainable tourism destination, such as solar-powered sailing, water-based activity businesses or visitor accommodation that meets net-zero targets.
We encourage business leaders to share their own sustainable objectives on social media and include the #My3IoD to engage with other likeminded individuals.