Tourism

Five ways to effectively engage eco-tourists

A new group of travellers has emerged – eco-tourists – and they are eager to ​align themselves with brands that reflect their sustainability and environmental preservation values.

T​his group of travellers actively take steps to minimise their environmental and social impact in the way they travel. They often travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and sustain the wellbeing of local people.

Eco-tourists are growing in number and represent an important and lucrative group for travel marketers. While eco-tourists are looking for their next getaway, travel marketers should consider the following guide by Nielsen on how to best entice this group:

  1. Catch them young

Travel marketers have the opportunity to connect with young adults who have just finished school and are looking to satisfy their wanderlust.

Interestingly, 17 per cent of this group are eco-tourists. Almost one-in-four eco-tourists are under 25 and 37 per cent of this age group are students. Marketers can tap into this segment as they look to explore while also showing high levels of environmental and social awareness.

To effectively capture their attention, media around universities is likely to prove effective: eco-tourists aged under 25 are 145 per cent more likely to find that advertising around universities reminds them to make purchases.

  1. Package it all up

Eco-tourists are time-poor, they are 15 per cent more likely to say they never seem to have enough time to do what needs to be done. This highlights the opportunity to put together pre-packaged eco-friendly travel options to simplify the process for this segment.

They are 50 per cent more likely to like holidays where everything is planned. Additionally, eco-tourists are 25 per cent more likely to prefer quiet locations. This is an opportunity for ‘off the beaten track’, ‘untouched’ destinations to offer attractive, eco-friendly packages to attract this group.

  1. Appeal to their sense of adventure

Offering advertising that appeals to this group’s unique sense of adventure is a sure-fire way to capture their attention. Eco-tourists have an adventurous spirit, with 59 per cent claiming they are likely to look for new experiences every day.

Their interests are very active with a passion for bushwalking and camping. Eco-tourists are three times more likely to have opted for caravan and campsite accommodation during their last trip and prefer new places to visit in natural settings.

  1. Give them an Insta-worthy experience

Marketers can take advantage of the image-conscious nature of eco-tourists. Almost two-in-five (38 per cent) feel out of touch if they can’t check or update their social media, they are 54 per cent more likely to pay extra for products consistent with the image they want to convey, and 74 per cent more likely to say they like to stand out from the crowd.

Eco-tourism brands should tap into the social-sharing aspect of this group and design marketing campaigns specifically for social media, instead of translating their mass media campaigns laterally.

While designing environmentally and socially-conscious experiences, eco-tourism providers should remember that these experiences should also be Insta-worthy.

Additionally, eco-tourists are 53 per cent more likely to post comments and reviews online, and 58 per cent more likely to be influenced by comments posted online. Encouraging this behaviour is a great way to convince them of your unique experiences and offerings.

Eco-tourists are two times more likely to be open to receiving ads on their personal devices, and they are 83 per cent more likely to find tailored mobile and online ads useful. Advertisers should take advantage of targeting capabilities of online platforms to create personalised campaigns to attract this audience.

  1. Harmonise your creative story across print and digital

There is an opportunity to reach this segment through high-quality advertorials in newspapers and magazines. Eco-tourists are 64 per cent more likely to talk about what they read in magazines, and 64 per cent more likely to be influenced by articles in newspapers and magazines when planning their travel.

They are also 53 per cent more likely to find magazines useful when booking travel, and 36 per cent more likely to find newspapers more useful when booking travel.

Furthermore, given their high social media presence, translating printed content into an engaging digital experience that can be shared on social media is likely to benefit eco-tourist advertisers.


Eco-tourism will be one of the many topics covered at Travel DAZE 2019, the travel industry’s most disruptive conference. Click here to secure your spot!

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