22 Sep Can customer service and ecotourism work hand in hand?
Can customer service and ecotourism work hand in hand?
Tourism figures for Ireland are on the rise. Central statistics Office figures show travellers up by 12% in first quarter with overseas visitors spending an estimated € 1.5 billion in the Ireland in the first half of this year.
Ecotourism is beginning to play an important role in this according to Shaun Quinn of Fáilte Ireland. He maintains that “the core ethos and principles of the ecotourism sector are also beginning to permeate mainstream tourism businesses in response to increasing demand by tourists and the cost savings that can be made by ‘going green”.
Countrywide eco initiatives include cycle paths, greenways, looped walks and clean beach initiatives. More recently the Wild Atlantic Way is set to become the jewel in the crown of Irish tourism.
The rugged beauty of the wild Atlantic coastline is the raw material with which we will attract tourists but what will be the defining characteristic that will lead visitors to return again and again and to spread the word to other potential visitors. The answer is simple – the Irish people. And more explicitly the warmth and friendliness of the Irish customer service experience.
Recent Fáilte Ireland reports outline that the number one reason for visitors returning to Ireland was the people. That’s right, it wasn’t the beauty, the heritage or even the cost or value for money.
So how do we increase tourism and the value that it brings to our economy whilst ensuring that our natural tourist attractions remain in pristine condition?
Awareness – We can begin by ensuring the visitor is mindful of your eco objectives and ways to reduce impact on the site.
Employee advocacy – front line customer service staff must be knowledgeable about the natural amenities and inform visitors of best practice during their holiday. This simple eco-tourism message can be built into your customer service delivery to enhance the user experience.
Educating the visitor in a non-judgemental way about best practice regarding their responsibilities towards these natural sites we can add value to the experience. Adding value enhances the customer service encounter and also paves the way for sustainable tourism which reduces the impact on our natural environment.
Have you recently visited one of Ireland’s beauty spots? Were you made aware of the eco objectives prior to or on the visit? Did this enhance your satisfaction level? Let us know. Or if you would like to evaluate your customer service provided take our quick survey