Why market your holiday park sustainability practices?

Posted in topic Marketing insights on 23rd October 2019

It’s without doubt that sustainability in holiday parks has been an ever-increasing issue that park operators have to face. Holiday Parks often boast large open green space, many in enviable coastal and country locations and the need to blend these family friendly spaces with sustainable, habitable environments that also actively encourage wildlife, flora and fauna needs careful balance.

The BH&HPA David Bellamy Awards celebrate parks that actively contribute to sustainable practice and protect and nurture our environment and the guidance that their knowledgeable assessors provide can be invaluable for operators. We advise those holiday parks and campsites seeking to embark or enhance their sustainability to reach out to organisations like this to properly plan and build sustainable practices into their everyday activities.

The 3 Pillars of Sustainability

  1. Environmental Sustainability – The most obvious that comes to mind when we talk sustainable action. These practices help protect our natural environment and planet.
  2. Economic Sustainability – The practice of sharing wealth to allow all walks of life to survive and prosper
  3. Social Sustainability – The practice of social equality, health equality, support and education.

The Marketing Sustainability Challenge

Commercial awareness for sustainable brands has never been higher. Global leaders across all industries face increasing backlash and pressure to reduce carbon, eliminate plastic and invest in social, economic and environmental schemes, whilst at the same time maintaining product integrity and value for money. Millennials in particular now rate sustainability as high to very high in their decision to purchase.

We are consumers at heart and with investment of our hard-earned salaries comes a decision and belief that this product, service or in our case holiday is going to deliver what that product should. As a human race generally speaking, we lack the compromise needed to be fully sustainable when it comes to our buying choices.

So, where do we go from here? We demand amazing holidays yet environmentally and socially responsible all at the same time, oh and at a great price too! With all this mash of messages, how can we communicate all this to our guests and consumers.

A Travel Example of Marketing Sustainability

Firstly, we will look at how TUI present sustainability strategy to their employment network and corporate investors…

What we see is a very clear statement of intent across 3 core areas of sustainable strategy:

  • Reduced carbon footprint (Environmental sustainability)
  • Buying and sourcing locally in their destinations (Economic sustainability)
  • Investing in schemes and training (Social sustainability)

With those messages in mind, now let’s see how they communicate these messages to their consumers…

TUI has subtly blend these messages and actions into a first-person perspective a holiday. We get introduced to their efforts around carbon reduction across their planes and travel (note the several clips of cycling also to emphasise this). We see their commitment to local produce and suppliers, their economic sustainability practice and finally, their investment in the TUI Foundation to help employ communities and train them to protect, their social sustainability efforts.

What we see from a consumer’s perspective though, is the addition and lead of one key holiday marketing ingredient – Fun and Experience! Above all else that is what consumers buy into when making their holiday and travel decisions.

Marketing Sustainability for Holiday Parks

The decision to purchase a holiday comes down to one of trust, other obvious factors play a part, location, value for money, facilities etc. But trust above all in that the holiday we are purchasing will deliver amazing memories and experiences that allow us to escape from the daily grind.

Now, we can’t just cease our promotional activity, offers and deals and start solely talking about sustainability, unfortunately I fear your booking revenue would decline. But what we can do is at least start talking about it. For many holiday park operators their sustainable activities will never actually be experienced by consumers until they arrive on holiday, this however does not allow consumers to form a balanced purchasing choice prior to booking and you could be missing out on a whole new audience.

Things to consider when implementing sustainability into your holiday park marketing

  1. Sustainability matters to consumers
  2. Guests won’t compromise on product – so in a holiday parks case, the promise of fun and experience
  3. Deals are vital but can water down our brand presence if overused
  4. Brand trust is vital in our purchase decision making

Sustainability practices never cease, and marketing is also a never-ending process. The need to fill our parks season after season requires a big marketing commitment and regular communication. So, with sustainability never ending we always have something to talk about!

Check out our ‘how to market your holiday park sustainability’ blog for more information on implementing sustainability into your marketing plan and generating more bookings and holiday home sales.