So while banks are crumbling and multinationals are laying off people faster than you can say 'downturn', every key player –from the Obama administration to the Chinese government – plans to dominate the post-recession economy by going sustainable, including a heavy dose of rules and regulations. The call from the UN World Tourism Organization is for a green sustainable tourism industry to drive growth post recession.
But it's not all macro-economic-geo-political-power play. Recession or not, consumers will continue to demand responsible behavior from brands. Just one statistic: "Four out of five people say they are still buying green products and services today... which sometimes cost more... even in the midst of a US recession."
...apart from helping the planet, it's a brilliant brand, it attracts the right type of tourists etc...
Around the world, being eco-conscious has become a status symbol for consumers, partly replacing traditional status symbols that are now associated with pollution, waste and excess. 100% Pure New Zealand has eco status and is eco iconic. It tells a fantastic story about New Zealand's attitude to the world and is recognizable by the world.
An eco iconic brand has at its heart, a status and credentials that many of our competitors want. Why would Norway advertise itself as a destination 'not as far as New Zealand' to the UK market unless we were doing something right?
An eco iconic destination has cultural capital. 100% Pure New Zealand has a distinct appearance and story to tell the world. People talk about New Zealand as a fantastic place to visit at dinner parties, in the pub and in general conversations. Therefore, 100% Pure New Zealand attracts status from its peers in the terms of awards and recognition. Simon Anholt, one of the world's leading branding gurus said "if New Zealand was in Europe it would be the most successful tourism destination in the world"
We live in a world today, where every country and place offers a tourism proposition including Afghanistan, North Korea and the Falkland Islands. As more of these countries develop their own brands, experiences and non-consumption related expenditure takes over from materialistic status symbols Status today is about experiences and stories. Consumers tell each other stories to achieve a status dividend. 100% Pure New Zealand has that status as people talk about 'what we stand for', 'our beliefs and attitudes' and 'how we see our country'.
Eco is associated with GENERATION G according to trendwatching.com. The G captures the growing importance of generosity as a leading societal and business mindset. As consumers are disgusted with greed and its current dire consequences for the economy – which has them longing more than ever for institutions that care – the need for more generosity beautifully coincides with the ongoing (and pre-recession) emergence of an online-fueled culture of individuals who share, give, engage, create and collaborate. For many, sharing a passion and consequently receiving recognition has replaced 'taking' as their status symbol of choice. There is a behavioral shift in societies understanding of the environment, in which we have responsibility for how we live and the environment we live in. Today it is about being generous in what we give back to the environment and how we conserve it for the right future.
However, don't take 100% Pure New Zealand for granted. If the tourist doesn't like you, they will simply tell the world via YouTube or the dedicated website for 'green washing' at www.greenwashingindex.com. That is why 100% New Zealand has to backed by quality assurance, Qualmark is even more important today than ever before. One of the key roles of quality assurance is too embed a green way of life into a daily life for the tourism industry.
Quality assurance is even more important in the expectation economy which is inhabited by experienced, well-informed tourists from Germany to South Korea who have a long list of high expectations that they apply to each and every good, service and experience on offer. Their expectations are based on years of self-training in hyper-consumption, and on the biblical flood of new-style, readily available information sources, curators and B*** S*** filters, which help them find and expect not just basic standards of quality, but the 'best of the best'. From a tourism point of view, every country is now saying they are green including places like Albania.
Tourists will know who is 'green washing' and who is not. Therefore 100% Pure New Zealand needs a guarantee and needs to be policed in order to maintain that promise.
Dr. Ian Yeoman is the resident futurologist at Victoria University of Wellington and details about Ian can be found at www.tomorrowstourist.com.
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Previous News items can be found here.