Visit Svalbard Adopts Sustainable Marketing Guidelines to Promote Responsible Tourism
With a steadfast commitment to responsible tourism, Visit Svalbard aims to create a positive impact on the environment, local communities, and wildlife by promoting the destination in an ethical and sustainable manner.
Drawing from the core belief that responsible marketing leads to sustainable tourism, Visit Svalbard acknowledges its responsibility in fostering an environment where travellers can experience the beauty of Svalbard without causing harm to its delicate ecosystems. As such, the new marketing guidelines steer away from misleading practices, such as using close-ups of polar bears, which could give visitors false impressions of their wildlife encounters on the archipelago.
“We firmly believe that sustainable tourism starts with responsible marketing. Our aim is to present the reality of visiting Svalbard to prospective travellers, without sensationalising or distorting the experiences they can have with our unique wildlife and landscapes”, says Håkon Daae Brensholm, Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Visit Svalbard.
Striking the right balance
Visit Svalbard recognises that sustainable tourism is not about attracting a high volume of guests at any cost, but rather about striking a balance that preserves the pristine nature of the destination. By targeting the right volume of the right guests, in the right place, and at the right time, Visit Svalbard aims to ensure that tourism contributes positively to the local communities and fosters respect for the fragile Arctic environment.
Key elements of Visit Svalbard’s sustainable marketing guidelines include:
● Authentic representation: Ensuring that promotional materials accurately depict the experiences visitors can expect, avoiding any exaggerations or misrepresentations.
● Wildlife respect: Refraining from close-ups or intrusive shots of wildlife, particularly polar bears, to emphasise that encounters with wild animals are respectful and unobtrusive.
● Community-centric approach: Highlighting the unique culture and traditions of Svalbard’s communities and promoting responsible interactions between travellers and locals.
● Seasonal awareness: Encouraging visitors to come at appropriate times to minimise impact on wildlife breeding and migration seasons.
● Leave no trace: Promoting the leave no trace principles to encourage responsible behaviour among travellers.
The aim of the handbook is to collect general and specific guidelines for responsible marketing in one document, so that the destination can be protected and preserved.
Empowering travel industry partners
By adhering to these guidelines, Visit Svalbard seeks to set an example for the global travel industry, proving that sustainability and success can go hand in hand.
“Svalbard is a unique destination with conditions that require different considerations than you might be used to. By clarifying how we will communicate such considerations in the handbook, it will also be easier for new employees to familiarise themselves with these”, Brensholm says.
The organisation firmly believes that a responsible marketing approach not only safeguards the future of Svalbard as a pristine destination, but also enriches the experiences of visitors who come to explore this Arctic wonderland. Visit Svalbard invites travellers, businesses, and fellow organisations to join them in this commitment to sustainable tourism.
“This comprehensive handbook not only sets clear criteria for responsible marketing in specific situations, but also acts as an invaluable guide for all our endeavours, regardless of the topic at hand. I firmly believe that our handbook empowers us to assess all our communications and by working together, we can guarantee that the enchanting magic of Svalbard is preserved for generations to come”, he concludes.
(Visit Svalbard Adopts Sustainable Marketing Guidelines to Promote Responsible Tourism – Visit Svalbard