The global travel industry is bouncing back, and that’s an opportunity to do good, better.
Travel is back with a vengeance. Despite rising ticket prices and economic uncertainty, the world is ready to make up for lost time. Faced with setbacks including pandemic pauses, staffing shortages, and real concerns around environmental impact, many airlines, hotels, and other industry players have embarked on a new social impact journey.
Here are six ways that travel brands can take inspiration and invest in doing good:
1. Make every trip count by donating with each booking.
If there’s one charitable giving approach that consumers can understand and appreciate, it’s a guarantee that their action will result in a good deed. Travel booking platform Hopper helps lessen the greenhouse gas emissions of its customers’ transactions by donating to plant two trees for every travel booking. Other brands support a charitable cause near the traveler’s destination with a percentage of the purchase, creating a special connection with the place they’ll soon visit. Scaling this can be tricky, but a grantmaking intermediary with a nonprofit network can support the cause marketing commercial co-venture steps required.
2. Inspire loyal customers to come aboard.
Purpose is a powerful way to stand out. So what better way to celebrate loyal members than by inviting them into your corporate giving? Encourage members to donate to a cause, then reward the donation with points or miles. Or, enable customers to give unused rewards to others who can use them for good, through programs like Miles4Migrants and Airlink.
3. Expand your global grantmaking to travel as far as your guests.
All too often, multinational companies give most in the country where they are headquartered or only in the countries where it’s easiest. But if you want to give equitably, you’ll want to expand your grantmaking to all the destinations where you work. In the first year of the Airbnb Community Fund, hosts around the world selected charities, and ultimately, organizations in more than 40 countries received support.
4. Celebrate good deeds everywhere.
When travel is stressful, kindness goes a long way. At the Hotel McCoy in Tucson, Arizona, guests who commit to one act of kindness before check-in receive a discount. When a major airline wanted to reward passengers for going above and beyond to help others, they equipped flight attendants with GlobalGiving Gift Cards to hand out in appreciation.
5. Reduce risk for communities vulnerable to natural disasters.
Popular destinations are seeing some of the greatest impacts from the climate crisis. Many small island developing nations are at increasing risk from tropical storms and sea level rise. For some islands, tourism is the biggest industry. The travel industry can step in to support these communities, many of which are already on their own path of climate change preparedness and mitigation.
6. Put protecting world heritage sites at the top of your CSR bucket list.
Over the last 50 years, UNESCO has designated more than 1,100 World Heritage sites in 167+ countries. These have grown to be important hotspots for tourism. But many of these special places that so many travelers dream of visiting are endangered. This is especially true of those in Africa and places around the globe where growth and development are taking a toll, like Everglades National Park in Florida. Travel brands can play a key role in maintaining these gems for future generations and benefit themselves and others by doing so.
Sustainability and social impact are top of mind for travelers. Booking.com’s annual sustainability research report found that 74% of travelers want travel companies to offer more sustainable travel choices and 69% want the money they spend when traveling to go back to the local community. Brands that help travelers in their sustainability and social impact goals will go further.
Learn more about how GlobalGiving can support your cause marketing strategy.
Featured Photo: Give school & love to abandoned girls in Mexico by Puerta Abierta IAP