GB: Have we managed to build the world we have heard so much about during the health crisis? It’s similar to the one before. There have been developments, improvements, but compared to the scale of the problems, there is still work to be done.
Each company has different issues and challenges to face depending on its area of activity.
Taking into account the different themes has evolved since the 2000s. Questions have been raised about the climate and the fight against the effects of greenhouse gases, by traveling less by plane and developing distant events. It was boosted by the health crisis, even though digital is not CO2 neutral and has no social, ecological, etc. impact.
Business tourism is not far behind in the tourism fog. For decades, there have been rising expectations for greener, more virtuous events from companies.
MICE has set specifications that respect the environment and are virtuous. For large companies, CSR meets legal obligations.
We often talk about carbon neutral events, but it does not exist. There is necessarily direct or indirect consumption. When organizers boast of CO2-neutral events, it means they have “compensated”, but to compensate means to postpone solutions in time and space to reduce or capture the pollution we emit.
It’s a game to write, but from an ecological point of view, it’s not a solution to compensate.
TourMaG.com – What are the expectations of business travelers?
GB: We do not have a precise study of this issue. But overall, there is an ever-increasing permeability between business and leisure tourism, that is, leisure.
We want expectations around the discovery of a territory, local products, fauna, flora, cultural activities … the territorial dimension is strong.
There is a need for soft mobility.
TourMaG.com – Can the business traveler influence and accelerate the implementation of CSR actions?
DK: Yes, we can also see it when we read the specifications, which incorporate good practice. We have recently been contacted by collaboration committees who want to learn more about brands and certifications in order to raise awareness and pass on this information internally, thus encouraging branded companies or destinations.
Another trend: the search for healthier, local, organic food and the development of a vegetarian or even vegan offering. And of course the fight against food waste.
Back then, what seemed obvious and is a little more formalized today is the handling of waste against zero plastic. Society as a whole would not understand that there is no selective sorting. Ditto, if we give them a whole lot of gadgets.
GO: The consumer is at the bottom of the whole chain. If the business traveler sets their expectations, the offer follows.
TourMaG.com – What is the offer today?
AG: More and more places, third places, eco-places are created to host seminars and include all eco-responsible aspects: reductions in water and energy consumption, development of activity related to personal development, team building.
United Kingdom: Hybridization is becoming increasingly powerful, taking greater account of CSR and its challenges.
Also read: CSR: micro-facilities to make professional travel more sustainable?