Wilder Holidays - How Holiday Businesses of All Shapes and Sizes Can Play an Important Role Protecting Wildlife
Ecotourism is Growing
Ecotourism is fast on the rise. The 2019 Booking.com sustainable travel report revealed that 72% of travellers believe that people need to act now and make sustainable travel choices to save the planet for future generations. Within that, an increasing number of individuals and families are looking for greener holiday accommodation. Almost three-quarters (73%) of travellers said they plan to stay at least once in an eco-friendly accommodation in the year ahead and 70% of travellers said they would be more likely to book an accommodation knowing it was eco-friendly, whether they were initially looking for a sustainable stay or not. This is great news if you run an eco holiday business or are keen to take positive steps towards becoming more sustainable. So make sure you get your green message out there!
One way of communicating your business’s eco-credentials is to use an eco-label or certificate such as those provided by Green Tourism who run an awards certification programme for businesses who are working towards becoming more sustainable. There’s also the David Bellamy Conservation Awards scheme for UK holiday parks. The parks that take part in the scheme are all regularly assessed by a team of local wildlife experts who look at how the parks are managing their land as a haven for wildlife as well as what wider ecological steps they’re taking to make their businesses as sustainable as possible.
Providing a Habitat for Nature Can Benefit Eco Holiday Businesses
The Benefits of Wildflower Meadows
A wildflower meadow is also much easier to maintain than a traditional garden and has the added bonus of providing colour and wildlife interest from spring until the last days of summer. They’re a great solution for eco-friendly campsites and there are now a growing number of campsites with wildflower meadows. Camping among the meadow grasses and colourful wildflowers, alive with the sounds of crickets and grasshoppers, can provide guests with a true back-to-nature, wild camping experience. You only need to keep paths and pitches mowed, letting the rest of the grass grow wild to provide much needed natural habitat. Holiday parks also provide the perfect opportunity to create more wild meadows and at the same time enhance their visitor experience. Having access to wildflower meadows increases the potential for nature-based activities like minibeast hunts and family nature trails. Hotels and B&B’s can also create their own mini-nature reserves. Including a wildflower meadow on your land with benches made from recycled timber, can make for a wonderful guest experience.
Good for Nature, Good for People, Good for Business
Wildflower meadows are a clear boon for nature and they’re good for people too. Not only are they stunningly beautiful but being among nature is really important for our well-being. A recent poll commissioned by the National Trust revealed that more than two-thirds of adults (68%) either agreed or strongly agreed that spending time noticing the nature around them has made them feel happy during lockdown. More than half the population (55 per cent) also agreed or strongly agreed that they plan to make a habit of spending as much time in nature once things go back to normal. Could this mean that more people will be looking for nature holidays and wild campsites where they can enjoy a simpler, back-to-nature experience?