Beer brand Corona has recently introduced Paradise Advisor in Colombia, a new platform showcasing eco-friendly accommodation across the country to encourage local sustainable travel. Running on a similar business model as online vacation rental marketplace Airbnb, Paradise Advisor shows users the different sustainable aspects of participating Colombian hotels in a bid to revive the hard-hit tourism industry by tapping into the conscious consumerism trend in the wake of the pandemic.
Primarily targeting Colombian citizens in search for a local staycation as international travel remains upended by the coronavirus restrictions, Paradise Advisor spotlights different sustainability-oriented eco hotels, with many offering discounted prices to attract customers. With the country’s tourism industry especially hard hit – the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reporting losses amounting to US$1.9 billion in Colombia alone – Corona’s latest initiative is an attempt to revive the sector’s business while tapping into the rising environmental awareness amongst consumers.
“With this new platform, we seek to give greater visibility and reputation to these places, which promote the efficient use of natural resources and support to local communities through practices and innovations oriented to the sustainable economy of the region,” said Diego Pomareda, director of Corona in Colombia.
The initial phase of the platform will see 500 listing packages financed by Corona to provide promotional prices to attract the public and bring in visitors from other regions to spend in local towns, but in a responsible way.
We seek to give greater visibility and reputation to these places, which promote the efficient use of natural resources and support to local communities through practices and innovations oriented to the sustainable economy of the region.Diego Pomareda, Director of Corona in Colombia
It’s a bet that businesses are now willing to take as the pandemic ignites a mass shift in consumer priorities towards sustainability. Trend predictors have suggested that in the rebuilding phase, putting environmental and social responsibility first will give brands an edge. Renowned trend-spotter Li Edelkoort, for instance, said in March that she believes the coronavirus will make people realise that more material belongings will not bring happiness, and will instead lean towards more meaningful, healthy and experience-based services that do not harm the planet.
The latest statistics seem to also point in this direction. According to a recent market survey, consumers are now widely considering companies’ values when it comes to their purchases, with a majority of shoppers now pricing in brands’ approaches to sustainability, health and whether they take a stand on global social issues too.
Banking on the trend towards sustainable tourism in particular, funding is continuing to flow into eco-focused travel companies despite the overall unstable economic outlook. ZluBlu, a Hong Kong-based sustainable scuba diving tourism startup, recently announced the closing of a US$1 million seed funding round, with investors citing optimism that there will be a green tourism surge once travel restrictions ease.
Lead image courtesy of Boato Hotel.