Co-Creating the Future of Tourism

Imagine you are a hotel that has sustainability measures to implement, a post-pandemic tourism market to adjust to, and an increased demand for authentic local experiences. In our Sustainable Island Mauritius (SIM) project, we looked at these challenges in a holistic way and created a process to find solutions together with local suppliers (artisans, designers, producers) by co-creating authentic, sustainable products that have a positive impact on the local community, biodiversity, waste management or resource use. Are your curious to learn more? Watch our video (below) highlighting some of the products that came out of the process!

Nowadays, on average, tourists spend more time in one destination, wanting to explore and experience more of the local culture. As awareness of the negative impact of tourism is growing and global challenges like climate change and biodiversity degradation is becoming a priority, they also increasingly want to have a positive impact when traveling. The tourism industry is realising this change in tourists’ attitudes, but are actors in the sector fully taking advantage of the role local suppliers and the consumers can play?

Hotels and Tour Operators (TO’s) are implementing more and more sustainability measures for various reasons (their mission, policy, criteria for labels and customer demand). As part of the SIM project, we worked with around 100 of Hotels and TO’s in Mauritius to consider not only standard footprint reductions, like resource efficiency measures, but also innovative approaches to begin a change in the tourism industry.

One of the ways to have a positive ripple effect that we facilitated was to co-create solutions to sustainability challenges or targets (of Hotels and TO’s) with local suppliers while at the same time working toward a circular economy and promoting local employment, skills, and the creation of authentic products. Local suppliers, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were exploring how to use the waste of the Hotels for their products, or the Hotels grounds for their production of tea or honey or how their products could change the behaviour of visitors when it comes to safely exploring the local coral reefs for example.

Watch four of the co-creations in this video to get a taste for the possibilities these collaborations can create.

Three of the featured businesses were also recently awarded the Sustainable Tourism Mauritius Award 2022 for their efforts towards more sustainable tourism.

We believe that local SMEs, NGOs, associations, communities and tourists themselves should be involved to take on an active role toward sustainable, regenerative tourism or circular tourism products. When we work together, local challenges and goals are not handled in piecemeal but are understood and tackled systemically resulting in new innovative products with a positive impact for everyone.

The CSCP’s creative team worked closely together with Made in Moris, a Mauritian label for high quality products with years of experience working with over 350 local brands in the field of handicrafts and other products. The partnership facilitated the co-creations of 9 Hotels/TO’s with the suppliers and two rounds of capacity building workshops on sustainable design, tourism trends as well as best practices in sustainable tourism products among others – learn more about the capacity building sessions here.

To facilitate the co-creation sessions during the pandemic we created a toolkit that worked online with a combination of a meeting and breakout groups tool as well as Miro boards that replaced workshop materials. The same toolkit was later adapted for physical group work and our partner Shirin Gunny and Anya Dundoo of Made in Moris hosted a special learning session together with CSCP’s Nikola Berger at their offices in Mauritius on how to co-create with new partners for a group of 50 participants to scale-up this type of impact driven collaboration.

Shirin Gunny – Managing Director of Made in Moris

In all endeavours the team was supported by the project lead, the Tourism Authority of Mauritius to make collaborations happen locally and across the planet.

For further questions, please contact Nikola Berger.

Pictures provided by the Tourism Authority (Mauritius)

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Improving Sustainaible Tourism In Mauritius through Greening the Value Chain of Tour Operators (SUS-ISLAND) is a Switch Africa grand project funded by the European Commission and led by Mauritius Tourism Authority. Its objective is to promote sustainaible tourism in Mauritius by demonstration and scaling up a self-sustaining mechanism for improving  sustainaibility impacts along the value chain improving awareness and market of sustainaible tourism products.