In the last decades, sustainable tourism, in its various meanings and classifications – ecotourism, environmental tourism, nature-based tourism, green tourism- has become a key topic in the academic debate, as well as in policy makers’ strategies. Within the tourism industry, there is an emerging need to match the expectations of a new and consistent niche of tourists, who increasingly demand tourism accommodation facilities with ecological features. The present marketing study – drawn from the Feasibility Study realized in May 2011 within the Craik’s Zero Carbon Project of the University of Strathclyde – pertains to this branch of sustainable tourism research and specifically analyses the feasibility of a tourism ecovillage project in Scotland. The study offers an overview about the main characteristics of the demand and the supply of the international ecotourism market, as well as of the main tourism features in Scotland. The ecovillage project represents a challenging opportunity to experiment with a new model of sustainable tourism accommodation in Scotland and aims to contribute to the international sustainable tourism management practices.
Rita Cannas, PhD in Economics at the University of Bologna, has been a research associate at the University of Strathclyde, where she conducted the present study. She is experienced researcher in sustainable tourism, and economic consultant for developing plans in protected areas. She is author of various books about sustainable tourism.
Negli ultimi decenni, i modelli di turismo sostenibile occupano un ruolo di rilievo in ambito accademico, così come nelle pratiche nell’industria turistica. Il presente studio, tratto dal “Feasibility Study” realizzato nel Maggio 2011 nell’ambito del Craik’s Zero Carbon Project dell’Università di Strathclyde, analizza la fattibilità socio-economica del progetto di un ecovillaggio turistico in Scozia, completamente sostenibile. In particolare, lo studio conduce un’analisi di mercato sulle caratteristiche della domanda e dell’offerta di ecoturismo. Il progetto dell’ecovillaggio può costituire un nuovo modello di ricettività turistica sostenibile in Scozia. Tuttavia, l’autrice offre alcuni suggerimenti finalizzati a dettagliare e a qualificare meglio il prodotto turistico relativamente al design degli ecolodge, al profilo dei potenziali clienti, alla qualità dei servizi offerti, e all’individuazione di strategie di marketing che soddisfino effettivamente le aspettative dei turisti.
In the last decades, sustainable tourism models represent a key topic in the academic debate, as well as in the tourism industry’ practices. The present paper, drawn from the “Feasibility Study” realized in May 2011 within the Craik’s Zero Carbon Project of the University of Strathcyde, analyses the socio-economic feasibility of a tourism ecovillage in Scotland. In particular, the study investigates the demand and the supply of the international ecotourism market. The ecovillage project could represent a challenging opportunity to experiment with a new model of sustainable tourism accommodation in Scotland. However, the author suggests the need to rethink the product in terms of ecolodge design, to provide high quality furnishing products and a detailed profile of potential customers, as well as the need to identify specific marketing strategies that could effectively match tourists’ expectations.