The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the ecotourism industry to innovate. With the virus disrupting travel globally, ecotourism sites are being drained of the tourism dollars that are being used to promote animal welfare and protect local ecosystems. Times call for creative solutions, supported by ecotourism public relations expertise.
Among attractions worldwide, great ape tourism sites felt the impact of the pandemic immediately. Many closed early in the pandemic to protect the apes from the risk of contracting COVID-19 from visitors. In the months since then, international travel has become virtually non-existent.
With these challenges in mind, in a post-COVID-19 future, how might we expect ecotourism to change? The UN Environment Program has some guesses, pointing to digital scenarios such as initiatives to promote virtual ecotourism:
The potential income will not compensate for the lost income from a visitor who is paying US$1,500 for a single gorilla tracking permit in Rwanda, but it demonstrates that we can find new ways of doing things. Other initiatives try to engage the gaming industry. The Internet of Elephants, a collaborative social enterprise working towards a stronger connection between people and wild animals has partnered with the Borneo Nature Foundation and the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project to design Wildeverse, an augmented reality game featuring gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans.
Whatever creative solutions are developing in the months ahead, ecotourism brands will still need help reaching a mass audience with their message. Orange Orchard is ready help. Our experienced ecotourism public relations experts will put their decades of experience in developing communications strategies to earn your brand the visibility is needs . Contact us online or at (865) 977-1973.