As a travel and tourism marketing company, we understand the significance of World Tourism Day and its relevance to marketers in the industry. In this article, we will explore what World Tourism Day is, when it is celebrated, and delve into the theme for 2023. Additionally, we’ll focus on SA Tourism Month 2023 and how marketers can leverage this special month for better marketing strategies.

Ecotourism and Sustainable Travel Marketing

In this article:

Tourism Invests in a Green Future
SA Tourism Month 2023: Embracing Sustainable Development Goals
Prioritise Responsible Travel and Authenticity in your marketing efforts!
Nurturing Sustainable Tourism: A Green Path Forward
Elevate Your Travel Marketing with Sustainable Strategies

Tourism Invests in a Green Future

World Tourism Day is an annual global observance celebrated on the 27th of September. It was established in 1980 by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes in 1970. This day serves as an opportunity to highlight the significance of tourism in various aspects, including its social, cultural, political, and economic contributions.

World Tourism 2023 Theme: “People, Planet and Prosperity.

The theme for World Tourism Day 2023, as set by the UNWTO, is “Tourism Invests in a Green Future.” This theme underscores the importance of sustainable tourism practices and responsible travel.

It calls for more and better-targeted investments that benefit people, the planet, and prosperity. In an era where environmental concerns are paramount, this theme emphasises the need for innovative and eco-friendly solutions in the tourism industry.

SA Tourism Month 2023: Embracing Sustainable Development Goals


The powerful message, “Tourism Invests in a Green Future,” underscores the pivotal role of sustainable and eco-conscious tourism practices, not only in the context of international tourism but also within South Africa.

This theme highlights the imperative to prioritise environmentally friendly approaches within the tourism industry to safeguard the nation’s breathtaking landscapes and rich cultures while significantly contributing to the country’s economic growth. South African Tourism Month, observed throughout September, serves as a platform to showcase the nation’s diverse tourism offerings, emphasise the sector’s substantial contributions to the local economy and job creation, and align with the global celebrations of World Tourism Day on September 27th. This annual event provides an opportunity for the South African tourism sector to commemorate its accomplishments in pursuit of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Prioritise Responsible Travel and Authenticity in your marketing efforts!

Let’s focus on how travel marketers can leverage Tourism Day and SA Tourism Month for more effective marketing strategies:

Promote Sustainable Travel

Align your travel marketing campaigns with the “Tourism Invests in a Green Future” theme by highlighting eco-friendly travel options, such as nature-friendly tours, green accommodations, and responsible wildlife experiences. Encourage travellers to make environmentally conscious choices. Promote destinations and experiences committed to eco-friendliness, emphasising carbon footprint reduction, sustainable safaris, conservation tourism, community support, and natural preservation.

Tap into Eco-Conscious Tourist Markets

Engage eco-conscious audiences through digital channels and ethical practices. Sustainable marketing plays a pivotal role in conveying this message, highlighting how travellers’ actions can contribute to a greater global cause beyond their individual journeys. In our companion article, “Marketing Africa’s Ecotourism and Conservation Travel & How to Target International Customers,” we delve deeper into the importance of effective travel and tourism marketing strategies to attract international tourists to Africa’s ecotourism offerings.

In our companion article ‘Sustainable Safaris, Conservation Travel, and Ecotourism Marketing’,  we explore key marketing tactics that transcend geographical boundaries and cultural differences, underscoring the universal nature of ecotourism and the potential for collective impact through responsible exploration.  To learn more about targeting international customers for Africa’s ecotourism and conservation travel, we invite you to explore the comprehensive insights in our companion article.

Engage in Local Partnerships

Unite with local businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and tour operators, to form powerful alliances during SA Tourism Month. Explore collaborations with eco-conscious hotels that emphasise sustainability, partner with farm-to-table restaurants to promote responsible dining experiences, and team up with ethical tour operators who offer eco-friendly excursions.

Highlight these partnerships as a testament to your commitment to community support and empowerment through sustainable tourism. Collaborate with local influencers who share your eco-values to amplify your message and reach a broader audience, demonstrating how collective efforts benefit both travellers and local communities.

Harness the Influence of Social: Boosting Ecotourism and Sustainable Safaris Through Social Media

Harnessing the influence of social media is paramount for promoting ecotourism and sustainable safaris during Tourism Month. Capitalise on the widespread reach and impact of social media to raise awareness about Tourism Day and SA Tourism Month.

Share captivating visuals that showcase South Africa’s breathtaking natural beauty, providing potential tourists with a visual feast of what awaits them. These visuals should not only highlight picturesque landscapes but also immerse viewers in enriching cultural experiences and eco-conscious initiatives that underscore the essence of responsible travel.

Foster user engagement by encouraging the creation of user-generated content. Encourage your audience to participate by creating and sharing their content, such as travel stories, photos, and videos, thus establishing a sense of community and involvement. Collaborate with eco-conscious influencers in the field of ecotourism and sustainable safaris to expand your reach and advocate for responsible travel. By partnering with individuals who are prominent advocates for ecotourism and sustainable safaris, you can extend your reach to a broader and more receptive audience, gaining credibility and trust among potential travellers. These influencers can provide authentic testimonials and firsthand experiences that resonate with eco-conscious tourists.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of relevant hashtags. Incorporate hashtags like #Ecotourism #EcoTravelSA and #SustainableSafaris into your social media strategy to connect with like-minded tourists, making it easier for your content to be discovered by those who prioritise responsible travel practices.

Strategic Content Planning: Dominating Sustainable Travel SEO Rankings for Tourism Month”

To secure a strong presence for sustainable travel in time for annual Tourism Month, it’s crucial for content marketers to establish editorial plans well in advance. As it can take 3 to 6 months to rank on Search Engines, early preparation is key. Implement Travel SEO techniques to ensure high visibility. Craft informative and captivating content that spotlights South Africa’s distinctive attractions and experiences, with a dedicated focus on sustainability, cultural immersion, and the profound economic influence of tourism on local communities.

Develop content pillars such as:

“Eco-Friendly Adventures in South Africa”: Explore the country’s green destinations, from sustainable safaris to eco-lodges, and highlight their environmental contributions.

“Connecting Cultures: A Traveler’s Guide to Cultural Exchange in SA”: Showcase immersive cultural experiences and their positive impact on both travellers and local communities.

“Tourism That Gives Back: Empowering Local Economies”: Share stories of how tourism initiatives are uplifting South African communities economically and socially.

By aligning your editorial calendar with these themes and optimising content for SEO, you’ll be well-prepared to rank prominently when Tourism Month arrives.

Become a Beacon of Sustainable Tourism: Responsible Travel Educational Initiatives

To position your travel brand as a thought leader in responsible travel during Tourism Month, consider organising educational initiatives that not only benefit your audience but also contribute to a global understanding of sustainable tourism practices.

Host webinars where experts discuss eco-friendly travel trends, conservation efforts, and tips for tourists to minimise their environmental impact. Conduct workshops on sustainable packing, ethical wildlife encounters, and eco-lodge experiences. Additionally, panel discussions featuring prominent figures in the sustainable tourism industry can provide valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities within the sector. By offering these educational opportunities, you empower tourists to make informed, responsible choices and showcase your brand as a beacon of sustainable tourism knowledge.

Community Involvement: Impactful Actions Beyond Travel Marketing

Demonstrating genuine commitment to local communities during Tourism Month goes a long way in showcasing your brand’s dedication to responsible travel. Participate in initiatives that benefit the environment and livelihoods, such as beach cleanups, tree planting events, or supporting local artisans.

Collaborate with local NGOs or conservation organisations for wildlife protection projects or eco-volunteer experiences. Showcase these activities in your destination marketing campaigns through impactful storytelling. Share stories of how your team actively engages with local communities to create a positive impact. Encourage your audience to get involved as well, emphasising that responsible travel is not just a concept but a tangible commitment that benefits both tourists and the places they visit. This authentic involvement fosters trust and long-lasting connections with your audience.

Reduce Your Website’s Carbon Footprint: Embracing Green Mode

In the modern digital landscape, where sustainability is gaining paramount importance, website owners have a unique opportunity to make a positive impact by adopting what we refer to as “Green Mode” for their online platforms. Green Mode represents a holistic approach to website optimisation, aiming to align digital properties with eco-conscious principles.

At its core, Green Mode involves a series of strategic measures to enhance a website’s energy efficiency, reduce its carbon footprint, and promote sustainable web design practices. This eco-friendly approach encompasses various facets of website management, from the underlying infrastructure to the user experience.

Nurturing Sustainable Tourism: A Green Path Forward

World Tourism Day and SA Tourism Month provide a valuable opportunity for marketers in the travel and tourism industry to align their strategies with the global and local themes of sustainable tourism. By emphasising green investments and responsible travel practices, travel marketers can not only attract tourists but also contribute to the preservation of South Africa’s natural and cultural treasures. It’s not just about promoting tourism; it’s about investing in a green and sustainable future for the industry and the planet.

Elevate Your Travel Marketing with Sustainable Strategies

Ready to take your travel marketing to the next level by embracing sustainability and eco-consciousness?

Contact BlueMagnet, your Travel Marketing Specialists, today for in-depth research on ecotourism marketing trends, understanding tourist needs and preferences, and expert guidance in developing cutting-edge sustainable travel marketing strategies.