Insights from Consultant Jude Franks

An Australian consultant with a diverse range of experience across tourism and marketing has shared a range of fascinating insights covering both disciplines.

Jude Franks began by outlining her substantial professional expertise in the tourism sector.

Lessons from ecotourism marketing?

Tourism Marketing, Ecotourism Marketing, Culture & Heritage Tourism Plus Sustainable Tourism With Jude Franks

“I’ve been involved in the tourism industry for 35 years, predominantly here in Australia and in Tasmania, which is my native home.

“Over that period of time I’ve worked with a lot of new projects, a lot of small businesses and been involved in ecotourism both here and as a Director of Ecotourism Australia.

Tourism Marketing with Jude Franks

“I’ve also been involved in heritage and culture tourism, I’m on the board of Port Arthur Historic Site here in Tasmania and I’ve worked extensively throughout the rest of Australia in product development and experience development.”

For Jude, who has also been involved with country branding in South-East Asia, her clients and the types of project she has worked on have been as diverse as her own career.

“It’s been a really eclectic mix of connections.

“I’ve worked on everything from being a sole consultant working with a particular product or area or region. I’ve built teams and worked as a member of a teams.

“I’ve also worked in senior executive roles; one of my roles here, which ended up being a really market-shaping era for our state of Tasmanian, was with a group called the Federal Group.

“They were going through understanding, and creating on the ground, experiential tourism and the understanding of how you connect to people through that.

“I sit on a number of boards, both at the board table and also working as an executive member delivering projects like, at the moment in Tasmania, the Mount Wellington Cable Car.

“I often do some mentoring, which isn’t part of paid consulting, because I’m very passionate about making a difference.”

Jude gave an example of her work on Ecotourism and explained why this type of tourism is giving people a responsible way to access new experiences.

“I work, for example, with a highly-regarded architectural company here in Tasmania who work throughout Australia, and elsewhere, on Ecotourism and specialising in on-the-ground solutions.

“I guess the concept of eco and nature-based tourism is something that was almost super-niche previously.

“People are now drawn to being immersed in authentic experiences and being able to access areas that previously were only for those who were really prepared to make the effort.”

Jude explored the risk of tourism volumes impacting on quality of experience and on the lives of local people.

“We’re not just talking about profitability here, it’s about ensuring that quality of life for people who need to go about their daily lives. which is one of the attractors to places that people want to engage with.

“It needs to be understood all the way from the top to the bottom that this isn’t about an anti-tourist mentality, it’s just about making sure that we protect every aspect of that mix.

“It’s about protecting quality of life, social fabric and protecting our cultural identity as part of that. The visitor experience does suffer if we just look at mass market, it’s not what we want people to experience.”

Jude explained that she expects “there is significant growth in tourism” across the world.

“We really do need to be very serious about putting measures into play. We need to do it before the locals have banners saying ‘go away’.”

She also touched on tourism driven by film and TV location visitors, a topical subject in ProfileTree’s home of Northern Ireland.

“There are some places that have benefited enormously from film tourism. The domino and multiplier effects have been shown to be incredible.

“Most places are accessible and affordable as people can travel very easily. Understanding how that is balanced is going to be a real issue for us going forwards.”

To discover more expert insights from Jude Franks watch our full video interview.

Jude Franks – LinkedIn

Delving Deep into Ecotourism: Separating Fact from Fiction

In today’s travel landscape, “ecotourism” is a buzzing term. But amidst the trendy photos and greenwashed marketing, it’s crucial to understand the true essence of this responsible travel philosophy. So, let’s clear the air and delve into the heart of ecotourism, differentiating it from regular tourism and highlighting its core principles.

Beyond Sightseeing: The Ecotourism Ethos

Regular tourism, while offering enjoyment and cultural immersion, can often prioritize convenience and affordability over environmental and social considerations. Ecotourism, on the other hand, flips the script. It’s a conscious travel approach that places responsible practices and environmental sensitivity at the center of every adventure.

Here’s what sets ecotourism apart:

  • Conservation Focus: Ecotourism aims to minimize environmental impact and actively contribute to the preservation of natural ecosystems. It prioritizes destinations committed to conservation efforts, like those working with endangered species or protecting fragile habitats.
  • Responsible Travel Practices: From choosing eco-friendly transportation and accommodations to opting for locally sourced meals and activities that respect local communities, ecotourism emphasizes responsible choices throughout the travel journey.
  • Supporting Local Communities: Ecotourism prioritizes economic benefits reaching local communities, employing local guides and utilizing resources sustainably. This ensures not only fair trade practices but also empowers local populations to become guardians of their environment and cultural heritage.
  • Educational Experience: Ecotourism is about learning and connecting with nature and local cultures. It encourages immersive experiences that foster understanding and appreciation for the environment and local ways of life, inspiring travelers to become ambassadors for sustainability.

Misconceptions Debunked:

  • Ecotourism is expensive: While some responsible travel options tend to be pricier, a variety of budget-friendly ecotourism experiences exist. Research eco-friendly hostels, homestays, and local transportation options to make conscious choices without breaking the bank.
  • Ecotourism equals roughing it: While some adventures might involve venturing off the beaten path, ecotourism offers diverse experiences for all comfort levels. You can find luxurious eco-lodges with minimal environmental impact or participate in volunteer projects while enjoying comfortable accommodations.
  • Ecotourism is only for nature lovers: While natural beauty plays a big role, ecotourism celebrates cultural diversity as well. Immerse yourself in responsible cultural experiences, support local artisans, and discover the unique traditions of communities living in harmony with their environment.

Remember: Ecotourism is a journey, not just a destination. It’s a continuous pursuit of responsible travel choices, learning, and engagement. By supporting businesses committed to conservation and community well-being, you can become part of a global movement shaping a more sustainable future for travel.

Bonus Tips:

  • Research sustainability certifications or eco-labels to identify authentic ecotourism operators.
  • Pack light and minimize waste during your travels.
  • Support local conservation efforts and community initiatives at your destination.
  • Share your responsible travel experiences and inspire others to embrace ecotourism!

Unveiling the Rich Tapestry of Ecotourism Experiences

Ecotourism is not a one-size-fits-all package deal. It’s a vibrant kaleidoscope of experiences waiting to ignite your sense of adventure, deepen your connection with nature, and enrich your understanding of diverse cultures. Let’s break free from the confines of typical tourist traps and explore the captivating spectrum of ecotourism possibilities:

1. Thrill-Seeking Journeys:

  • Trekking through lush rainforests in Borneo: Encounter orangutans in their natural habitat, navigate emerald-clad landscapes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant biodiversity of this island paradise.
  • Scuba diving alongside coral reefs in Raja Ampat, Indonesia: Marvel at underwater kingdoms teeming with exotic marine life, participate in reef conservation initiatives, and experience the thrill of ocean exploration.
  • Kayaking the turquoise waters of Patagonia, Argentina: Witness glaciers calving into fjords, navigate windswept landscapes, and discover the pristine wilderness of this southernmost tip of the world.

2. Wildlife Encounters with a Conscience:

  • Volunteering at elephant sanctuaries in Thailand: Contribute to the ethical care of rescued elephants, learn about their plight, and participate in responsible tourism initiatives.
  • Whale watching tours in Alaska: witness majestic humpback whales breaching and feeding in their natural habitat, choose operators committed to responsible whale observation practices.
  • Tracking endangered gorillas in Rwanda: Embark on a breathtaking trek through volcanoes to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, supporting conservation efforts that protect gorillas and their forest home.

3. Cultural Immersion for the Soul:

  • Homestays with indigenous communities in the Amazon: Experience the rhythm of traditional life, learn ancestral skills, and contribute to sustainable village development projects.
  • Cooking classes with local chefs in Morocco: Unravel the secrets of aromatic tagines and flavorful spice blends, support local women-led tourism initiatives, and discover the cultural tapestry of Marrakech.
  • Volunteering in organic farms in Tuscany, Italy: Learn sustainable farming practices, harvest fresh produce, and savor the authentic flavors of the Italian countryside while contributing to ecological agriculture.

4. Nurturing Nature Through Volunteerism:

  • Participating in coral reef restoration projects in Florida: Help repair damaged reefs by planting coral fragments, raise awareness about ocean conservation, and contribute to the future of these vital ecosystems.
  • Building trails and assisting with wildlife conservation efforts in Namibia: Contribute to habitat restoration projects, track endangered species alongside local experts, and learn about the delicate balance of desert ecosystems.
  • Teaching English to children in rural communities in Nepal: Share your knowledge, contribute to educational development projects, and experience the warmth and resilience of these vibrant communities.

5. Niche Ecotourism Options:

  • Astro-tourism in Chile’s Atacama Desert: Gaze at the Milky Way in one of the world’s darkest skies, learn about celestial bodies from astronomers, and experience the awe-inspiring vastness of the universe.
  • Glacier climbing in Iceland: Experience the raw power of glacial landscapes, learn responsible ice climbing practices, and witness the mesmerizing beauty of these dynamic natural wonders.
  • Ecotourism cycling tours in Ireland: Explore coastal paths, charming villages, and rolling hills on two wheels, choose eco-friendly accommodations and support local businesses along the way.

Remember, this is just a glimpse into the endless possibilities of ecotourism. Choose experiences that ignite your passions, align with your values, and allow you to contribute positively to the destinations you visit. By supporting responsible travel initiatives, immersing yourself in local cultures, and contributing to conservation efforts, you can transform your journeys into meaningful adventures that leave a lasting positive impact on our planet and its people.

Ecotourism with a Conscience: Navigating the Path of Responsible Travel

Ecotourism isn’t just about breathtaking landscapes and adrenaline-pumping adventures. It’s about a deep commitment to ethical choices, minimizing environmental impact, and embracing cultural sensitivity. Let’s dive into the heart of responsible travel and explore how to ensure your ecotourism experiences prioritize ethics and respect:

1. Responsible Wildlife Interactions:

  • Choose wildlife encounters that prioritize welfare: Avoid animal shows, riding elephants, or any activity exploiting or harming animals. Opt for ethical sanctuaries, responsible viewing tours, and conservation projects that prioritize animal well-being.
  • Maintain a respectful distance: Observe wildlife from a safe distance, avoiding any actions that cause stress or disruption to their natural behavior. Remember, you’re a guest in their habitat, not an entertainer.
  • Never feed or touch wild animals: This disrupts their natural feeding patterns and can spread diseases. Appreciate them from afar and avoid interfering with their natural behaviors.

2. Minimizing Environmental Impact:

  • Pack light and minimize waste: Choose biodegradable products, avoid single-use plastics, and pack reusable items like water bottles and containers. Remember, responsible travel means leaving the environment even better than you found it.
  • Travel responsibly: Opt for eco-friendly transportation options like trains, buses, or bicycles whenever possible. Choose eco-lodges and accommodations committed to sustainable practices and minimize your energy consumption.
  • Respect local flora and fauna: Avoid picking flowers, damaging wildlife habitats, or collecting souvenirs that threaten the ecosystem. Leave no trace and be a responsible steward of the natural world.

3. Supporting Local Communities:

  • Choose locally owned businesses and accommodations: This ensures your travel dollars directly benefit the community and support local livelihoods. Avoid large chain hotels and opt for homestays, community-run projects, or eco-lodges that directly involve local people.
  • Learn basic phrases in the local language: Show respect for their culture and make an effort to connect with local people. Learn greetings, essential phrases, and avoid gestures or behavior considered offensive in their culture.
  • Embrace opportunities to learn and share: Engage with local communities, understand their traditions, and participate in cultural events. Avoid voyeurism and treat local people with respect and dignity.

4. Cultural Sensitivity:

  • Dress appropriately: Research local customs and dress codes, being mindful of your attire in religious or culturally sensitive areas. Respect local traditions and avoid actions that might be considered disrespectful or offensive.
  • Ask permission before taking photos: Not everyone enjoys having their picture taken. Always ask permission and respect if someone declines. Be mindful of privacy and avoid capturing images that exploit or misrepresent local people.
  • Give back to the community: Support local artisans by purchasing souvenirs, learn traditional skills through workshops, or contribute to community development projects. Make your travel a tool for positive change and empowerment.

Remember: Ecotourism is a continuous learning process. Be open to new perspectives, embrace cultural differences, and actively seek ways to minimize your impact on the environment and local communities. By traveling with awareness and respect, you can become a force for good, promoting cultural understanding, environmental conservation, and responsible tourism around the world.

Bonus Tips:

  • Research responsible travel blogs and resources to learn more about ethical ecotourism practices.
  • Connect with local NGOs or community organizations to understand their needs and find volunteer opportunities.
  • Share your responsible travel experiences and inspire others to embrace ethical choices when exploring the world.

Embracing Sustainable Transport and Accessibility for All

Ecotourism thrives on showcasing the wonders of the planet, but true responsible travel extends beyond breathtaking landscapes and enriching cultural experiences. It encompasses thoughtful transport and accessibility considerations, ensuring responsible visitor flow, minimal environmental impact, and welcoming inclusivity for travelers of all abilities. Let’s explore how to promote sustainable transport, prioritize accessibility, and make ecotourism a journey for everyone:

Promoting Public Transit and Low-Emissions Options:

  • Championing public transportation: Encourage the use of buses, trains, and bicycles within destinations. Partner with local transport authorities to offer eco-friendly travel passes or discounts for ecotourists.
  • Supporting low-emission transportation: Advocate for electric vehicle infrastructure, carpooling initiatives, and walking and cycling facilities in tourist areas. Partner with eco-friendly transportation providers or offer electric bike rentals within your offerings.
  • Minimizing reliance on air travel: Encourage responsible flight choices like carbon offsetting or choosing greener airlines with fuel-efficient fleets. Promote alternative travel options like intercity trains or eco-cruises when feasible.

Accessibility for All Ages and Mobility:

  • Universal design principles: Advocate for accessible infrastructure at transportation hubs, accommodations, and tourist attractions. This includes ramps, wider doorways, elevators, and accessible restrooms.
  • Accessible transportation options: Partner with transportation providers to offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles or designate certain buses and trains as accessible. Inform your audience about accessible options readily available at your destination.
  • Catering to diverse needs: Consider the needs of travelers with sensory impairments, providing audio descriptions, Braille signage, and clear visual cues. Be mindful of dietary restrictions and offer accessible restaurant options or provide information on accessible eateries.

Ensuring Equality and Inclusion:

  • Culturally sensitive tourism: Ensure cultural sensitivity in all aspects of transportation and accessibility. Partner with local communities to understand their needs and address any cultural considerations regarding accessible tourism initiatives.
  • Supporting local communities: Prioritize hiring local personnel for transportation services and ensure fair wages and working conditions. Promote responsible vendor partnerships and support local artisans and businesses along tourist routes.
  • Celebrating diversity: Showcase the vibrant diversity of your destination and actively attract travelers from all walks of life. Ensure your marketing materials and promotional efforts are inclusive and represent travelers of different abilities, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

Remember: Transportation and accessibility are integral parts of the ecotourism experience. By advocating for sustainable solutions, making destinations accessible for all, and promoting inclusivity, you can foster a truly responsible travel environment that welcomes and empowers every visitor.

Building Ecotourism Success with Local Community Partnerships

At the heart of genuine ecotourism lies a crucial element – collaboration with local communities. It’s not just about visiting their land, but about weaving sustainable partnerships that uplift residents, empower them to be stewards of their environment, and share the benefits of responsible tourism. Let’s delve into the multifaceted world of local community partnerships and explore how they transform ecotourism into a force for positive change:

Championing Fair-Trade Suppliers and Partners:

  • Seek out fair-trade certified goods and services: Partner with local artisans, farmers, and vendors who adhere to fair-trade principles, ensuring fair wages, safe working conditions, and sustainable practices.
  • Promote local businesses and handicrafts: Showcase the talent and artistry of local communities by featuring their products in your tours, accommodations, or souvenir shops.
  • Prioritize community ownership and leadership: Encourage community-run initiatives like homestays, cultural performances, or eco-tours, ensuring local residents receive direct benefits from tourism.

Quantifying the Impact: Statistics on Community Contributions and Initiatives:

  • Highlight concrete data: Show the tangible impact of your partnerships through statistics. Share how much of your revenue goes directly to local communities, the number of jobs created, or the funds invested in community development projects.
  • Showcase successful initiatives: Feature stories of how your partnerships have empowered communities. Share testimonials from residents who’ve benefited from tourism income, improved infrastructure, or educational opportunities.
  • Promote transparency and accountability: Be transparent about your partnerships and their benefits. Encourage open communication with communities and involve them in decision-making processes.

Unlocking Economic Opportunity for Residents:

  • Develop skills and training programs: Partner with local organizations to provide skills training in hospitality, cultural interpretation, or sustainable tourism practices. This equips residents to actively participate in the tourism industry.
  • Invest in infrastructure and development: Advocate for projects that benefit communities, such as clean water initiatives, renewable energy solutions, or healthcare facilities.
  • Support cultural preservation and traditional knowledge: Respect and collaborate with communities to preserve their customs, languages, and traditional practices. Integrate these elements into ecotourism experiences to offer travelers authentic cultural encounters.

Remember: Building genuine and sustained partnerships takes time and effort. Listen to community needs, respect their cultural values, and involve them in every step of the process. When ecotourism becomes a tool for community empowerment, economic opportunity, and shared prosperity, the benefits resonate far beyond individual travel experiences, creating a ripple effect of positive change for generations to come.

Business Leader Interviews from ProfileTree TV

Business Insights:

Two Years to £27 Million | Should Your Business be Concerned about Brexit? | The Business Mindset | Workplace Wellness | What is Company Culture? | Business Broadband NI | How to do Business Internationally? | Do you have a HR Strategy? | What is Innovation? | What is a Business Development Manager? | Importance of HR | Accounting Strategy

Business Types:

What is a Franchise Business? | FitzWilliam Hotel Belfast | Newspaper Marketing Trends | Discussing Product Development
Using UX in Tourism

Personal Development:

The ‘PROVE IT’ Guy | Performance Consultant and Speaker | How to Build Self-Confidence | What is NLP Therapy? | Feel Good Hypnosis


How to use Psychology Marketing?  | What is Growth Hacking?


Augmented Reality in Education | Why is Technology Important in Business?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *