Host/Havas aim to tackle impacts of mass tourism

8 December 2017

Creative Agency: Host/Havas

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By encouraging visitors to be more conscious about their behaviour while they travel, the Palau Pledge aims to foster a more sustainable form of tourism.

Recently merged Host/Havas, along with Red Agency, have worked with the Government of the Pacific Island of Palau to bring the program to life and the world-first initiative has seen the country redesign its immigration policy and landing procedures to enable it to take effect.

Visitors to the country as of today are now asked to sign a promise to Palau's people as they enter which is then stamped into their passports.

Developed in collaboration with the Palau Government, the country has redesigned its immigration policy and landing procedures. 

A dedicated website - palaupledge.com - has been set up to provide information for visitors and the tourism industry.

The Pledge has also been backed by a number of global figures including Leonardo DiCaprio, HRH Queen Noor of Jordan, political influencers such as Secretary John Kerry and conservation luminary Dr Sylvia Earle.

Through their own social channels, they will be asking people around the world to join them in support of Palau and a more conscious, sustainable form of tourism.

A film, shot on location and featuring Palauan children, will be played on every inbound flight to Palau.

Inspired by an ancient Palauan legend, it tells the story of a giant who came to visit their islands and who acts as a visual metaphor for the cumulative impact that visitors can have on their home. Signage and information packs have also been developed, which will be placed around Palau’s airport and throughout the country to educate and remind visitors and locals alike, about the conditions of the Palau Pledge.

Host/Havas ECD Seamus Higgins said: “Palau is a true paradise, with a legacy of taking bold, pioneering steps to preserve it. They know that to solve something no one else has been able to, you can’t do what everyone else has been doing. Just what can be achieved with such a truly innovative client is incredible and we are honoured to play a meaningful role in helping to protect their country for future generations to enjoy.

“We knew that to inspire a true and lasting change in behaviour, we had to find a way to make every visitor stop and think, that would transcend culture and nationality. This is behavioural psychology, innovative legislation and creativity coming together to do something that’s never been done before.”

Laura Clarke, one of the four co-founders of the Palau Legacy Project said: “The Palau Pledge is a genuinely innovative solution which provides a significant first step to increasing awareness around eco-tourism practices and what the global community can do to collectively take greater responsibility and make a difference.

“Most visitors are unaware of the serious impact their individual actions have or even what they can do to help. The Host/Havas team has provided invaluable support in helping us to develop this initiative and realise our mission to communicate these important messages in a way that all guests will understand, and that will compel them to protect Palau as a result. We are hopeful that this will help create a long-lasting legacy for generations to come.”

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