Attempting to break the cliché of travel portals being ‘information-based’ only, Makemytrip.com, along with Webchutney, has launched an interactive community based campaign called ‘Responsible Traveler’ on the concept of ‘Green Travel’ to encourage people to come together and contribute towards building a greener environment.
Speaking on the initiative, Mohit Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Makemytrip.com, told exchange4media, “Like the project title, ‘Responsible Traveler’, that’s exactly what the origin of this thought is. As a responsible corporate, we do realise that we need to give something back to society, which is how the initiative of creating socially responsible traveler was developed. Awareness about problems like global warming is fairly high amongst the SECs, who comprise our customers, and participation is completely voluntary.”
From creating the microsite to Search Engine Optimisation, Webchutney has been instrumental in executing the ‘green’ idea. Sidharth Rao, Co-Founder and CEO, Webchutney, said, “‘Responsible Traveler’ is a unique extension of Makemytrip’s ethos and goes beyond the ordinary ‘Buy us because we are the best’ banter. It’s marketing with a cause to awaken the average traveler’s sensibilities to give and gain respect while touring across diverse communities and cultures.”
The microsite, which is interlinked with the Makemytrip.com site, is a blog-based portal primarily for travel lovers. It shares insights on travelling light, offsetting carbon footprints, harvesting rainwater and checking into Ecotels and eco-friendly habitats to enhance the thrill and joy of travelling. The campaign highlights how ‘responsible travel’ can be pocket and planet friendly, which doesn’t necessarily come at an additional cost or takes the fun out of travelling.
Based on the idea of celebrating ‘Green Travel’, the campaign is powered by social media through Facebook and Twitter. Rao elaborated, “The campaign is promoted by an interactive blog www.responsibletraveler.in, which is linked to Makemytrip’s website. In just a week of launch, it is already witnessing remarkable activity with exchange of eco-friendly ‘green’ travel ideas, tips and guides and donations. The campaign is also recording an impressive contribution in the form of donations to Makemytrip’s overall CSR initiative. As the campaign gains ground through heightened visibility across popular social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc., it will become an excellent example of creating a big impact and gaining attention to raise awareness through social media in India.”
When asked how well it had been taken by bloggers and users, Gupta replied, “The response we received for our green initiative is a good indication of how important this is even from customer’s point of view. It is only after the initial success that we decided to expand this from being just a green initiative to creating a responsible traveler, which aims at increasing awareness about various social issues linked with travel.”
On how digital medium leveraged itself for the travel industry, Rao explained, “Makemytrip’s USP of ‘Just Wish, Click Go!’ sums up the impact of digital on travel industry perfectly. With the rise of OTAs and the convenience in organising trips/ holidays associated with them, the digital medium has increased accessibility and affordability of travel for consumers, which results in more business, more revenue and consequently, higher profits for travel portals and their collaborating partners.”