Can luxury be sustainable?
For a long time, these two words have seemingly had no connection with each other, more often an inverse relationship. However, luxury is not necessarily wasteful. From recycling soap, cooking oil or batteries, to the use of solar and hydropower, and even instituting urban agriculture in the city-state, the people and the various tourism partners in Monaco have been working hard and enthusiastically to achieve the long-term goal of being “carbon neutral” by 2030. Being “green” certainly does not take away any bit of the exclusivity and lavishness a guest will experience in Monaco.
To flaunt these everyday efforts in Monaco, Monaco Government Tourist and Convention Authority launched a brand-new communications strategy for 2018 – “Green is the New Glam” – which we thought merited to be the theme for the second issue of the Monaco Travel Journal. As indeed, Monaco is a leading example for destinations to provide travellers an experience that is luxurious yet sustainable.
The creative mind behind this slogan is Mrs. Corinne Kiabski, Press and Communications Director of the Monaco Tourist Authority. Benoit speaks with Corinne to find out why and how Monaco manages to be the “Green Warrior” in travel and tourism.
BONJOUR CORINNE, YOU AND YOUR TEAM REVOLUTIONISED YOUR COMMUNICATION FOR MONACO BY MAKING “GREEN IS THE NEW CLAM” YOUR NEW SLOGAN. HOW DID YOU COME TO THAT?
Well it is becoming obvious that the Monaco Government Tourist Authority, together with the entire tourism industry, needed to join this effort and show our commitment. Our campaign is inspired by many insights from the luxury sector (particularly the LVMH & Kering groups) and will use this “trend” effect to address this topic in a very appealing and engaging manner that speaks to millennial consumers and will help refresh Monaco’s target and image.
We have been hard believers in this cause for years and we have now reached a momentum. So from 2018, we hope that our communication will play a key role in the evolution towards sustainable tourism. Sustainable development is often perceived as a constraint, something unpleasing and purely technical (certification doesn’t sound very glamourous). It should now be presented as a trendy lifestyle, a source of innovation, as the one true luxury of tomorrow. We need to set the tone and example. Our continuing success as a luxury tourist destination depends on it. “Green is the new glam” is our new mantra!
ASIDE FROM THESE ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS WHAT IS « LUXURY TRAVEL » LIKE FOR A GUEST IN MONACO TODAY?
Nowadays, consumers are proactively seeking out for experiences which include the ethical element: as far as fashion trends go, sustainability is one with undeniable enduring power. Surely, sustainability and desirability will come hand in hand as the future of true Luxury Travel.
But in Monaco particularly, where land is limited, luxury is also about intimacy and privatisation, which are brought to the highest level here. Thanks to the excellent collaboration between all tourism partners and the government, our guests have the opportunity to enjoy unique tailor-made experiences, as reminded by our Business Travel famous motto “you need a venue? we offer you a country”. This also goes for the world’s elite celebration-focused events: for instance, we had some amazing Indian weddings in Monaco, for which the Opera, the casino and other places were privatised: these VIP clients really had the feeling that Monaco belonged to them. Finally, in Monaco when you attend a show in the 500-seats Monte-Carlo Opera House, it feels like a private concert: you can almost touch the Stars. And more often than not you can also meet them!
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT OUR TOURISM PARTNERS IN MONACO FACE WITH REGARDS TO SUSTAINABILITY?
The challenge is not so big as all public and private players in Monaco`s tourism sector are aware that sustainable tourism is more than just a trend, it is now a necessity for the planet. What’s more: they engage in this revolution with great enthusiasm. Thus, all our hotels have already obtained sustainability certifications and so has the Grimaldi Forum, our main Congress centre. Since 2004, public transportation has been running on biofuels or electric motors: our public bicycles, our car sharing system Mobee, even our public boats, are all electric. I also love the new initiative of Terre de Monaco, a social enterprise which creates vegetable gardens on terraces and rooftops wherever they are solicited.
MONACO HAS ALWAYS BEEN A WORLD-CLASS DESTINATION FOR LUXURY TOURISM. NOW WITH THE NOTION OF “SUSTAINABILITY”, DO YOU THINK THERE IS A CONTRADICTION?
I strongly believe that these are two separate yet complementary topics. HSH Prince Albert II and His foundation have been key players on the international political and diplomatic scene in regards to the protection of the oceans, to promote a lighter carbon footprint etc. Thus, under His leadership the Government is highly invested in Monaco’s energetic transition and in the topics of green mobility and total recycling. In fact, Monaco’s tourism industry has been involved in sustainability for quite a while but this wasn’t really showcased in its communication so far. So it makes perfect sense that Monaco would stand as an example for luxury and sustainable tourism. An illustration of this is that Monaco’s maritime waters are recognised every year as the cleanest in the whole south of France. Factoring in the population density, it seems like a miracle but it is nothing astonishing for the Monegasques.
YOU HAVE TRAVELLED TO MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT MONACO THAT CANNOT BE FOUND ANYWHERE ELSE?
Indeed, I am very lucky to have travelled so much. What is most interesting in meeting people is their culture and the wide scope of different perspectives. I have been impressed by the Japanese ethics and aesthetics, the colours and fragrances of India, the food in Asia and the sunsets in Africa, the vast spaces of Australia, South Africa, Brazil or Russia… the latter are even more poignant when you live in a tiny country like Monaco.
But Monaco is always home for me, a very particular feeling that you appreciate even more when you are constantly travelling. Monaco is a condensed collection of some of my favourite things and living there along the Mediterranean Sea is an everyday perk. When you wake up seeing a clear blue sky it makes you feel happy and secure, we are lucky to have a very healthy environment.