• We translate human behavior so you can achieve more with less


    Our Approach
  • Speaking engagements

    See where you can meet us and hear us speak.

    Learn more
  • OUR PUBLICATIONS

    Behavioral Economics: WTTC x Harvard Sustainability Leadership Learning Insights series

    Read the article
  • We make sustainability actually work


    Explore our activities
  • We translate human behaviour so you can achieve more with less


    Our Approach
  • Speaking engagements

    See where you can meet us and hear us speak.

    Learn more
  • OUR PUBLICATIONS

    Behavioral Economics: WTTC x Harvard Sustainability Leadership Learning Insights series

    Read the article
  • We make sustainability actually work


    Explore our activities

BehaviorSMART™ Sustainable Tourism Solutions

BehaviorSMART™ means being realistic about how people really think, decide and act in order to design optimal and effective business and sustainability solutions.

Our Services

Based on our expertise blending knowledge in tourism, sustainability and human behavior, our services enable:

  • destination representatives

  • entire destinations (local/ regional/ national)

  • travel businesses

  • travel tech

to accelerate sustainability and strengthen market success.

Our partners

Our partners

  • Västmanland Tourism about us

    Milena is a highly professional, yet very approachable expert in her field of Behavioral Economics. I first heard Milena speak at a big tourism event in Chile. This very inspiring speech was enough to see the potential for our destination to grow in a profitable and sustainable way by applying behavior-smart solutions based on Milena’s vast knowledge.

    • Åsa Stanaway
    • Business Developer
    • Västmanland Tourism, Sweden

The BehaviorSMART™ approach

Step 1

1. Solve

Step 2

2. Model

Step 3

3. Activate

Step 4

4. Result

Step 5

5. Transition

For more ideas on how behavioral optimization can help you, explore the more detailed examples in the Services section.

Regardless of the scope and scale of the problem we are solving behavioral optimization requires careful tailoring with smart consideration of contextual and individual specifics. To ensure that we optimize the understanding and tackling of every project, we apply our specialized proprietary BehaviorSMART methodology that involves five steps for understanding the problem we need to Solve, through identifying the specific behavioral forces that Model the challenge, through exploring a wide variety of solutions that can help Activate the desired behavioral change, through analysis of the options that Result in the pursued outcomes, and to the execution of steps that help Transition to the desired state.

1. Solve

What are we trying to SOLVE?

The first step of the process is to clearly formulate the problem at hand and the desired state that we want to reach.

Guests forget to wear their masks when they walk into a closed attraction thus risking the health of their guide.

2. Model

What incentives and barriers MODEL the problem?

The second step of the process is to identify the exact behavioral mechanisms that encourage undesired behavior and/or suppress the desired behavior.

The analysis finds that there are two reasons guests do not wear their masks. First, they forget to put them on when they walk in as they are much more focused on the site they are visiting and consider that a small insignificant detail. Second, even if they remember at some point, they see that the rest of the group does not have their masks on and proceed without a mask.

3. Activate

How can we ACTIVATE a transition to a new journey that leads to the desired outcomes?

The third step of the process is about generating a set of possible behavioral mechanisms that can be applied to achieve the desired behavioral change.

Among the ways to minimize the likelihood that guests will forget is to incorporate reminders at the appropriate moments or to increase the importance of wearing a mask. The first can be done with special signs, with audio reminders or with verbal reminders by the guide but a careful analysis reveals that signs and audio reminders cannot be installed at historical sites as this is technologically impossible. Guides are focused on many of their other responsibilities so they cannot remind about masks. Therefore the most relevant approach seems to be to increase the importance of masks by adding personal information about the guide and his family and linking mask to their safety.

4. Result

Which approaches RESULT in the desired change?

The fourth step of the process is to test the selected solutions in the specific context to confirm their potency in addressing the targeted challenge.

The identified solution is tested with three different groups and shows that at the beginning the group remembers to put the mask on but that later in the day as the information about the guide’s family fades, they forget. An additional intervention that is identified to help sustain the effect is to assign one or two guests as responsible for mask reminders, which ensures that the majority will put them on and will create social pressure for the rest. Follow on tests confirm that the mix of these interventions secures long-term results.

5. Transition

What are the exact steps that will help TRANSITION to the behaviorally-optimised state?

The fifth final step of the process involves outlining the action steps towards applying the new behavioral journey design in order to reach the desired behavioral optimization.

The roll out phase involves the outlining of specific steps towards the changed processes, including planning the exact moment and format of communicating personal information about the guide, linking that to mask wearing, assigning responsible guests and monitoring results.

Latest Blog Posts

sun shining through tree

In a New Light: How Behavior Change Can Shape Tourism’s Climate Shadow

Back in January, I introduced the idea of the ‘Climate Shadow,’ the concept ideated by Oregon-based journalist Emma Pattee to discuss its potential in the context of tourism. This holistic approach for many of us working in sustainability…
tourists admiring the sunset in uttarakhand Himalayas

Responsible India: Showing how sustainability by design works

Globally, people are increasingly aware of the need to live in ways that don’t have a negative environmental impact. But, as studies consistently reveal, making sustainable choices is often perceived as harder, more inconvenient and more expensive.…

Design Thinking: What we can learn from the evolution of urban development

Here at BehaviorSMART, we talk a lot about design thinking. Design thinking can be powerful in accelerating sustainable development; it gathers insights on human behavior to synthesize more human-centered design ideas that can change the collective…

Arrivals: How to meet the travel expectations of Gen Z

The tourism industry is facing a double reckoning; its carbon footprint, and a generational shift in travel behavior. As they prioritise travel spending, Gen Z are expanding their horizons and exerting their cultural influence and expectations…

Carbon Footprint, Meet Climate Shadow

When it comes to the climate emergency, the tourism economy today faces some hard truths. Our carbon footprint is enormous - responsible for roughly 8% of the world’s global carbon emissions. But our carbon footprint is only one side of the…
swiss train travelling over viaduct

Not the ‘Right’ Traveller, but the ‘Right’ Communication Strategy

You’ve put a lot of investment into adapting your tourism offering to support sustainable development goals. Now, how can you maximise the potential of these changes and engage tourists? In our final instalment in our series on the ‘Right’…
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One and all: How to drive behaviour change and make every traveller the ‘right’ traveller

Changing tourism behaviour can feel like a mountain to climb; especially when faced with ambitious sustainable development goals. Where do you begin? In our first article about The 'Right' Traveller, we debunked some myths; revealing why pursuing…
tourists looking out over a mountain view

Who is the ‘Right’ Traveller?

Recently, it has come to our attention that those of us developing our destinations, businesses and travel products to be more sustainable are seeking an elusive traveller. One which demonstrates awareness of their environmental impact, and…
Yoori Koo - unsplash

Achieving the First MileTM in Sustainability, STEP BY STEP

We have introduced the concept of The First MileTM   previously, our signature approach to support tourism enterprises and destinations in improving their sustainability footprint through innovative behaviour change techniques. Giving the…