As I indicated last week, this week I am going back to the destination center’s website regarding sustainable tourism, or geotourism. Again, this website is here: Destination Center.
One thing they have announced is the list of finalists in the Tourism for Tomorrow Finalists. One such finalist is here in the United States – Yellowstone, our first National Park. Their website is here: Jackson Hole. Under Information Resources, accessed from a tab on the top of that website, one will find a series of subtopics, including a source called Community Conversations. HERE, one will find a relatively short report – 16 page pdf document – outlining the goals, the methods, and the results of this project submitted on October 24, 2017. This seems like a good place to start our conversation, and one which might provide a model for us to follow – a model which is a global finalist in destination stewardship or sustainable tourism.
The Executive Summary’s opening paragraph could have been written about Big Sur.
”Jackson Hole is experiencing unprecedented tourism visitation. While our community and destination benefit from the increased revenue, we suffer from the negative impacts associated with this increased visitation upon our environment and natural resources, infrastructure and services, community character and quality of life, and visitor experience. These phenomena are occurring elsewhere as travel and tourism numbers increase worldwide. Destinations have the ability to proactively address these impacts and challenges through the development of destination management plans. Critical to destination management planning is engaging local stakeholders in a conversation about the impacts of increasing visitation, issues and challenges with managing a significantly increasing number of visitors from diverse cultures, and identifying and prioritizing short- and long- term solutions that prevent, mitigate, and manage these impacts, issues, and challenges.”
Sound like a good place to start? At the next BSMAAC meeting, let’s ask to form a committee to formulate a destination management plan. I won’t be able to attend, due to a seminar in SF I must attend on the same date, but I would love to be a part of that conversation.
It is time. We have a Land Management Plan and now we need a Destination Management Plan if we and this place are to survive the increase in tourism. Let’s continue this discussion between now and the next BSMAAC meeting.