Starting with this Tourist Tuesday report, I am looking to only post ideas for dealing with the issues we face. We know what the problems are. We now know it is a world-wide problem, so we need to look at approaches and ideas. There is no one solution, there are only steps we can take to minimize the impacts. Being mindful of geo-tagging is one.
From a NY Times article by Laura M. Holson in the Travel Section on Sunday (thanks Ken Wright):
“Sorry, Instagrammers. You are ruining Wyoming.
Last week, the Jackson Hole Travel & Tourism Board asked visitors to stop geotagging photographs on social media in an effort to protect the state’s pristine forests and remote lakes. Explaining the campaign, Brian Modena, a tourism-board member, suggested the landscape was under threat from visitors drawn by the beautiful vistas on Instagram.”
A few years ago, one or two hikers a day would make the nine-mile trek up to Delta Lake. Now, he said, as many as 145 people are hiking there each day to shoot engagement photos and hawk health supplements. Little-known trails are heavily trafficked and eroding in some places, taxing park resources.
“We want people to have a real connection to nature,” Mr. Modena said, “not just a page with a pin on it.”
Six months ago, Colorado-based Leave No Trace, an organization that promotes ethical use of public lands, published new social media guidelines that discourage geotagging. In Jackson Hole, the tourism board has suggested that visitors use the generic location tag, “Tag Responsibly, Keep Jackson Hole Wild.”
This is just a beginning, but we must get the message out. New Zealand has adopted one program which I urge MCCVB, Visit California, and See California to also adopt, spending some of the millions of dollars of advertising monies on plans and programs to ensure the survival of the natural areas in California – particularly in Big Sur. I will post about one thing New Zealand does which we can easily adapt here next Tuesday,