Tourist Tuesday, 5/21 – Another approach

I lucked upon this site this past weekend, and wanted to bring it here, even though I am taking most of the week off to spend time with some girl friends that I cherish and only get to see once or twice a year, but this is important.

“SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. (PRWEB) MAY 18, 2019

Prontopia’s vision for responsible travel and sustainable cities centers on a community model of people helping people. The company’s innovative app provides on-demand help to travelers in walkable cities, when and where they need it. Prontopia’s innovative platform offers an unprecedented opportunity to raise awareness about the local problems of overtourism and support grassroots solutions among travelers and residents.

In honor of World Oceans Day on June 8, California travel tech startup Prontopia will join forces with local non-profit organizations and other partners in hospitality to coordinate teams of volunteers to clean the Venice lagoon, the banks of the Arno in Florence, the Tiber river in Rome, and the beaches of Santa Barbara, California in a “Plastic Free” awareness event.

According to the Institute of Marine Science – National Council of Research, “Recent studies have highlighted that there is a massive spread of trash in all world seas, especially of plastic, which is 70% of it.” Generating awareness of ocean conservation in high-traffic tourist areas like Venice, Italy, is of paramount importance to implementing sustainable solutions. Prontopia is working together with the nascent organization Plastic Free Venice Lagoon as well as citizen groups and environmental organizations in each city to create an event that brings together residents, travelers, and international organizations in recognition of the need for positive action toward systemic change to combat the negative effects of overtourism and its consequences, such as pollution in waterways.

“A cleaner community is a happier community and we should all take pride in the places we live.” Davide Poletto, General Coordinator of the event “Plastic Free Venice Lagoon,” notes that the, “Venice lagoon, for its conformation, nature and specially for the high impact human activities coming from massive tourism and in its continuous growth, is specifically exposed to the diffusion of plastic trash and relative micro-plastics.”

The Prontopia app provides a safe and simple way for travelers to get in-person help easily with getting around the city. This model also provides the company with valuable feet-on-the-street networks for sharing information from among the locals about their viewpoints on what is needed for better quality of life in Venice, Florence, and Rome in the management of high-volume tourist traffic. The diffusion of plastic trash in these cities poses a risk to both the local environment, and the escalating global problem. The goal of the event is to show the power of unity in numbers in social action, across multiple cities at the same time.

In Prontopia’s California headquarter city of Santa Barbara, Prontopia and strategic partner Maps.com in consultation with clean water watchdog organization Channel Keepers (https://www.sbck.org) are mobilizing local team members to not only clean the creeks and beaches, but also to contribute to Channel Keepers’ research by documenting the trash that volunteers collect to help with their mission to monitor water systems and engage citizens in implementing solutions to water pollution. Channel Keepers is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a coalition of 200 grassroots groups on six continents collectively patrolling and protecting over 1.5 million square miles of watersheds and defending local communities’ right to clean water. John Glanville, CEO of Maps.com emphasizes that, “Data collection and access to maps is an essential part of protecting habitat, understanding climate change, and adapting green alternatives for your community, for your home, and while traveling the globe.”

In Venice, Florence, and Rome, Prontopia engages with local organizations and businesses in proactive change efforts to ensure the city remains a living city for residents, creating measurable solutions to the problems of overtourism. “We knew that by providing these local connections in the service, we would have a golden opportunity to also provide a model for corporate responsibility,” said Prontopia founder and CEO, Shannon Kenny. “When travelers connect to locals in a way in which they are oriented toward respect – extending a hand to say ‘Welcome to the city, I live here,’ – that is the first step toward global citizenship, and caring about the place.”

For the rest of the article see: https://www.prweb.com/releases/travel_tech_startup_prontopia_puts_its_platform_to_good_use_with_world_oceans_day_cleanup_of_oceans_and_rivers_in_venice_rome_florence_and_california/prweb16317057.htm

2 thoughts on “Tourist Tuesday, 5/21 – Another approach

  1. Interesting – this PR is full of beach clean up stuff, but going to the Prontopia website and looking around, it looks like their app is kind of Uber for people without cars.

    As a tourist, you can hire a local to show you around (on foot) or show you how to get somewhere or accomplish a task you’re not sure how to do in the town (country) you’re in and pay a certain amount to do so.

    The local (the equivalent of the Uber driver) gets a cut of the money (and presumably Prontopia gets the rest).

    Looks like they’re running trials in three Italian cities for now (Venice, Rome and Florence), and I know from experience that all three locations are better visited on foot (and in Rome’s case, utilizing public transport too).

    I know Uber et al have contributed more traffic to places like San Francisco, if this app takes off, I wonder if it’ll lead to more pedestrian traffic if lots of couples or families have a local chaperone escorting them around all the time.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this goes.

  2. Yes, same with Vacation Rental Hosts, because they all now too want to be concierges, bringing in even more tourist to Big Sur. Therefore more traffic, trash, and the over use to already fragile eco systems, while at the same time taking away valuable housing whether a long-term room rental, or a whole house rental. And like Uber, Vacation Rentals (Homestays, Limited STRs or Commercial STR) add more traffic to an already dangerously congested hwy.

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