As Megan Epler Wood stated in the quote I cited in part one, if local people are engaged in the monitoring of vital indicators to protect local resources AND the policy makers and tourist organizations like https://www.seemonterey.com/ and https://www.visitcalifornia.com/ actually listen and implement changes and develop the programs and frameworks to actually protect the health and well-being of the local populations, ecosystems, cultures, and monuments, then the civil disobedience witnessed in July would not be necessary. When local people do not feel they are being heard, but instead federal, state, and county government, as well as the tourist organizations mentioned above put money above the health and safety of the local population and of the delicate ecosystem, then frustration will lead to the kinds of behavior we have witnessed.
Continuing on with the article by Brittany Lyte from Honolulu Civil Beat, which can be found here: https://www.civilbeat.org/2019/07/how-these-top-travel-spots-are-making-tourism-pay-its-own-way/
“The famous case is Mallorca, where they were down to $30 per night for a hotel in the ‘70s because it was a very overcrowded tourist destination,” said Megan Epler Wood, director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of the study.
“And I attended a meeting in the Canary Islands where the mayor of Mallorca announced that they were going to tear down hotels and the whole audience stood up and cheered. And, in fact, they did it.”
Mallorca has since recouped high-value tourism on the island in part by shuttering hotels, and also by establishing a new eco-tax on tourists in 2016 that is funneled into a fund to pay the hidden costs of tourism. Those include managing and upgrading systems for water use, waste disposal, land use, air and carbon emissions, transportation, community values and cultural heritage.
“You can drive a destination over a cliff,” Epler Wood said. “But the way to reinsert value is to properly account for tourism’s costs and then strategically look at reinvestment.”
The Key here is “properly account for tourism’s costs” — in other words, design and implement meaningful ways to collect the data about what tourism is costing Big Sur. (To be continued next Tuesday.)