This story is part of a weeklong series on climate change and sustainability. It’s in partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global journalism initiative to cover climate change in the week leading up to the U.N. summit on climate change in New York on Sept. 23. Click here to learn more about the initiative and read all of Adweek’s coverage on how sustainability and marketing intersect.
Once one of Norway’s most accessible glaciers, the Nigardsbreen has receded to reveal a difficult trek across hard slabs of rock. Instead of 50 tourists at a time, guides now take as few as six people, even though business couldn’t be better.
Steinar Bruheim, a guide who’s led tours across glaciers for over 30 years, knows why tourists flock to Norway’s rural, western countryside in the summer.
“They want to see it before it disappears,” Bruheim said.
The Nigarsbreen, like over 90% of the world’s glaciers, is melting. And while the planet is experiencing record temperatures, global travel and tourism, which researchers believe represent at least 8% of carbon emissions, couldn’t be healthier. In 2017, there were 1.32 billion tourist arrivals internationally, with Norway earning almost $19 billion from tourism representing 4.2% of the country’s gross domestic product, according to Innovation Norway, a government entity focusing on business growth.
Norway, like most countries in Western Europe, is experiencing record numbers of tourists, especially during the peak summer months—more than half of all overnight stays traditionally happen from May to August. And most of those tourists, according to Innovation Norway, come to see the fjords and the famous Northern Lights in northern Norway.
That influx of tourists is putting a strain on its natural wonders, especially glaciers.
“They [we] are part of the problem”
To read the rest of this article, see: https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/climate-change-overtourism-glaciers-norway-marketing/
Today’s Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019
District: 05–Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa
Contact: Jim Shivers or Colin Jones
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION BICYCLE RIDE MOVES THROUGH CENTRAL COAST
CENTRAL COAST – The Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic Bicycle Tour will move through Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties beginning Saturday, Sept. 21 through Friday, Sept. 27 in the following locations:
Saturday, Sept. 21: The cyclists will enter Santa Cruz County via Highway 1 and complete their day at Natural Bridges Elementary School in Santa Cruz.
Sunday, Sept. 22: The cyclists will leave Santa Cruz and use portions of Highway 1 before arriving at the Veterans Memorial Campground in Monterey County.
Monday, Sept. 23: The cyclists will use State Route 1 from Monterey to Big Sur in Monterey County.
Tuesday, Sept. 24: The cyclists will use Highway 1 from Big Sur to Cambria Highway in San Luis Obispo County.
Wednesday, Sept. 25: The cyclists will use portions of Highway 1 from Cambria ending their day at the Oceano Dunes Campground in San Luis Obispo County.
Thursday, Sept. 26: The cyclists will use portions of US 101, Hwy. 154 and Hwy. 246 from Oceano to Buellton in Santa Barbara County.
Friday, Sept. 27: The cyclists will use State Route 246 in Buellton and US 101 to travel from Santa Barbara to Ventura County. Law enforcement will be located along the route to ensure the safety of motorists, participants and pedestrians. Motorists are advised to ‘Share the Road’.
For traffic updates on other state highways in Santa Cruz County, travelers may contact Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805-549-3318 or can visit the District 5 website at: https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-5 or the event website at: https://events.arthritis.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=cms.page&id=2575&eventID=745
FYI, the bicyclists will be camping at Pfeiffer State Park on the 23rd, so take that into consideration for any highway plans you have those two days in Big Sur.
Young people from around the world are leading a massive coordinated strike from school on Friday, September 20, to protest government and business inaction on climate change. It is likely to be one of the largest environmental protests in history.
The Global Climate Strike comes just before countries will gather at the United Nations for the Climate Action Summit on September 23, an event ahead of the UN General Assembly where countries are supposed to ramp up their ambitions to curb greenhouse gases under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. A second worldwide strike is planned for September 27.
I cannot join in this strike/protest by marching, so I will be joining the digital strike on Friday. A notice to that affect will be posted on my blog.
This was sent out as part of a mailing by VisitCalifornia.com. They also mentioned MoCo’s sustainable moments campaign — which is mostly just “talk” or website rather than action. I like what Sonoma County is doing, and suggest we can learn from them. It is not a complete solution, but may be one link in a real chain of sustainability that includes more than just talk about what it is. We have TONS more tourists than ever, but the businesses here in Big Sur are not getting the business. Promote our local businesses, not Bixby Bridge or McWay falls. This has to change. The nature of the tourist has to change. The quality of the tourist has to change. Tourists are welcome here, just not idiots.
Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) recently announced its shift from a Destination Marketing Organization to a Destination Stewardship Organization as part of its commitment to amplifying tourism’s positive role in the local community and environment.
“Sales and marketing will remain very important for our organization,” said Director of Global Media Relations Birgitt Vaughan. “But everything will really stand on promoting our area to travelers who look for an experience that aligns with the values of stewardship and responsible travel.”
Sonoma County is positioned to become America’s first 100 percent sustainable wine region this year, a goal undertaken by Sonoma County Winegrowers five years ago in 2014. In partnership with SCT, green and white branded “Sonoma County Sustainable” signs posted at vineyards and wineries declare to travelers and locals the commitment to agricultural heritage and environmental stewardship.
SCT launched a two-year partnership with Kind Traveler in August. This first-of-its-kind hotel booking platform unlocks special rates, perks and amenities in exchange for a $10 per night donation to a local charity within Sonoma County.
Guests are incentivized with perks such as a complimentary bottle of wine, a credit towards dining, or a certificate to a local tasting room, while 100 percent of their donation goes directly to 1 of 3 local charity organizations: Redwood Empire Food Bank, Russian Riverkeeper, or Sonoma Land Trust. Visitors’ donations allow the organizations to maintain natural landscapes, hiking trails and waterways, and provide food to members of the community.
Participating Kind Hotels include Farmhouse Inn, Timber Cove Resort, h2hotel, Harmon Guest House, Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa, Hotel E by Greystone Hotel, The Sandman Hotel, Vintners Inn Sonoma County, El Dorado Hotel & Kitchen, and Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country.
For some comparisons about what I addressed in the first paragraph, the Hawaii Tourist Association reported that Maui visitor spending decreased nearly 2% to $2.6 billion, while visitor arrivals grew 4% to more than 1.5 million. That’s the opposite of HTA’s goal. (https://www.staradvertiser.com/2019/08/25/hawaii-news/as-impacts-mount-some-wonder-whether-managed-tourism-is-possible-on-maui/
That is also the opposite of Big Sur’s goal. We want the tourists who will stay here, patronize our local businesses, and thereby learn to love our local environment, culture, and the entire Big Sur Experience.
Big Sur Sustainable Destination Stewardship Plan Update
And A Request for Input
Dear Big Sur Community Members,
Many thanks to all the community members who participated in meeting with Costas Christ of Beyond Green Travel during his visit in August. CABS has now entered into a contract with Beyond Green Travel to move forward on a Destination Stewardship Plan for Big Sur. To learn more about this process, go to the “Initiatives” page on our website.
An important component of this work is collecting data on traffic. CABS is coordinating with traffic engineers, Cal Trans and TAMC to consolidate existing data sets and reports on traffic volume as a preliminary step to establish where we are going in terms of gathering data for overall vehicle impact on the Highway.
Residents from up and down the coast have expressed that capturing traffic counts in real time, 24-7, 365 days a year for multiple years is an important place to start. Three locations stand out as initial gathering locations: Mal Paso Creek Bridge, Nacimiento Rd and Highway 1 intersection and the southern county line.
We believe that the residents who travel the highway on a regular basis may have insights that could inform the scope of this study. You can help us with the following question. Aside from these 3 locations, above, where else along the Highway or side roads would data on traffic volume be of value?
Please email your input on this question to firstname.lastname@example.org
My latest article for Voices of Monterey Bay is out. Here is the introduction:
I had an appointment on a Wednesday late last month with the Veterans Administration optometrist. It had been a while — six years, it turned out. I needed new glasses. It takes me two and one-half to three hours one way from Big Sur due to road construction and traffic. It is hard to do a round trip in a single day anymore.
The next day was the annual luncheon for the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. This is when they lay out the annual report for the current year, and the business plan for the next year. I find it valuable to understand the goals of this organization, how it’s intended to achieve them, and how MCCVB money is obtained and spent. Friday was the Democratic Women of Monterey County’s brunch with Adam Schiff. That afternoon, I had a second appointment with the VA optometrist.
Rather than fight traffic for three days, I stayed in town for those three nights so that I could accomplish all that I wanted to. which meant I only had to fight the traffic home on a single day; unfortunately it was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Sigh. I vowed to relax and enjoy it — but I couldn’t relax. People would suddenly pull over with no warning, no signaling, making everyone behind them slam on their brakes. At least there was no road construction. And blissfully, Bixby was fogged in, so the traffic jam there was only a minor irritation.
But once I got to the dirt road to my home, the challenges increased. Saturday of Labor Day weekend. Lots of traffic on a one-lane dirt road made for an interesting drive.
For the rest of this article, including my encounter with a nude man trying to get my attention, see: https://voicesofmontereybay.org/2019/09/11/slice-of-life-on-the-south-coast/
We are about 12 years behind Norway, the leader in the field of sustainable tourism.
“The effort dates back to 2007, when the country began working on a sustainable-tourism plan. In 2013, it became the first country in the world to implement a sustainable destination national standard, which is now the model used by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the international accreditation body for sustainable tourism.
“Norway has always been a sustainability trailblazer,” says Neil Rogers, a Stockholm-based consultant who has worked the past 40 years in eco-, adventure, and sustainable tourism. “Most Norwegians still live close to nature. They appreciate and care about the places they recreate in and understand that they must rapidly take actions to protect and conserve their environment and culture.”
The sustainable destination national standard goes way beyond leaving a note in a hotel room asking guests not to change their towels. It covers six main sustainability themes, 45 criteria, and 108 indicators in the areas of nature, culture, environment, social values, community involvement, and economic viability. Once a destination devises a viable plan, it implements energy-saving initiatives and projects that promote local food and culture, and it builds infrastructure, like signposts and trails or trail upgrades. Those upgrades are then monitored before receiving accreditation. From start to finish, the entire process takes two to three years. “The long-term goal,” says Sornes, “is that every destination in Norway is making use of the system.”
This is a longer than usual article, and a bit complex, but worth the read. https://www.outsideonline.com/2401446/norway-adventure-travel-overtourism