Tourist Tuesday, 10/16/18

There is a good article re the changes to Point Lobos going on to deal with the issues of overuse in the SJ Merc by Lisa Krieger.

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POINT LOBOS – Securing a spot at this famed coastal reserve will soon be like scoring a table at Mario Batali’s hottest new restaurant.

In an attempt to reduce crowds at one of California’s most scenic places, Point LobosState Natural Reserve will soon become the first state park to require visitors to obtain reservations at peak times, following the successful example set by the National Park Service’s Muir Woods parking reservation system last year.

Managers of the preserve, famed for its beautiful vistas and miserable parking, say it’s being loved to death. On weekends, as many as 6,000 people per day may visit – more than four-fold the 1,400 visitors envisioned by park planners three decades ago. Because it’s a reserve, not only a park, it is required to have greater protection.

“There’s a finite amount of coastal prairie and tide pools. It can only sustain so much use,” said Brent Marshall, superintendent of California State Parks Monterey District. A test of the reservation system, described in a section of the State Parks’ new general plan, could be started next year.

For the rest of this article, go to: https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/10/10/want-a-day-at-point-lobos-soon-youll-book-online/

 

Tourist Tuesday, 7/3/18

The Next Trend In Travel Is… Don’t.

Tourism can destroy environments and drive out local residents. It’s time to rethink the purpose of travel.

So says brightthemag.com See a couple of excerpts from the article below.

 

Bali is in the midst of an ecological crisis. Half of the Indonesian island’s rivers have dried up. Its beaches are eroding. In 2017, officials declared a “garbage emergency” across a six-kilometer stretch of Bali’s coast. At the peak of the clean-up, hundreds of cleaners removed 100 tons of debris from the beaches each day.

The cause? Too many tourists — who just keep coming. This year, the Indonesian tourism ministry hopes Bali attracts 7 million foreign tourists, to an island of only 4 million residents.

“Do we want more tourists? Maybe no,” said Balinese community activist Viebeke Lengkong last year. “It is a question of what kind of services we can actually provide for millions of tourists. Bali is in the middle of a water crisis. Bali is drying up.”

It’s reaching a breaking point. “The last time I went, I swore never again,” a friend recently told me, horrified by the number of people and amount of trash he saw. On his next vacation, he visited a small, relatively unknown island off Bali’s coast, thinking it would be quieter. It wasn’t. Tourists arrived by the boatload on the small island’s shores.

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When tourism dominates an economy, some governments prioritize tourists over their own citizens. Around the world, people are evicted from their homes to make way for tourism developments. Last year in Tanzania, an estimated 185 Maasai homes were burned down by authorities that operate hunting tours, leaving 6,800 people homeless. So-called “ethical travel” doesn’t necessarily provide a solution; it’s been argued ecotourism in Tanzania contributes to the problem, as tourism dollars provide an incentive to turn Maasai pastures into safari grounds.

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For the rest of this article see:

https://brightthemag.com/the-next-trend-in-travel-is-dont-226d4aba17f6

Next week, I will start to write about Managing this world-wide Destination Place we call Big Sur. We all know what the problems are, not just here, but world-wide. Is it to late? Is there anything we can do? Stay tuned…

 

Tourist Tuesday, 5/29/18

Community and Civil Society

Tourism can contribute to preserving your locale—or to degrading it. These links and tools can help your community plan constructively.

These directories are far from complete. Please submit new entries by entering a comment or e-mailing info@destinationcenter.org, 50-word maximum.

General Destination Quality and Civic Initiatives

Change.org Provides a mechanism for residents and visitors to petition about anything affecting the character of the locale, from irresponsible developments to creation of parks or historic districts.

“Choices” The acclaimed 3-minute video (high-resolution version) ironically lays out in two parts the difference between well-stewarded destinations and places that aren’t. A good tone-setter for meetings.

Community Tourism Assessment Handbook An online nine-step guide designed to help determine whether tourism development is right for a given community. Published by the Western Rural Development Center, Montana State University Extension.

Gateway Community Toolkit for towns next door to U.S. national parks.

International Porter Protection Group This grassroots network based in Nepal advocates for better conditions for porters around the world. See the guidelines for recommendations to protect porters at www.ippg.net/guidelines/.

National Main Street Center This successful U.S. program concentrates on revitalizing downtown areas with an eye to historic preservation and lively commerce.

Overseas Development Institute This British think tank provides a paper on how tourism can be used for poverty alleviation in developing countries.

Tourism Concern A British-based site critiquing tourism impacts on communities and the environment. Provides news, articles, statistics, codes, cross-links to other sites and forums. Rich but roughly organized content.

UNESCO Creative Cities Network offers unparalleled opportunities for cities to draw on peer learning processes and collaborative projects in order to capitalize on their creative assets and use this as a basis for building sustainable development.

These directories are far from complete. Please submit new entries by entering a comment or e-mailing info@destinationcenter.org, 50-word maximum.

Tourist Tuesday, 5/15/18

“Sustainable Moments” is the current mantra of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. (https://www.seemonterey.com/regions/big-sur/big-sur-sustainable/) and it has become the newest “buzz” word world-wide for tourism that is threatening some of our most beautiful and pristine places on the planet. What does it really mean?

SUSTAINABLE – ADJECTIVE

  • Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.

  • Able to be upheld or defended.

MOMENT – NOUN
     •. A very brief period of time
     •  (formal) importance.

So, by this catchy phrase, do they mean, maintain at at certain rate or level for a short period of time, which would be giving the terms their common or ordinary definition? Or do the mean to uphold or defend an important or significant interest? Do the MCCVB and the Big Sur community mean different things under this marketing lingo?

What about “sustainable tourism?” How is that defined?

Sustainable tourism is an industry committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people.The positive of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people; tourism companies; and tourists themselves.

 

Management of Sustainable Tourism (Wikipedia)

“There has been the promotion of sustainable tourism practices surrounding the management of tourist locations by locals or the community. This form of tourism is based on the premise that the people living next to a resource are the ones best suited to protecting it. This means that the tourism activities (including marketing) and businesses are developed and operated by local community members, and certainly with their consent and support. Sustainable tourism typically involves the conservation of resources that are capitalized upon for tourism purposes. Locals run the businesses and are responsible for promoting the conservation messages to protect their environment….

The use of local knowledge also means an easier entry level into a tourism industry for locals whose jobs or livelihoods are affected by the use of their environment as tourism locations. Environmentally sustainable development crucially depends on the presence of local support for a project. It has also been noted that in order for success projects must provide direct benefits for the local community….

[P]artnerships between governments and tourism agencies with smaller communities is not particularly effective because of the disparity in aims between the two groups, i.e. true sustainability versus mass tourism for maximum profit. In Honduras such a divergence can be demonstrated where consultants from the World Bank and officials from the Institute of tourism wanted to set up a selection of 5-star hotels near various ecotourism destinations. But another operating approach in the region by USAID and APROECOH (an ecotourism association) promotes community-based efforts which has trained many local Hondurans. Mader[42] concluded that the grassroot organisations were more successful in Honduras.”

Our challenge is that the “sustainable tourism” experience is no longer. It is NOT a positive experience for the Big Sur environment nor for the Big Sur community and is therefore an oxymoron and a mere marketing tool with no real value. The entire Monterey Peninsula capitalizes on the lure and attraction of the Big Sur coast, BUT it does not include the Big Sur Community at large in the decisions and management practices that it employs. I am not implying that the MCCVB does not have a role in promoting the entire Monterey County, including Big Sur, as a tourist destination, and I do feel we can work together, but I am saying this MUST be Big Sur community based endeavor, NOT just a token consult with the community, or this is not sustainable tourism for Big Sur. The community is in the best position to be able to determine what is sustainable, and regardless of catchy phrases, we have long passed beyond the limits of sustainability. As I pointed out at the last Forum of the MCCVB on their “Sustainable Moments” campaign, they have it backwards. Infrastructure must be developed to serve the tourist industry BEFORE we strive to increase the level of tourism. We, the Big Sur community, and We, the Big Sur environment, cannot create a positive tourist experience if we don’t have the means to make it positive. In sum, it is time to organize the Big Sur Community – all its diverse parts into a whole that can best address all the various issues pertaining to visitors. That is the next step, and that is what we currently need to work on.  What sustainable ideas might you have for creating a balance between quality of environment, community quality of life, and tourists’s quality of experience?
Here is a great 3 minute video worth watching. (I tried to download and embed and ran into technical difficulties.) Make sure you watch both parts. It appears finished after part 1 due to blank screen and a seemingly long pause in this instant society, but it is not. There is a part 2.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN12mLY0Z0E&feature=share

Tourist Tuesday, 5/8/18

Surprise: Global Travel is a Huge Contributor to Climate Change

This article excerpt is from KQED, published yesterday. The two articles linked within this one are crucial reading. I urge everyone to take the time to read them. They also directly relate to our situation. Has anyone made the effort to measure the effects of carbon emissions in Big Sur Valley? Or in Monterey Peninsula lately? Are we smothering ourselves in pursuit of more and more tourism? Critical questions.
San Francisco welcomed a record total of 25.1 million visitors in 2016, an increase of 2.3 percent from 2015, according to the San Francisco Travel Association. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Researchers warn that the surge in global tourism is outstripping the “decarbonization” of tourism-related technology.

In the first study of its kind, researchers found that carbon emissions from world travel contribute about 8 percent of all carbon emissions, four times more than previously estimated.

That rate is expected to grow 4 percent annually, outpacing the footprints of many other economic sectors, according to the study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

The study takes a sweeping look at the environmental impact of  global tourism by examining the entire supply chain, from flights, dining, to shopping purchases. High-income countries account for the majority of this footprint, with the U.S.  topping the list followed by China, Germany and India.

“Our analysis is a world-first look at the true cost of tourism — including consumables such as food from eating out and souvenirs — it’s a complete life-cycle assessment of global tourism, ensuring we don’t miss any impacts,”  said senior author Arunima Malik, who teaches sustainability at the University of Sydney.

For the rest of the article, see: https://www.kqed.org/science/1923609/surprise-global-travel-is-a-huge-contributor-to-climate-change

Tourist Tuesday, 4/3/18

I took  a closer look at thepresentation MCCVB made at the last BSMBAAC meeting. While I can see the need for a “Destination Master Plan”  for Monterey County, I think we need a separate and community oriented, implemented, and managed Sustainable Destination Stewardship Program/Plan for Big Sur. In discussions with Tammy Blount of MCCVB, she has agreed that a separate, “special” forum should be held for Big Sur. I look forward to working with Tammy and finding a common vocabulary which will strengthen our sense of community here in Big Sur – the crown jewel of Monterey County.

A “Master Plan” reminds me too much of dystopian novels like 1984, Brave New World, Handmaiden’s Tale, Soylent Green, etc. Personally, I think the Sustainable and Stewardship components of any plan are critical to how we approach the issue of sustainability of both the community and the environment of Big Sur as tourism continues to increase exponentially. The focus needs to shift from making money to sustaining the sense of place, in my opinion. Making money is only relevant if it is used to enhance the experience – not profit from it. I also see that Big Sur needs a bigger voice in any planning endeavor.  Big Sur needs to take the lead in any efforts to “market” her unique beauty, and if necessary, tell others she is not for sale. Several members of the board of CPOA are willing and delighted to work with us on creating an entity for such a purpose.

Naming, to me, helps to define, refine, and focus our goals so we don’t get distracted from the purpose we have for going forward, obtaining financing, other backing, and instituting meaningful change to save our community and place while we share it with visitors. Also, it will help establish the roles of all our various governmental and non-governmental agencies who claim a stakehold in Big Sur by helping them to fulfill their management plans and see the many ways each is compatible with the others. We need to get away from the singularity which defines each government agency and begin to see our Big Sur Coast as a holistic entity, entitled to the protection she needs and deserves.

Here is a quarterly event that MCCVB hosts that addresses this issue:

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The above is a screen shot, so the registration button is not “live.” Here is a link you can go to to register for the Sustainable Moments marketing forum: Sustainable Moments Quarterly Forum. I have signed up to attend, and will report back after the Forum. Marcus Foster has also indicated he is interested in attending. I would encourage all of you interested in the future of Big Sur and her tourism component to come to this forum to listen, learn, and contribute, if appropriate. Big Sur is the driving force behind tourism for the entire Monterey Peninsula. It is time we have a bigger voice that is heard.

Next week, I will seek out information on how to work with and organize all the diverse stakeholders present in Big Sur. Thanks to others in the community with whom I have had conversations, I am convinced that the MCCVB is NOT the appropriate entity to spear head an issue to preserve and protect Big Sur, and am looking at a whether a disinterested outside consultant might be the way to go, along with formulating a non-profit Big Sur entity capable of grant-writing, funding a consultant, fund-raising, organizing, and implementing a long-term plan that incorporates all the various interlocking pieces that comprise Big Sur and make her who she is. If you want to be a part of this process, please let me know how you see yourself contributing, either in the comments or via email to kwnovoa@mac.com

I had not intended to make this portion of my blog a full-time endeavor, but that is what it is becoming. Big Sur needs protecting and all of us must become proactive in this. All the individual concerns we have: bathrooms, traffic, degradation of the wilderness, camping, enforcement, tourists who drive Highway One (poorly), but don’t spend here, preserving our community, work-force housing, our history, protecting our environment and so much more are pieces of this much larger puzzle. Join us in becoming a part of the solution, instead of just bitching. Let’s save the love of our lives and our home, Mama Sur.

Tourist Tuesday, 3/27/18

On Friday, 3/23/18, the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau made a presentation to BSMAAC on the concept of sustainable tourism. They are willing to be the lead organization on this, IF the county is willing to provide/find/arrange the necessary funding. The presentation included the following, which they so kindly sent me. Since I was NOT at this meeting, I would appreciate feedback from community members who WERE present. If you wish to remain anonymous, send it to me privately, and I will post under my name. Email to: kwnovoa@mac.com

80D832CF-7E02-4ADD-A0CB-C39F50E0FA1F4A5C06B3-94F3-4F2F-AD75-89173389B33988C0DFFE-4A46-4457-8293-4655D77EA9C4F7C034B7-C9D5-4AE0-B611-29F28CCD19DFD0792FBE-5EF0-4610-B096-2EBFF71D2B08