Qantas, Zeitz, Roteiros, Bhutan Among Those Named
The third biennial World Tourism Forum in Lucerne, Switzerland, held last month, featured a sustainability-themed showcase of best practices selected from various realms of tourism. The Forum featured the 20-minute showcase in its main plenary session April 18 before a 400-strong international audience of travel CEOs, government tourism officials, heads of civic organizations, and —unique to this forum—rising young talent.
Entlebuch UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, near Lucerne, recognized for holistic practices. Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot
Cosponsored by National Geographic Traveler, the showcase “Green—And Beyond” sought to demonstrate how the sustainability movement in travel and tourism is evolving from such basics as recycling and low-energy light bulbs into a more holistic approach that encompasses cultural and natural heritage, aesthetics, endemic arts and artisanry, and destinations as a whole. Your portal editor prepared the showcase, making selections based on the suggestions and support of colleagues and affiliates of the Destination Stewardship Center. Continue reading
Eastern Newfoundland Geotourism MapGuide Rolls Out
The latest National Geographic Geotourism MapGuide project rolled out for eastern Newfoundland last week, providing both a living website and a print map. As typical for these projects, a lot of Newfoundlanders helped.
Summer festivals are one place to find Newfoundland’s delicious but elusive moose-burgers. Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot
This geotourism project is personal for me. When my wife and I first decided in 2005 to flee the steamy Washington DC summer and visit St. John’s and the Avalon Peninsula, I rapidly came to the conclusion that Newfoundland was a perfect geotourism destination—deep sense of place, with distinctive nature, culture, history, architecture, and plenty of local pride. Further explorations westward only confirmed our impressions. Continue reading
Minnesota’s Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway generates $21.6 million for local economy
Minnesota research demonstrates the tourism economic value of scenery and scenic routes, says Max Ashburn of Scenic America. For more such studies, go to Scenic America.
A recent study by the University of Minnesota Tourism Center found that the Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway is a major draw for travelers and has a significant positive impact on the local economy. The study found that in 2010 an estimated 23,800 travel parties visited the region specifically because of the byway. These visitors spent a total of $21.6 million dollars while in the area including $14.6 million on locally produced goods and services.
Of course, Scenic Byways do more than just contribute to the local economy. They also help preserve and promote the natural, historic and scenic character of a region and are a source of pride for local residents and businesses.
The Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway is one of 150 designated roads in the National Scenic Byways Program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Carnival’s latest crises have relatively little impact on destination quality, but their circumstances do. At this writing, Carnival’s third embarrassing malfunction of the year is underway in St. Martin, where the Carnival Dream is stuck with a bad generator. The company has to fly some 3,600 passengers home. (Picture how many aircraft that involves.)
Three cruise ships unload at the Philipsburg pier in St. Martin. Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot
It’s those four-digit passenger counts that can turn cruise ships into the strip mines of tourism when it comes to their impacts on small port cities. Continue reading
A guide to the sequester for the legitimately baffled.
If you thought “sequester,” the American method of government budget-cutting, sounds incredibly stupid, you’re wrong. It’s stupider than that.
What will the sequester do? Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot
To achieve the noble goal of reducing federal spending, the sequester that goes into effect at midnight demands blind, across-the-board budget cuts of nine percent or more from nearly all agencies. A most ignoble method.
Let’s compare that to an overweight person, who has failed to diet. Continue reading
Increasing numbers of destinations are striving for the “sustainable” label, but what does sustainability mean when we’re talking about an entire city or region?
Norway’s Fjordland region is one of the destinations adopting the GSTC sustainability criteria. Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council, a group loosely affiliated with the United Nations World Tourism Organization, has been attempting to supply an answer. The GSTC, its volunteer Destinations Working Group (I am a member), and contributors from around the world have proposed over 30 criteria for what constitutes a sustainable destination. The GSTC is now requesting your opinion and has extended the deadline for filing your comments.
Given the GSTC’s three-year effort and its extensive U.N.-related partnerships, there’s a good chance these criteria will become enshrined as internationally accepted guidelines for destination stewardship. Continue reading
“UNESCO World Heritage site” is one of the best-known labels in the world—a tourist magnet—except in the United States. Many Americans know nothing of the worldwide program they helped found 40 years ago, nor that the U.S. has 21 World Heritage sites itself. (Update: See post on the Dec. 3, 2012 Congressional briefing about World Heritage at NatGeo NewsWatch.)
Montana’s Glacier National Park, a World Heritage site. (Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot)
Working with the U.S. Park Service, which administers the domestic program, the UNESCO World Heritage Center now touts a new “passport” booklet intended to help Americans get to know their own internationally recognized gems, ranging from Yosemite and Yellowstone to Taos Publo and Independence Hall. Continue reading
Roger Millar of Smart Growth America relays this news report published in the Aspen Times: A University of New Hampshire study shows two low-snow years can cost ski destinations as much as a billion dollars. The lower the resort’s elevation or latitude, the shorter could be its lifespan.
Bizarrely, the U.S. ski industry’s response is ambivalent at best when it comes to the Continue reading
Andy Dumaine says being green is not enough:
The sustainable tourism community needs to wake up and smell the fair trade coffee. After two decades of lofty ideals and breathless pronouncements, sustainable tourism remains a long way from achieving critical mass. Although the need for sustainability grows ever more urgent, most sustainable tourism experts continue to operate in the background only to be trotted out when greenies pass through the office.
This sad state of affairs is almost entirely self-inflicted.
Sustainability tends to attract highly educated idealists with a propensity for telling dull stories about salt-water swimming pools and low flush toilets. The first rule of communications is that just because you care doesn’t mean anyone else will. The reason sustainable tourism remains stunted in infancy is that the community has failed to tell stories that connect with real travelers. Continue reading
The U.S. Travel Association released on 26 August 2012 some data you can use to make a case for taking better care of special places: the number of jobs generated by travel and tourism. USTA is an advocacy organization, so these numbers may suffer from a promotional puff-factor, but even at half strength they would be striking.
Copyright © U.S. Travel Association
The report, Travel_Means_Jobs-USTA2012, offers a powerful argument for promoting tourism, especially overseas tourism. And that in turn provides an argument for good destination stewardship. Continue reading