STORIES OF THE PEOPLE, PLACES & PARTNERS THAT MAKE TRAVEL AND TOURISM TICK

Tourism Supports the MesoAmerican Reef and Surrounding Communities

  • MesoAmerican Reef
    The tropical climate and white sand beaches along the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula have given rise to a tourism industry that draws millions of visitors each year.
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  • Cruise Ships Passengers Sunbathing On Magens Bay In Saint Thomas
    A steady flow of tourists and migrant workers seeking employment has put significant pressure on the fragile MesoAmerican Reef — the longest reef in the Western Hemisphere.
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  • Fishing Net in MARTI
    A group of representatives from local NGOs, businesses and the state government established the MesoAmerican Reef Tourism Initiative, MARTI, in 2006 to protect the threatened reef and the interests of the two million people who rely on the it for their income, cultural identity and livelihoods.
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  • Loggerhead Sea Turtle in MAR Region
    Now in its 10th year, MARTI is a good example of the potential of a collaborative approach to destination stewardship.
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  • Caribbean Resort Hotel
    Sustainable Travel International serves as the secretariat for MARTI, facilitating continued partner development and funding for the initiative. Additionally, we are helping communities in the Riviera Maya develop projects that will help improve the overall sustainability of tourism in the region.
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  • Amigos de Sian Ka'an
    Local NGO Amigos de Sian Ka’an, a MARTI member, has pushed through local zoning plans to help protect fragile ecosystems while limiting over-development from tourism.
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  • MARTI waste management
    Waste management is a growing concern in the MARTI region. The Coral Reef Alliance is working on improving Roatan’s connection to municipal water and sewer systems.
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Tourism Impact Monitoring Climbs the International Agenda

Last week in Washington, DC, the World Bank’s Sustainable Tourism Global Solutions Group organized a high-level meeting on “Measuring for Impact: Convening Thought Leaders in Tourism,” with support from Sustainable Travel International. Besides the World Bank and us, participants included the United Nations Environmental Programme, the World Economic Forum, the UN World Tourism Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council, industry leaders such as Wyndham Resorts and PwC, the world’s largest professional services firm, as well as the World Wildlife Fund and Harvard, Cornell and George Washington Universities.
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Travelers Fund Willamette River Clean-up

“If you do any simple research, you will discover and be relieved to know that the Willamette River is safe to swim in,” notes Willie Levenson, ringleader of the Human Access Project, a Portland Oregon-based group committed to cleaning up and changing the reputation of the city’s primary body of water. For decades, the Willamette—like many rivers that flow through US cities—was a stew of industrial waste and sewage. No longer. According to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, the Willamette is safe for human recreation.
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Crete: Community and Conservation Through Tourism

On the southern coast of Crete, accessible only by boat or a seven-hour hike through the Samaria Gorge, sits the tiny village of Agia Roumeli. During the tourist season, May through October, 100 people live in the village.  But during the winter months, the population shrinks to 20 and everyone depends on visitors for their sole source of income, which leaves them vulnerable to tourism’s inherent vagaries.
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World Oceans Day: Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet

Whiskered, blubbery and descended from elephants, dugongs—or sea cows as they’re commonly known—are said to have lured fishermen lost at sea. The sea mammals that gave rise to creation and other stories are at risk, just like other migratory marine mammals including sperm whales, green turtles, coconut crabs that inhabit the waters of the Pacific. The very survival of these species—threatened by rising and warming seas, extreme weather events, overfishing and the ingestion of plastics—requires a regional conservation approach. Not only is it the best hope for marine life but for the people of the Pacific Island nations that are also heavily dependent on tourism as a source of income.
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