Rethinking Tourism: Sustaining Economic Development & the Enviroment

Coastal Cities Summit Tourism Track, May 2, 2012

9:30 to 9:55 Politicians at the Seaside: Lessons from the Mediterranean Experience

Richard Elelman, former Deputy Mayor and Councilor of Environment and Culture, Figueres, Spain, and Head of Public Administration Projects, Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic. One of the critical problems for coastal areas is the search for balance between local environmental and ecological aspirations, and the economic need to attract tourism. This apparent clash of interests is a social, political and technical problem. Elelman analyzes the former, looking at water use, pollution, and discusses collaborations between Public, Private Sector and Academia. He highlights mistakes and occasional successes of European policy, and outlines a roadmap for the future.

10:00 to 10:30 Sustainable Tourism in the Caribbean

Gail Henry, Sustainable Program Manager, Caribbean Tourism Organization, Henry provides insight into the CTO’s initiatives and successful country programs such as the Mangrove restoration project in Guyana and the Turtle Village project in Trinidad and Tobago which link ecotourism, environmental management and socio-economic benefits in innovative ways, and examples of coastal boardwalks implemented to reduce erosion have improved aesthetics, rejuvenated businesses and created recreational opportunities for residents.

11:00 to 12:30 Principles of Sustainable Tourism Destination Management

Rony Mejia – Guatemala Country Director, Counterpart International, and director of the Guatemala Community Tourism Alliance. Mejia discusses principles of sustainable destination management, which focus on the comparative advantage and competitive positioning of tourist destinations enhanced by community business commitment to sustainable development practices. Mejia discusses programs which minimize negative impacts of tourism and preserve cultural and natural resources, while optimizing tourism’s contribution to economic development. Mejia discusses case studies that substantially contributed to new sales revenue and jobs.

12:30 –2:20 Reinventing Tourism Destinations: Creating an Underwater Art Museum

Roberto Diaz Abraham, President and co-founder of MUSA, Mexico and Jaime M. González Cano, Ph.D., co-founder of MUSA and Director of National Park Marine- Isla Mujeres & Cancun, Mexico.  Impacted by hurricanes and development-caused water quality issues -- the coral reef at the national marine park needed to reduce diver and snorkeler visits, without impacting the local economy. An idea to create an underwater art museum was born. The MUSA includes 400+ sculptures that create new habitat and areas for coral growth and can be viewed by snorkeling, diving or boat-ing. Diaz and Gonzalez Cano discuss the issues that motivated the project, the strategic plan, stakeholder engagement efforts, environ-mental assessments and economic value to the region.

2:30-3:00 Partnerships to Protect and Restore Tampa Bay Habitats

Lindsay Cross, Environmental Scientist, Tampa Bay Estuary Program introduces their new initiative launched in February which was created to increase collaboration on planning, optimize and more effectively leverage existing efforts and resources of the multiple agencies and organizations working to address the environmental impacts.

3:30-5:00 Innovating Tourism Panel

Tourism, recreation, business and hospitality experts discuss innovations, trends, issues and ideas that tourism convention bureaus, cities, environmental NGOs can do to strengthen local tourism. Speakers include: Keith Overton, President, TradeWinds Hotel; Maryann Ferenc, owner of Mis en Place, Sono Cafe and appointee to the US. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board; John Waldron, Florida Outdoor Recreational Coalition; Lew Hastings, Boca Grande Chamber of Commerce; and Dr. Dave Randle, USF Patel School of Global Sustainability Moderated by: Professor Sharon Hanna-West, USF College of Business.

3:30-5:00  Healthy Coastal Systems:Science Based Approaches (3 presentations)

Protecting Shorelines, Protecting Communities Professor Pam Hallock Muller, USF College of Marine Science discusses her research about coastal and marine ecosystems. Ocean Use Planning: A Tool for Ecosystem-Based Management, Dr. Anna Zivian, senior manaager of marine spatial planning at The Ocean Conservancy provides an overview of the National Ocean Policy, comprehensive ocean use planning, and how it can integrate with existing local, state, and regional planning and habitat restoration processes. Nature-based Coastal Defenses: Dr. Larry Basche, senior scientists at Deltares Research Institute, the Netherlands, provides case studies and models of Dutch Methods using natural processes for restoring and protecting coastal environment from increasing sea level, storm surges etc. that can add value to tourism.

Click here to see the entire Rethinking Tourism Presentation album.

 

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