indigenous woman - sustainable tourism


North America

Vancouver, BC, Canada – Vancouver tries to make the case for thinking local and going green

Joggins Fossil Cliffs World Heritage Site, NS – It is a unique community management system that is now being replicated by other World Heritage Site nominees. The visitor centre is LEED Gold certified built on a reclaimed mining site and there is a key focus on programs for and with local residents. It is also the only employer in this rural community and has created new local employment and partnerships with local and regional tourism agencies.

Long Point Biosphere Reserve– is an example of an attraction as well as a conservation effort. It also takes into consideration the environmental impact of transportation to reach the site, a key sustainability consideration. Located in Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada it is a UNESCO/ MAB biosphere reserve focusing on projects including turtle poaching, Causeway improvement and research.

Downtown Vegas – an effort to revitalise downtown Las Vegas with a $350 million injection to revitalise the arts and give back to the community.

Hilton Head – Although touted as a sustainable destination after hosting the Ecotourism and Sustainable tourism conference in September, 2011, their sustainability is questionable. The island is host to a population of 38,000 but has 2.5 million visitors per year and the population swells to 100,000 on a busy weekend. With so many visitors, waste is an issue, however, there is currently no recycling or composting on the island and ground water depletion is over 60%. There is no public transportation and no sustainable tourism master plan or overarching policies in place.

The island, does however, warrant some notable achievements. Zoning restrictions have accomplished set backs for building and maximum building heights and the town enforces the Land Management Ordinance which dictates the style and governance of buildings. They also are responsible for the preservation of many trees as they are one of the major land owners on the island and therefore have protected many roadsides and created green buffer zones. A major golf destination, it has agreed to not use any water on their courses and the island has one of the best beach management programs in North America. A 2% tax is taken as part of the 5% hotel tax and goes directly to beach management. The island has won awards for the best beaches in the United States. For further information, see the island’s beach management plan.

Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve – This three year project is an initiative to assess and develop the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve area (which includes the Rideau Corridor and Thousand Islands regions) as a location and destination for sustainable tourism.

Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada
The Park is undertaking a number of initiatives to protect and preserve the natural and cultural resources found in the area. Along with a beach facility which was developed using a sustainable design concept, it also has a 10kW wind turbine that provides 100% of the electricity requirements to the Cavendish Campground. This year, the park will install a 50kW wind turbine that will provide the necessary power for a “grid-free” new administration building and compound (Parks Canada, 2008)

Tofino Cedar Corner Development
A real example of achieving the triple bottom line. Tofino sits at the entrance to Clayoquot Sound, a globally unique biosphere now designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, it attracts approximately 1 million visitors per year. With the environmental and social pressures stemming from the tourist population and the fragile environment, this is a good example of multiple sustainable considerations. Built from 100% recycled timber and equipped with the latest water-saving, energy efficient and power alternative features, their philosophy is the following “Ultimately a successful business is a business that: a) makes money; b) exists symbiotically with its community; c) has an absolute minimum negative impact on the environment; and d) becomes a working model of a profitable, socially conscious, ‘green’ business showcased to the world”. For more information on their building, investment and management practices and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program

San Francisco gone green San Francisco has pulled out all the stops – LEED certified buildings, reducing waste, diverting from landfill, acknowledging parks and green space and their contribution to quality of life and tourist enjoyment!

Travel Green Wisconsin Travel Green Wisconsin is a voluntary program that reviews, certifies and recognizes tourism businesses that have made a commitment to continuously improve their operations in order to reduce their environmental and social impact. The program, set up by the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative (WEI) and the sustainable tourism ad-hoc committee made up of local businesses, NGO’s and governement agencies aims to develop a voluntary environmental certification program for the Wisconsin tourism industry.This voluntary program helps businesses evaluate their operations, set goals and take specific actions towards environmental, social and economic sustainability. The project is currently being piloted.

Hawaii Bio – Beetle 100% Recycled Vegetable Oil Powered Cars
Now when you travel to Hawaii, you can hire one of the first environmentally friendly cars – powered by 100% recycled vegetable oil.