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Home > Feature Articles > Health and Well Being Strategies

Sustainable Tourism Depends on Natural Sustainability

Sustainable tourism supports local economies and local natural resource systems with enjoyment, quality and high return on your entertainment dollar.

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Sustainable tourism minimizes impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate income, employment and the conservation of local ecosystems. From hotel restaurants buying local produce, to reduction of water usage by encouraging more conservative turnover of sheets and towels, to energy savings through passive solar technologies, sustainable tourism is broadbased conservation at work and play.

Santa Monica Tourism

Santa Monica values its tourism business because more than 3.8 million people visit the city each year from outside Los Angeles County for pleasure, vacation, or business.
  • These visitors spend $788 million annually, and bring in hotel tax revenues of $20 million to the city.
  • Approximately 11,500 jobs are supported by the tourism industry.
  • The city is an international destination, as well as the destination for millions of day-trippers, particularly on weekends.
  • Clean beaches, and visit the Santa Monica Pier and special retail destinations such as the Third Street Promenade, Main Street, Montana Avenue, and Santa Monica Place.
Resorts, tour operators and other travel businesses are working to sustain their locale's natural beauty through environmental conservation, plus contribute to the local economy by employing local residents and buying local produce, among other things.

Tourism relies heavily on the environment and on nature, as well as city amenities in order to thrive. By supporting sustainable business practices, hospitality and tourism organizations help ensure the long term viability of their regional resources and their own economic viability.

Sustainable tourism can run the gamut from a tent on a beach to a luxury room at an international hotel. The difference is how they conduct their behind-the-scenes business practices.

  • Water conservation
  • Food sourcing, organic production and composting
  • Laundry practices for biodegradable conservation
  • Local hiring and liveable wages
  • Local sourcing of supplies to reduce transport pollutants
  • Greening their space to provide urban cooling and beauty, as well as habitat for local wildlife
Many other options are available. More information about sustainable hospitality and tourism is available through trade associations and state and regional government programs that promote conservation.

Greening the hospitality industry also affects meetings -- and planning for low impact, high benefit.

Here are a few resources to check out for tips:

Green Meeting Industry Council

www.greenmeetings.info The Green Meeting Industry Council is leading the meeting industry in improving meeting management by supporting collaboration and the development and dissemination of resources and opportunities that improve the environmental performance of meetings and events.

SpaceShare

www.spaceshare.com We customize environmental networking tools for your event. SpaceShare web applications let attendees reach out to each other by submitting room and transportation preferences, then our software finds the right connections.

EPA Green Meetings

www.epa.gov/oppt/greenmeetings Learn what you or your organization can do to minimize the environmental impacts of holding meetings

California Green Lodging Program Participating Hotels

www.ciwmb.ca.gov/EPP/GreenLodging Help state employees reduce environmental impact of travel, and help promote green resources for travelers and hotels.

Green Hotels Association Member List

www.greenhotels.com The "Green" Hotels Association's purpose is to bring together hotels interested in environmental issues. An extensive list of "green" hotels is included on their site.

Green Seal

www.greenseal.org An independent non-profit promotes the manufacture, purchase anduse of environmentally responsible products and services. including a "greening the lodging industry" program.

California Green Solutions Newsletter -- Mar. 2007



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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