Blue Community Program Coastal Sustainability Best Practices

Tourism Best Practices

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When it comes to the tourism industry there are many practices that can be implemented in order to conserve the local ecosystem and biodiversity as well as the natural landscape. This is becoming increasingly important not only to preserve the land in which the tourism location resides but to give back and invest in the surrounding community and local culture. There are many ‘best practices’ that the tourism industry could benefit from implementing across the board.

First, it is important that the industry attempt to not alter or damage the existing landscape on which you are building this destination. Also, if it is an environmental destination where no building will be placed, try to build or structure stairs and other necessary accommodations from the current landscape. A great example of this is the Jicaro Eco Lodge in Nicaragua. The owner and designer utilized the current landscape as much as possible in the design elements of the resort. This allowed them to be as eco-friendly as possible while still maintaining their design element and luxury appeal. The hotel purposely suspended their dwellings instead of digging and altering the landscape of the island.

Another important practice is utilizing local plant species in landscape design. It is important that you do not introduce an invasive species to the area. Also, local plants will be accustomed to the climate and will provide benefits, such as being drought resistant etc. Resorts and other tourism locations should refrain from utilizing harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides that will create toxic runoff into the groundwater and water supply.

Solar, wind and other renewable energy sources should be utilized whenever feasible. This provides an economical benefit to the location as it is much cheaper than nonrenewable energy sources. However, most importantly the use of renewable energy protects the ecosystem as it is a clean energy and will not emit any toxic chemicals or byproducts that will in turn negatively impact the plant and animal life in the surrounding environment.

The tourism location should also have policies in place to mitigate environmental impacts and concerns regarding their guests and interaction with wildlife and the environment. The location could limit the number of guests that are allowed to visit in a given time frame for example no more than ‘X’ number of people a day. This could limit the negative impact to native animal species that may be interacting with humans. The tourism location should also have practices in place to maintain the cleanliness of the area. They could implement rules that limit the items that can be brought into the area, limit the sale of items or restrict the use of paper and plastic products. There should be a plan in place for waste and recycling, the utilization of recycled products as well as the reuse of waste water or waste products.

Another best practice is for the location to Invest money in protecting wildlife and surrounding ecosystem. This will ensure that the eco-tourism location will be able to be enjoyed for years to come and will be maintained through sustainable practices. Many tourism locations invest in nurseries or rescue/rehabilitation programs for local wildlife.

Glossary

Citation

Rivas, K. (2017). Tourism Best Practices . Retrieved from http://www.bluecommunity.info/view/blog/59f9f5ec0cf2139039278aee

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