UNWTO INSTO REports
The Blue Community Sustainable Tourism Observatory, Florida, USA
INSTO Member since 2016.
Location: Parts of Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota County, and the cities of Orlando, New Smyrna Beach, and Key West, Florida, USA
The Blue Community Observatory is hosted by UCC WHALE Center Inc Blue Community Consortium and monitors the impact of tourism in parts of the Pinellas, Manatee, Orange, Monroe, and Sarasota Counties, and the cities of New Smyrna Beach, and Key West, in Florida, USA. The observatory is aiming specifically at providing policy makers and tourism managers with the regular gathering, analysis and communication of information related to tourism’s impacts on aspects such as local satisfaction with tourism in the destination; seasonality patterns; energy, waste and water control; food production, clean marinas, education, and policies related to the science of planetary boundaries, among others.
The monitoring area is includes the City of Orlando, the most visited tourist city in the United States attracting close to 70 million visitors per year. The Beach communities in the Observatory and the cities of New Smyrna Beach and Key West are some of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida due to its unique coastal environment and marine habitat. Together they welcome close to 20 million visitors every year. Continuous monitoring of the tourism impact and performance, across the three dimensions of sustainable development, is therefore a crucial element for sustainable tourism development and evidence-based decisions.
The Blue Community Consortium is a program of the WHALE Center, a UNWTO Affiliate, host of the UNWTO Blue Community Sustainable Tourism Observatory, and member of the UNEP Major Stakeholders Group. Its mission is: To connect, strengthen, and equip communities throughout Florida with the tools and techniques needed to foster sustainable tourism practices through evidence-based decision-making. The Blue Community Consortium offers an integrated model for coastal communities that utilizes the One Planet Living Framework, and proven Blue Community Strategies to protect the oceans and promote ocean sustainability. As the first North America member of the UNWTO International Sustainable Tourism Observatory (INSTO) network, the Blue Community networks globally sharing its best practices while simultaneously learning from the best practices of others from around the world. The Blue Community model can be implemented anywhere in the world. Its focus is on coastal communities.