Chapter 4.5 – The Plan to Protect and Preserve Fort Baker

Cavallo-PointEcoGo proudly shares Sustainable Tourism, a guide that’s perfect for getting “insider scoop” about the ecotourism industry. We are excerpting the entire book here on EcoGo.org.

Chapter 4 – Environmental Stewardship

(Excerpt 4.4) The National Park Service’s (NPS) mission is to “preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.”

Unable to meet the financial needs of maintaining and preserving the acreage and historic buildings due to federal cut backs to the Department of Interior in 1999, the National Park Service released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for private developers and operators to preserve the historic property and operate a hospitality destination.

The RFQ stipulated “preservation of historic structures and natural features of the site through selection of compatible uses and rehabilitation, restoration and other site improvements.

A retreat and conference center would be created in the historic buildings around the parade ground and in the adjacent non- historic Capehart area. A program element would be developed to create a distinct identity for the retreat and conference center and to strengthen the relationship of uses of the center’s facilities to National Park purposes and the National Park mission. New compatibly designed construction would provide adequate space for meetings, dining and accommodations.”

Over half a dozen groups submitted their qualifications and vision for the historic Fort Baker property. The proposal of Passport Resorts and Equity Community Builders was accepted to submit a more detailed proposal for the preservation, development, and future operations of the project for the duration of at least 65 years. Although each submission was unique in its approach, the Passport Resort submission was chosen for its credentials in developing and operating sustainable hospitality destinations, attention to service and guest experience, reduced number of rooms (hence cutting down on environmental impact and local traffic), and community relations.


Sustainable Tourism: A Small Business Handbook for Success (By Pamela Lanier)

Parrotheads Unite Behind Tourism

Buffett

In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, we have seen a steady rise in international tourism. According to the World Tourism Organization we have hit over 1 billion international travelers and are on track to reach 2 billion by 2030. Such a magnitude of travelers can pose a tremendous threat to ecosystems, local cultures and people. More than ever, we are aware of tourism’s dual nature. It can be a force of good, bringing much needed income to sustain local livelihoods, create pride in one’s culture and can be a means for environmental conservation. On the flip side, too often tourism dollars leak out of regions, the environment is degraded and polluted and culture is staged and standardized.  Travelers now more than ever can help decide the fate of tourism as a positive force. The answer, as with many issues we face, has to lie in raising awareness and educating travelers to make conscious choices while traveling. So with that in mind, let’s look at some tourism issues with the help of one of the best travel singers in the world, Jimmy Buffett.

  1. Travel and time away is essential for well-being: ”Is it anger or depression, fever or aggression what’s the remedy.. We’re not talking rocket science the answer to your question’s very plain to see You need a holiday, take a holiday  find a far off wonderland where you might regain command of your life today”  From studies we know that it takes two weeks of time off for your body to regain its state of homeostasis. We also know workers are more productive and happy after vacation. Yet, many people choose not to take their allotted vacation days. Travel is a way to hit the reset button to find yourself again. The outer journey leads to an equally important inner journey. So if you feel down, disconnected or lost, try a trip!
  2. Traveling can help you live a full life and make you a better world citizen- but you have to be willing to get uncomfortable: “Reading departure signs in some big airport reminds me of the places I have been visions of good times that brought so much pleasure makes me want to go back again”…. Ah yes the joy of travel can be addicting.  More free time and discretionary spending, along with a lifestyle dominated by social media has spurred travel interests that were not possible generations before. We travel in search of new places, understandings of self and the world, to live fully.  Increasingly, travelers want an experience, a story to tell :” All the stories we could tell, If it all blows up and goes to hell I wish that we could sit upon the bed in some hotel and listen to the stories we could tell.”  Being open to the potentiality of new situations that make these stories requires a sense of being able to flow with it. Not preplanning every step of your trip and a willingness to endure the downsides of travel such as downtime or long transfers and being uncomfortable or out of your comfort zone. There is a certain element of risk in trying new foods, activities and meeting new people, but as with everything in life, the more uncomfortable it was to get there the more we gain in the end.
  3. Travel is the beast teacher for life: “Changes in latitudes changes in attitudes, nothing remains quite the same” The skills required to deal well with the challenges of travel are the same skills that help you navigate life more successfully. Travel teaches you to be able to adapt to new people, circumstances and ideas.  By learning to be content with constant change and being able to flow with whatever comes up, you learn to not take yourself and life too seriously. And you remember that fun and play is important!
  4. Make it a point to be in nature:” I know I don’t get there often enough but God know I surely try, it’s a magic kind of medicine no doctor could prescribe.”  Visiting protected areas or nature in general helps you to understand the place you are visiting, helps center you and on a more altruistic level makes it economically viable to protect nature, which is good for planet and people. Due to pressures of development, most natural places tourists can visit now are under some protected status. By showing that travelers are willing to pay an entrance fee to secure these places, locals see that their biospheres have worth. It allows them to make a living through tourism by protecting the resource. From many studies now we know that economically speaking, more money can be made from tourism by leaving fish as an attraction for snorkel or scuba rather than being fished and consumed one time. Similarly, lions are worth far more in the wild than as a one-time trophy hunted.
  5. Engage with locals and fellow travelers from all around the world: “The Masai not the wise men Are circling my tent. I teach them how to play guitar they show me how to dance. We have rum from the Caribbean and burgundy from France.” Travel has long been seen as a way to increase intercultural understanding which ultimately leads to more peace.  However, that cannot happen by gazing at a new culture from the safety of a hotel balcony. By sharing a meal and spending time with your hosts and fellow travelers you gain new insights and understandings which makes your trip more memorable. Also, much has been studied about the impact of community and friendship on happiness. So when you travel connect! Look for operators that give you these experiences.
  6. Make your tourism dollars count:  “Now the Yankees they come with their dollars it’s a beehive of activity sell them crawfish and rum keep them dizzy and numb …. We got new holidays for celebration we got new laws but no one complies…. But we’r short on our water supply”   Tourism development all too often depletes local resources and not enough money stays with local people and communities Try to research your accommodations, tour operators and restaurants. By spending money in locally owned establishments you are contributing to the livelihoods of the local population. Vendors that are trying to be more sustainable and have gone through certification have management actions and regulations in place that preserve resources and aim to benefit nearby communities. Eating a local diet not only makes your experience more of a story to tell, but also helps the local economy, since less has to be imported to meet your needs as a traveler.
  7. And lastly…Keep traveling to new places “Oh yesterday’s over my shoulder, so I can’t look back for too long, there’s just too much to see waiting in front of me and I know that I just can’t go wrong” Let your travels be a way to keep learning new dishes, customs, culture, history, geography. Keep going to new destinations. To your full life of travels and experiences!

This article was written by Carolin Lusby

 

Small Farms – Big Impact

The California Small Farm Conference (CSFC) began March 6th with field courses taking attendees out to local farms, markets and businesses to discover Sacramento County’s best agricultural opportunities and practices. Despite the rain, the bright spots of the 2016 field courses included tours of: Natomas Unified School District’s food service program, Yisrael Family Urban Farm, and Sacramento Farmers’ Market at 8th and W. Sacramento is widely acknowledged as America’s Farm-To-Fork Capital.

This conference is the state’s premier gathering for small-scale farmers, ranchers, and farmers’ market managers. The goal is to promote the success and viability of small farming operations and certified farmers’ markets through short courses, tours and workshops, and this year’s conference gave a lot of focus to Farmers Markets, Farm-to-Fork initiatives, Farmer Veteran Coalition and Homegrown by Heroes programs, and developing technologies to assist farms.

As of August 2015, 8,476 farmers markets were listed in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, a 2.5 percent increase from 2014. This growth has been sustained for years now, as more and more people choose to purchase their produce directly from the farms growing them.

Manage My Market, an online tool for farmers markets, helps by eliminating paperwork, streamlining management tasks, and includes unique features for helping to grow the sales aspect.

With the release of a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance which states that children’s vegetable consumption is at a measly 4%, this conference provided a way forward to help young Americans get in the know about nutrition, where their food comes from, and hopefully introduce some to a very rewarding future alongside agriculture.

South Florida: Agritourism at its Best

Healthy lifeJust a hop skip and a jump – about a half hour drive – south of the gilded enclave that is Coral Gables and the magnificent Matheson Hammock Park, is the thriving agricultural community of Homestead. This area makes a great getaway from big-city Miami and the South Beach sceneHomestead FL fruit stand with imaginative, naturally-filtered swimming pools at the Everglades Hostel & Tours, to a world class fruit and veggie stand, cleverly named Robert is Here. Who knew you could enjoy fresh dragonfruit, mango, durian and mamey, to eat there, take home, or -fantastic idea- enjoy in a made-on-the-spot smoothie or milkshake. Proprietor Robert is actually there, as is his book, Robert Is Here: Looking East For A Lifetime, an inspiration to the self-sufficient and agriculturally interested everywhere.

Nearby is Paradise Farms Organic, the brainchild of Gabriele Marewski, a thriving Bed and Breakfast, meeting center, dining-in-the-fields outpost, and a profitable micro greens enterprise.

Also worth the trip is Schnebly Winery and Brewery, the southernmost winery in the US. Their recently built winery and event center has become a crown jewel in the Homestead area. With the ingenious idea to combine traditional wine with tropical fruits, their table wines, sparkling, and dessert wines really make for an unparalleled experience. The Cat 2 Hurricane Red, a sangria style beverage and the Mango Dolce are both amazing treats. Their Boo-Boo wine is especially delicious, featuring starfruit and lychee in a stunning combination. The grounds are incredible and make use of the natural coral rock, which was once prevalent across South Florida but has become rare everywhere but Homestead.

So near and yet so far, an Agritourism excursion is a great addition to a South Florida vacation. It will transport you to an old forest state of mind.

Chapter 3.5 – Fair Trade Federation Principles

EcoGo - Community Development - Fair Trade CoffeeEcoGo proudly shares Sustainable Tourism, a guide that’s perfect for getting “insider scoop” about the ecotourism industry. We are excerpting the entire book here on EcoGo.org.

Chapter 3 – Community Development

(Excerpt 3.5) Members of the Fair Trade Federation in North America uphold these nine fair trade principles:

  1. Create Opportunities for Economically and Socially Marginalized Producers—Fair Trade is a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. Members create social and economic opportunities through trading partnerships with marginalized producers. Members place the interests of producers and their communities as the primary concern of their enterprises.
  2. Develop Transparent and Accountable Relationships—Fair Trade involves relationships that are open, fair, consistent, and respectful. Members show consideration for both customers and producers by sharing information about the entire trading chain through honest and proactive communication. They create mechanisms to help customers and producers feel actively involved in the trading chain. If problems arise, members work cooperatively with fair trade partners and other organizations to implement solutions.
  3. Build Capacity—Fair Trade is a means to develop producers’ independence. Members maintain long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust, and mutual respect, so that producers can improve their skills and their access to markets. Members help producers to build capacity through proactive communication, financial and technical assistance, market information, and dialogue. They seek to share lessons learned, to spread best practices, and to strengthen the connections between communities, including among producer groups.
  4. Promote Fair Trade—Fair Trade encourages an understanding by all participants of their role in world trade. Members actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system. They encourage customers and producers to ask questions about conventional and alternative supply chains and to make informed choices. Members demonstrate that trade can be a positive force for improving living standards, health, education, the distribution of power, and the environment in the communities with which they work.
  5. Pay Promptly and Fairly—Fair Trade empowers producers to set prices within the framework of the true costs of labor time, materials, sustainable growth, and related factors. Members take steps to ensure that producers have the capacity to manage this process. Members comply with or exceed international, national, local, and, where applicable, Fair Trade Minimum standards for their employees and producers. Members seek to ensure that income is distributed equitably at all times, particularly equal pay for equal work by women and men. Members ensure prompt payment to all of their partners. Producers are offered access to interest- free pre-harvest or pre-production advance payment.
  6. Support Safe and Empowering Working Conditions—Fair Trade means a safe and healthy working environment free of forced labor. Throughout the trading chain, members cultivate workplaces that empower people to participate in the decisions that affect them. Members seek to eliminate discrimination based on race, caste, national origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union membership, political affiliation, age, marital, or health status. Members support workplaces free from physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.
  7. Ensure the Rights of Children—Fair Trade means that all children have the right to security, education, and play. Throughout the trading chain, Members respect and support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, as well as local laws and social norms. Members disclose the involvement of children in production. Members do not support child trafficking and exploitative child labor.
  8. Cultivate Environmental Stewardship—Fair Trade seeks to offer current generations the ability to meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Members actively consider the implications of their decisions on the environment and promote the responsible stewardship of resources. Members reduce, reuse, reclaim, and recycle materials wherever possible. They encourage environmentally sustainable practices throughout the entire trading chain.
  9. Respect Cultural Identity—Fair Trade celebrates the cultural diversity of communities, while seeking to create positive and equitable change. Members respect the development of products, practices, and organizational models based on indigenous traditions and techniques to sustain cultures and revitalize traditions. Members balance market needs with producers’ cultural heritage.

Sustainable Tourism: A Small Business Handbook for Success (By Pamela Lanier)

International Ecotourism Society’s inaugural North American conference

The International Ecotourism Society’s inaugural Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference North America took place January 25-27 at the University of South Florida Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) which is a LEED Gold certified building. This was the first major Sustainable Tourism Conference following the adoption of the United Nations Sustainability Goals and the outcomes of COP21 Climate Change negotiations in Paris, France.

Although ESTC holds international conferences every year, this is the first conference held for North America and over 200 professionals from around the world attended. The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference is an annual global conference focused on highlighting and promoting ecotourism’s role in sustainable development and aims to strengthen the industry’s commitment to the recent UN resolution, “Promotion of Ecotourism for Poverty Eradication and Environment Protection.”

“A connection with nature is integral to our survival,” said Dr. David Randle, Professor and Chair of ST at USF in his keynote. “It’s a call to action that our planet has entered the Anthropocene era. The choice for humans is clear: we can either choose to protect our planet or we can allow it to be destroyed. But by destroying the planet, we destroy ourselves.”

Mr. Richard Jordan, chief of UN operations for the Royal Academy of Science International Trust, emphasized the importance of youth participation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as well as the overarching need to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions. Ecotourism can be a beneficial force for development of local economies especially through the economic empowerment of women.

Jon Bruno, acting executive director of TIES, note that the secondary effect of the economics of the Ecotourism industry in the local culture is that this money is actually positively and actively changing the dynamic without disrupting the community. The result is that tourism, sustainably developed and managed, is of much greater benefit than consumptive industries such as mining or logging. “The good news, as well, is 48% of millennial travelers under 30 say sustainability is one of their top three priorities for travel… this is a very hopeful trend for conservation and the welfare of indigenous stakeholders.”

The conference concluded on Wednesday, January 27th with keynote presentations from Dr. Kelly Bricker, professor and chair at the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah and TIES chair, and Dr. Thomas Henry Culhane, professor at Mercy College NY, National Geographic Explorer, and Founder of Solar Cities, debuted the home biogas system, the first commercial system that can take the food waste from a family of four and turn it into reliable methane gas that they can cook on for up to two hours a day in perpetuity, as well as providing a nutrient rich liquid fertilizer as a second product which can be used to produce hydroponic food at zero cost! Amongst other projects debuting at the conference was the textbook “The Good Company: Sustainability in Hospitality, Tourism and Wine” which Dr. D’Arcy Dornan praised, saying, “The Good Company: Sustainability in Hospitality, Tourism, and Wine is our guidebook on the journey of sustainability, helping us to become sustainability‐system thinkers…”

Conference topics included:

– The Role of UNWTO Observatories in accelerating the Growth of Sustainable Tourism

– How the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism 2017” was prepared and adopted by the UN General Assembly

– Creating Sustainable Ecotourism through Adventure travel

– Ecotourism and indigenous communities case studies

The conference concluded with a dinner, locally-sourced dinner by the Chiles Group with ingredients coming from nearby community farms and fisheries on and around Anna Maria island.

The last big announcement:

Dr. Kelly Bricker announced during the closing speech that the next ESTC will officially be held in 2017 in Ansan-Si, South Korea.

In final questions she said, “The big goal here is when the meaning of the word tourism invokes sustainability.”

pamelassdkell

Chapter 1.5 – CONservation

Taman Negara (Malaysian National Park)EcoGo proudly shares Sustainable Tourism, a guide that’s perfect for getting “insider scoop” about the ecotourism industry. We are excerpting the entire book here on EcoGo.org.

Chapter 1 – Understanding Ecotourism

(Excerpt 1.5) Unscrupulous ecotourism operations (“con men”) that practice the act of greenwashing, or falsely claiming that their businesses or attractions contribute to conservation and adhere to the principles of ecotourism.

What you should know

In order to avoid falling victim to CONservation, it is important to first understand that different classifications of ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ tourism exist, and how to differentiate between them. For example:

• Green tourism: A general term for environmentally friendly tourism intended to reduce costs and maximize benefits.

• Nature-based tourism: A general term for a tourism activity or experience that occurs in natural areas.

• Ecotourism: A type of nature-based tourism consisting of responsible travel in natural areas that promotes conservation and education.

Ecotourism experiences should:
  • Incorporate environmental learning (knowledge, understanding)
  • Facilitate changes in environmental attitudes and behaviors
  • Move ecotourists from a passive role (nature-based recreation) to a more active role, where the activities of ecotourists (both on and off-site)contribute to the health and viability of the environment.
What you can do

When planning your next eco-adventure, use the checklist below to ensure that you are receiving a genuine ecotourism experience and not falling victim to CONservation!

Does your ecotourism experience:

  • Minimize impact?
  • Use environmental education (interpretation)?
  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect?
  • Use ecologically sustainable operations and management?
  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts?
  • Provide direct support and financial benefits for nature conservation?
  • Provide economic benefits and empowerment for local people?

Don’t be afraid to ask your ecotourism provider:

  • Do they have a written policy or certification from a reputable ecotourism certification scheme?
  • What, specifically, have they done to help protect the environment and support conservation?
  • How do they measure their contribution to conservation and local communities?
  • How many local people do they employ?
  • Do they provide information to tourists on local cultures and customs?
  • Do they educate tourists on local fauna and flora?
  • How can you get involved with local conservation efforts during your stay?

Sustainable Tourism: A Small Business Handbook for Success (By Pamela Lanier)

Chapter 6.4 – Paid Search Advertising

Computers

EcoGo proudly shares Sustainable Tourism, a guide that’s perfect for getting “insider scoop” about the ecotourism industry. We are excerpting the entire book here on EcoGo.org.

Chapter 6 – Ecotourism Marketing Basics

(Excerpt 6.4) The beauty of paid search advertising comes in its flexibility. With the ability to test large volumes of keywords and receive speedy feedback, it’s easy to make adjustments and optimize your ads and keywords in a relatively short time frame. You choose your budget, you choose your keywords, and in return, you receive quality traffic.

Low Upfront Cost

Setting up an account is free of charge (other than the time it will take to create it). Advertisers have two options: pay each time someone clicks on an ad (great for driving traffic to a certain page), or pay each time an ad is displayed (great for increasing brand awareness). In either case, you decide the highest bid you are willing to pay for any keyword, and your set your maximum daily budget. You have the option to start small until you become familiar with the tools and processes, and then go as big as you like. The most important cautionary note is to monitor your account often, as paid search advertising has the potential to blow through a lot of cash quickly if you are not disciplined and experienced in this kind of marketing.

Tailoring Your Campaign

In designing your paid search advertising campaign, you will be able to drill down on very specific keywords and target a very specific demographic. Paid search advertising allows you to cater to each specific niche of your market on an intimate level, a feature that is not available through organic search campaigns. Instead of focusing on your top three to five driving keywords as you would when developing content for your website, paid search advertising allows you to tap into Pandora’s box and explore hundreds or thousands of keywords. This enables you to have extremely targeted promotions, such as seasonal offers, geo-specific ads, or product-specific ads.

Not For Everyone

Though it lends itself very naturally to product-based ecommerce sites, it may be more difficult for a service-based site to measure viability. Without a financial value to associate to each click, how can you determine a cost-effective bid? Despite this limitation, paid search advertising can be quite successful, even under small marketing budgets, in acquiring new customers, generating new leads, and making direct sales.


Sustainable Tourism: A Small Business Handbook for Success (By Pamela Lanier)

Chapter 4.4 – Cavallo Point: The Lodge at the Golden Gate

Cavallo-PointEcoGo proudly shares Sustainable Tourism, a guide that’s perfect for getting “insider scoop” about the ecotourism industry. We are excerpting the entire book here on EcoGo.org.

Chapter 4 – Environmental Stewardship

(Excerpt 4.4) Cavallo Point is an example of a successful public (National Park Service), private (Fort Baker Retreat Group LLC), and nonprofit (The Institute at the Golden Gate) partnership. This emerging trend in business is called the Fourth Sector or otherwise known as a “for-benefit” business. A Fourth Sector business or organization takes a hybrid approach that focuses on generating earned income and giving top priority to an explicit social mission. In this case study we will explore the invaluable role that each sector plays to create a sustainable tourism destination that is progressive in its business operations, protective of the environment and cultural history, and a platform for innovative ideas to flourish – personally and professionally.

Where:

Cavallo Point is located at Fort Baker, situated in Marin County at the foot of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. Fort Baker lies in the heart of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, also known as the Golden Gate National Parks (GGNP), one of the largest urban national parks in the world. Established in 1972, the Cavallo Point is located at Fort Baker, situated in Marin County at the foot of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. Fort Baker lies in the heart of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, also known as the Golden Gate National Parks (GGNP), one of the largest urban national parks in the world. Established in 1972, the GGNP has grown to more than 75,000 acres that extend from Phleger Estate in San Mateo County to Tomales Bay in Marin County. The GGNP is also one of the nation’s largest coastal preserves, with 59 miles of bay and ocean shoreline, and attracts 16 million visitors each year, making it one of the country’s most highly visited national parks. The park contains numerous historical, cultural, and natural resources representing centuries of history and over 1,200 plant and animal species.

History:

In 1866, the U.S. Army acquired the Fort Baker site to fortify the north side of the Golden Gate. Following World War II, the post served as an Army reserve training facility and headquarters for anti-aircraft training units defending the Bay Area. Fort Baker, which essentially took its modern shape between 1901 and 1915, was listed in 1973 as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. In August 2001, the final transfer from the Army to the National Park Service was completed, including 45 acres at the heart of Fort Baker – an intact collection of over two-dozen historic military buildings dating from the turn of the century, surrounding a 10-acre parade ground.

By Kristin Coates, Coates Consulting


Sustainable Tourism: A Small Business Handbook for Success (By Pamela Lanier)