Travel Industry Protecting The Environment For Sustainability

Sustainability is a hot topic right now in the travel world. Protecting the environment is the most common way people associate it with the industry, but it extends to many other areas.

Tuesday, January 31st 2023, 10:55 am

By: CBS News


Sustainability is a hot topic right now in the travel world. Protecting the environment is the most common way people associate it with the industry, but it extends to many other areas.

In the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, a drone helps snorkel tour leaders spot schools of fish from above. In Cabo Pulmo National Park, which is 60 miles north of Los Cabos, sea lions and other marine life abound, thanks to a ban on fishing and additional protections instituted almost three decades ago when almost all of the fish had disappeared.

“It is full of life,” says Director of LegacyWorks Group Martin Goebel. “The fish found it and it is really the place that is representing what Jacques Cousteau once called the entire Sea of Cortez, the aquarium of the world.”

Many in the Los Cabos area are fixated on protecting the environment, in and out of the water. In front of Grand Velas Resort, a beach cleaner and employees routinely sweep the sand, removing debris.

Hotel manager Gerardo Vela says: “When you walk on a beach in Los Cabos, you see a clear blue color in the ocean and clean brown sand. That’s how we want to keep it.”

CBS News Correspondent Wendy Gillette stayed at Grand Velas and Hotel El Ganzo for special rates, where art residencies and a community center are part of the sustainability initiatives.

“I think it’s not just a matter of giving back to the community, it’s a matter of giving back something to the world,” says El Ganzo’s General Manager, Miguel Casas. Sustainability is so important in the region, the Los Cabos Tourism Board has devised ten rules for responsible tourists, including shopping at local businesses and not bargaining with owners.

“When you are making a sustainable impact in the community, you are helping to advance the quality of life that everyone has,” says the board’s general director, Rodrigo Esponda. A few other sustainability rules for tourists include managing your waste, learning and respecting the community’s customs, and taking photos rather than removing anything from its natural environment.

Laurence Jobze recently visited Los Cabos with her family from Lexington, Kentucky. “I’ve seen actually in the shops in Cabos they just give you paper bags, which is quite interesting,” she says.

A new survey from Expedia finds 90% of consumers are now looking for sustainable options when traveling. It also shows three in five consumers have chosen more environmentally friendly lodging or transportation in the past two years. And that seven in ten consumers have actually avoided a destination or transportation option because they doubted their sustainability practices.

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