Sustainable tourism and sustainable development is a theme in Santa Fe that is extremely pertinent. Mayor Coss and Dr. Ortego, former President of SFCC, discussed the need for our city to look at the principles of sustainable tourism last year. Crucial to this understanding is the importance of following the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. Guiding an industry based on how it impacts people, the environment and the revenue stream creates a better world that is more sustainable. When people visit New Mexico they have a chance to learn, experience and participate in this unique and rich milieu.
We depend on tourism as an industry and the way we address this powerful economic force can make all the difference. Santa Fe is a showcase for many things including art, culture and progressive ideas, some of which are sustainable living and local, organic food production. The Santa Fe Farmer’s market is a perfect example of collaboration between farmers, businesses, the city and non profits teaming up to produce a weekly cornucopia of fresh food and Santa Fe’s primo social hot spot.
Tourism fluctuates between high season and low season making it hard to keep employees and income during the low season. So what can we do during the low season that could have aggregate value in the long run? In addition, how can we improve finances by reducing waste, increasing efficiency, reducing the amount of inputs and increasing yield? Eco tourism touches on the idea that we must reduce the negative impact of the visitor on the place visited. This perspective is attractive to youth all over the world and a place of unity amongst world citizens. It is only the beginning and we must go beyond eco tourism to sustainable tourism.
It is for this reason that when an industry like tourism commits to ZERO waste the impact is enormous. Like ants or even bees, critters we love, tourists come and go to Santa Fe by the millions cross pollinating ideas, customs and initiatives. Creating a dynamic synthesis of traditions and the possibility for innovation and creativity is one of the benefits.
Tourism in itself offers a series of challenges and opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint. These opportunities can be explored in Santa Fe with the Carbon Economy Series on January 11,12,14 2013 at Santa Fe Community College. Maria Boccalandro PhD and Daniel Mirabal from Arete Consulting Group will address the challenges in the intensive Sustainable Tourism and Sustainable Development workshop. Look at our web page for more information www.carboneconomyseries.org or call 505 819-3828