February 2012 home page

Sustainable Tourists
Anthony Corso | Stratford Court


Might Del Mar’s future lie in the development and adoption of a plan for Sustainable Tourism?

I recently met a Peruvian student at Del Mar’s Secret café and engaged in a conversation regarding “Sustainable Tourism.” He is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in “Sustainable Tourism” at San Diego State and told me that the College was about to initiate a Master’s Degree Program in the same field.

I discovered in my conversation that “Sustainable Tourism” has emerged as an entire industry. It aim is to promote and encourage tourism having a minimal impact upon on the natural environment, while generating income, employment, and the conservation of local eco-systems and cultures.

While programs in sustainable tourism have, for the most part, been directed towards cities in third world countries, they might have applicability to a tourist destination such as Del Mar-- especially with the City’s growing consciousness of the benefits, merits and values underlying sustainability and the capacity of sustainable programs to multiply and generate additional environmental efforts.
It is a circular process along these lines: sustainable programs begin with an analysis of the man-made and natural environments and strategies for their preservation, enhancement and implementation. The process facilitates additional interest and resources for an added sequence of environmental projects which in turn generates responsible tourism and increased revenue.

Del Mar has had a leadership role in preserving all facets of its natural environment from climate change, air quality, lagoon preservation, as well as a long term commitment the design and development of new construction. Unfortunately, many of its efforts seem fragmented, dispersed among a host of semi-public associations and governmental organizations.

Ideally, the approach used by Santa Monica in its design of a” Sustainable City Program” has much to commend it. The main aspects of the program are: a commitment to public education and the provision surrounding sustainability, education; the protection, preservation protection and restoration of areas still; exhibiting natural environment qualities: demonstrations of the mutual dependence of environmental quality and economic health. And the establishment and application of environmental principles used to guide city policy and decision-making.

Del Mar’s future might lie in the refashioning of its efforts in city planning toward the development of Del Mar as a “ Sustainable City” perhaps using tourism as a useful paradigm for envisioning the City as a model for the preservation, protection and enhancement of it its environmental treasures and culture.



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