As we reflect on the past three months, we’re struck by the ever-growing importance of sustainable tourism. In this era of overtourism and climate change, responsible travel is not a choice – it’s an imperative. This latest edition of our newsletter provides a snapshot of our work to transform the way the world travels, from supporting sustainable travel to Cuba to analyzing overtourism solutions to releasing a new study of cruise tourism in the Caribbean.
Happy summer from all of us at CREST, and we hope to see you at our World Tourism Day Forum in September!
On June 4, the U.S. Treasury Department announced new restrictions on U.S. travel to Cuba, eliminating the people-to-people category that allowed organized group tours to visit the island. This major policy change, which went into effect June 5, will have a significant impact on millions of Cubans, as well as U.S. travel companies, airlines, and cruise lines servicing Cuba.
In response to this news, CREST issued this press release and has been engaging in strategic media outreach and advocacy to highlight the importance of people-to-people exchanges for the Cuban people, for American travelers, and for U.S.-Cuba relations. Learn more.
This spring, CREST successfully co-hosted two sustainable tourism workshops in Cuba in partnership with two provincial universities. The first of these workshops was held on the eastern end of the island in Holguín from April 24-26, and the other took place in Pinar del Río province from June 18-20. Check out the details of these important learning exchanges.
CREST’s work on the development of the South Al Sharqiyah sustainable tourism master plan for the Omani Ministry of Tourism will soon be complete with publication of investment brochures for 14 high priority projects and submission of the final Tourism Development Master Plan document.
The South Al Sharqiyah master plan is intended to provide the blueprint for developing the region’s tourism opportunities in a manner that prioritizes the implementation of tourism infrastructure that is long overdue at specific sites. In addition, the blueprint has specific strategies to differentiate the region from other regions in Oman, and from other competitive Middle Eastern destinations, while protecting and preserving the very qualities and resources that will draw domestic and international visitors. Check out the details of this project.
During the first half of 2019, CREST’s Raramuri Experiences project with two indigenous communities in Chihuahua, Mexico continued to grow and develop in the areas of promotion, training, operations, and equipment. Learn more about progress made by the Bacajipare and Huetosachi groups.
CREST looks forward to the English-language release of our study of 50 years of lessons learned from cruise tourism in the Caribbean on July 3, 2019. The book, entitled Cruise Tourism in the Caribbean: Selling Sunshine,will be published by Routledge Press in hard copy and paperback. Learn more about this important resource for professionals, businesses, development agencies, NGOs, and academics and pre-order your copy today!
Exciting news: registration for the third annual World Tourism Day Forum, Impact Tourism: Giving Time, Talent, and Treasure, will go live this Thursday, June 27! Presented by CREST and the Organization of American States, the 2019 World Tourism Day Forum will focus on how tourism business, travelers, and organizations are successfully making strategic contributions of time, talent, and treasure to social and environmental projects in destinations, in partnership with host communities.
Visit WorldTourismDayForum.com to learn more and get tickets for this day-long event, which will take place on September 27 in Washington, DC. Both in-person and livestream tickets will be available. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Kelsey Frenkiel.
CREST is seeking support for an edited volume that will critique the causes and impacts of overtourism and assess experiments underway to mitigate it in mature destinations and prevent it in emerging ones. The book will feature an overview by Martha Honey, executive director of CREST, Elizabeth Becker, author of Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism, Albert Arias Sans, head of Barcelona’s Strategic Plan for Tourism 2020, and others. It will be published by Island Press both as a print book and e-book in early 2020. Learn more.
CREST will once again release its annual report, The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics, to coincide with World Tourism Day on September 27.
As usual, this year’s report will cover consumer, business, and destination trends. In addition, the report will focus in on impact tourism, defined by CREST as tourism businesses, travelers, and organizations making strategic contributions of time, talent, and treasure to social and environmental projects in destinations. If you would like to share any data, surveys, reports, or examples for consideration, please email them to Ellen Rugh by July 7.
CREST’s Spring Travel Auction via Charitybuzz.com featured a record number of hotel and tour operator participants, including 10 Platinum Sponsors (committed to supporting CREST for five years) and 16 new donors. The proceeds of these auctions are an integral part of making sure we can continue our various programs for responsible travel, and support our research, impact tourism program, and daily operations as a nonprofit. We owe tremendous thanks to our generous spring auction donors for supporting our work to transform the way the world travels.
CREST is pleased to welcome our newest interns for the summer, Chris Gillespie, Grace Klopp, Muhamad Rifki, and Arturo Silva. Learn more about these members of the CREST team, who are working on communications, programs, and research.
CREST’s internship program provides real-life sustainable tourism and nonprofit management experiences to outstanding students from around the world. We are currently seeking Communications and Program & Research Interns to join our team in Washington, DC starting in mid-August 2019. Applications are due by Wednesday, July 10. Visit our website to learn more and apply today.
It’s been a busy spring for CARE for the Cape and Islands, a fiscally sponsored program of CREST. This month, CARE announced the launch of a new anti-litter campaign, Take Care Cape Cod, modeled after Take Care Tahoe, an environmental stewardship campaign that was created in 2014 by an interagency effort in the Lake Tahoe region. Read more about this exciting campaign as well as CARE’s sixth annual CARE for the Cape and Islands Day, which was held on May 10.
CREST’s latest fundraising travel auction featured packages from four of our newest Platinum Sponsors: Assam Bengal Navigation, Hacienda Jimenita, Limalimo Lodge, and Playa Viva. CREST is proud to have the support of these travel businesses, dedicated to using tourism as a force for good. Their commitments to support CREST for a period of five years provides a mechanism for us to continue to grow and pursue our mission. Learn more about these inspiring companies.
In addition to our field work and research, CREST makes it a priority to get out there and exchange knowledge to advance responsible travel. We recently had the opportunity to share our expertise on trips to Cuba, India, and Nepal and spoke to a sustainable tourism class at Endicott College. Learn more.
CREST has engaged in robust media outreach in 2019, sharing our expertise on topics including U.S. travel to Cuba, how to be a sustainable traveler, and overtourism. Over the past several months, we have been featured in outlets including Washington Post, BBC, CNN, Condé Nast Traveler, and Travel Pulse. Check out our recent media appearances.