1: Survey seeks to prove surfing tourism as viable strategy for sustainable development
The sea is changing. Many coastal communities are moving away from extractive marine practices (like fishing) and are looking for other ways of generating economic income. Surf tourism is one development option for remote coastal communities. However, many national governments and international organizations have a misconception about surfers. Some officials think that surfers are partiers, drug users/addicts and hippies.
Together with partners in the surfing community, a team of researchers from Old Dominion University and the Coral Triangle Conservancy has launched an online survey to gather preferences, habits and motivations of surfers who travel. The survey asks surfer respondents to revisit their past surf trips, their wave preferences and their future plans for surf travel. Collective responses from the survey will be used to communicate the role of surf tourism in development strategy to industry stakeholders, especially those in lesser-developed regions. With this information, these organizations will have a more accurate picture of surfers, which will help them improve their marketing and approach towards surf tourism development.
The survey is now live and available in English, Spanish and Italian. The team is soliciting responses from surfers throughout the United States and beyond. Findings, which will maintain the anonymity of participants, will be made available in mid 2017. Surfers worldwide, age 18 and older who travel at least one night away from home to surf, are encouraged to participate by taking the short online survey, available at Surf Travel Survey.
2: Leading hotel groups collaborated to launch first standardised water measurement tool for the industry
ITP (International Tourism Partnership) is proud to announce a major step forward in the hotel industry’s stewardship of water, with the launch of the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI). Eighteen global hotel groups including Accor, Carlson Rezidor, Diamond Resorts, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, to name but a few, create the industry’s first co-ordinated and consistent water measurement tool.
HWMI is the result of 18 months’ work to develop a free methodology and calculation tool which will enable hotel companies and individual properties to measure and report on water consumption in a consistent way. ITP member companies have collaborated to develop the methodology. Fran Hughes, Director of ITP said, “The hotel industry identified water as an issue it urgently wanted to address, and whilst many hotels are already measuring their water consumption, the use of different methods makes it impossible to benchmark. By bringing these leading companies together we have created a free tool which will ensure all hotels can measure their water use in exactly the same way.”
Hoteliers who wish to benefit from the free tool and begin measuring their water consumption in the standardised manner agreed by the industry can download it here.
3: Friends of the Earth releases 2016 Cruise Ship Report Card
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced 2015 passenger numbers and forecast 2016 expectations on 2 June this year, predicting that during 2016 the number of global passenger numbers on ocean cruises will rise to 24.2 million from the 23.2 million in 2015. On 8 June, the CLIA issued a press release lauding the environmental record of the industry. But among environmentalists, there is concern about how the trend towards ever-larger cruise ships brings greater environmental impact, with the air pollution effect of one cruise ship claimed to be as great as that of five million cars going the same distance.
Friends of the Earth (FoE) has released the 2016 edition of its Cruise Ship Report Card, documenting the environmental footprint of the cruise industry and grading 17 cruise lines and their 171 ships. The report card, last released in 2014, claims an ongoing lack of initiative by cruise companies to install technologies that reduce their air and water pollution impact on travel destinations and local peoples. It also lambasts the industry for a lack of transparency, with the CLIA no longer cooperating with FoE in production of the scorecard after a dispute over how data is analysed.
4: The plastic tsunami: discovering the shocking state of our seas
A friend of mine recently travelled to the island of Bali, Indonesia, with the plan of photographing manta rays. Tourism brochures had promised that Indonesia’s pristine coastal waters were ideal for this type of activity. My friend got his wish and came back with some great photos – but what he wasn’t planning for was the photographs to also document the immense pollution of Indonesia’s seas.
My friend’s experience perhaps isn’t so shocking when one starts looking into the facts and figures. Research suggests that Indonesia is the second largest producer of plastic marine waste in the world. The capital of the archipelago alone, Jakarta, is home to 13.2 million people and generates over 35,000 m³ of rubbish every day, of which nearly 8% is plastic based. Much of this waste never makes it to landfill, ending up instead in rivers and flowing out to sea.
5 :Fishing ban in remote Pacific waters is working, report finds
A ban on commercial fishing in one of the world’s most significant hotspots of marine biodiversity appears to be working, according to a new report.
The proof is in the pictures — in this case, satellite images compiled by Global Fishing Watch, a web-based platform developed by the marine conservation organization Oceana, in partnership with Google and SkyTruth.
The hotspot in question, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) — a Montana-sized swath of ocean set aside as a marine protected area by the island nation of Kiribati in 2006 — was declared off-limits to all commercial fishing in 2015. According to the report, Global Fishing Watch revealed a stark reduction in the number of fishing vessels detected there after the policy was enacted.
Located within the Republic of Kiribati in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the Phoenix Islands are one of Earth’s last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, boasting more than 120 species of coral and 514 species of reef fish.