College of Business

Sustainable Hospitality Management

2019 Monterey Bay Sustainable Hospitality Summit

On January 10-11, 2019 – The Sustainable Hospitality Management Program in the College of Business at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB), in collaboration with the Monterey Bay Ecotourism Region (MBETR), hosted the Monterey Bay Sustainable Hospitality Summit at the Portola Hotel and Spa. Building on the highly successful Sustainable Hospitality Development Symposium in 2017, the Summit brought together industry and community leaders from the local and international stage to inspire and establish leadership in the development and implementation of a sustainable Monterey Bay region.

Emceed by MBEP President, Kate Roberts, the 2019 event featured Mayor Mato Frankovic of Dubrovnik, Croatia, who addressed “Sustainable Travel and Solutions to Over-tourism.” The Mayor spoke about his experience in mitigating the impacts of over-tourism as a result of his city becoming known as a film location for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Other speakers included Dr. Martha Honey, Co-Founder and Executive Director for the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) in Washington D.C., Denise Naguib, Vice President of Sustainability and Supplier Diversity at Marriott International, and Herve Houdre, Founder of H2 Sustainability Consulting.

The CSUMB Sustainable Hospitality Management Program’s Executive Director, Dr. John Avella, as moderator for the Sustainable Hospitality session, provided an engaging discussion on the sustainable solutions currently in practice by top industry organizations. Also from the Sustainable Hospitality Department, Assistant Professor, Dr. Roberta Atzori, discussed the true meaning of ecotourism. She stressed the importance of communities seeking to implement real ecotourism utilizing activities that benefit the local community, our natural environment, and provide opportunities for visitor education. In addition to moderating the Keep us Moving, Strategies to Reduce Traffic Congestion session, College of Business Dean, Dr. Shyam Kamath, provided attendees with a detailed overview of the MBETR vision and mission for the future of the Monterey Bay area.

This event focused on awareness of current and best sustainable practices while providing tools for compliance with new state regulations and the return on investment. Event highlights included key issues from “Engaging Visitors in Sustainable Moments” to “Conserving our Precious Water Resources and Protecting the Bay.” Dr. Martha Honey discussed the role of sustainable tourism and the growing demand for responsible travel experiences in her session titled “The Promise and Imperative of Responsible Travel.” Attendees learned about the impact that issues such as climate change and over-tourism can have on a destination’s environment and local population.

During the Reducing Single-use Plastics from the Guest Experience & Operations session, Shane Forster, Resort Manager at Post Ranch Inn, and Lura Migdal, Culinary Manager at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, addressed the damage resulting from the usage of single-use plastics. According to Forster and Migdal, finding solutions is a critical step to establishing a sustainable Monterey Bay region. Attendees learned about the most common sources of plastic pollution and beneficial solutions that can be implemented in their own organizations, such as providing reusable or aluminum containers.

In the Organics to Energy & Navigating the Changing Recycling Market session, City of Monterey Traffic Engineer Andrea Renny discussed traffic issues due to the large influx of tourists descending on our local area. According to Renny, 55,000 cars pass through Lighthouse Curve in Monterey daily. Addressing over-tourism with sustainable solutions should incorporate a Transportation Demand Management System that utilizes various alternative transportation methods that create convenience and efficiency. These solutions equate to many benefits for the local Hospitality industry, such as increasing returns on investment, promoting a cleaner environment, and healthier lifestyles.

The Summit is a unique initiative composed of public and private partners from the Monterey Bay Tri-County region (Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito), committed to the development and implementation of sustainable practices in the hospitality, tourism, recreation, and wellness industries. The Summit aligned with the focus of the CSUMB Sustainable Hospitality Management Program by incorporating hospitality and ecotourism operations along with the Quintuple Bottom Line taught at the College of Business: Profit, People, Ethics, Equity, and Planet. Looking forward, the Symposium and now Summit events are catalysts for bringing the Hospitality Program together with the surrounding community to transform our region.

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