What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?
TSI has extensive experience developing sustainability strategies for a range of locales – including cities, hotels and resorts and university campuses. In all of these cases, the strategies involve engaging local stakeholders (residents, business owners and government representatives) in order to create the buy in necessary to create long-lasting change.
Successful Case Studies:
Denver, CO - For the city of Denver, Colorado, TSI implemented a sustainability strategy to prepare the city for 100,000 attendees visiting during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The plan included installations of on-site renewable energy (solar), developing a complete compost and recycling waste diversion plan, converting bus transportation to operate on a mix of hybrid and biofuel vehicles, and community education projects (volunteer training, tree planting days and service projects).
Gili Eco Villas - For the hotel property located on a small island off of Bali, Indonesia, TSI implemented a sustainability strategy for the property which included rainwater capture, bioseptic tanks, solar and wind installations, bamboo building materials, high-efficiency lighting systems, and community projects to protect the local coral reefs from cyanide fishing (outreach program to local fisherman).
Coastal Cleanup Day – From 1998 – 2005, TSI’s founder directed the largest beach cleanup in the U.S. attracting 2,500 volunteers to the beaches of Santa Monica, CA.
Clean Transportation Projects – TSI has worked with clean vehicle manufacturers to develop demonstration projects to illustrate the benefits of natural gas, electric, hybrid, propane and biofuel vehicles. Clients include Honda, Toyota, GM, Mitsubishi, Chevrolet, BMW, Quantya, and Audi. We have also worked on projects to reduce the emissions from port-related activities and implemented projects to replace traditional ships, trucks, trains, and off-road equipment with alternative fueled versions.
A. Preservation – TSI will develop eco tourism practices for hotels, businesses and the beach areas. The practices will consider the existing infrastructure weaknesses.
B. Waste – TSI will implement a pilot program to collect recycling and composting to minimize the amount of waste sent to landfill.
C. Pollution - TSI would work with alternative fuel vehicle manufacturers to create a clean vehicle program to include conversion of taxis, car rental options and a clean air shuttle program to carry visitors from the ferry terminal to the hotel zone.
D. Social Infrastructure – The program will lead to the creation of various ancillary businesses which will require training and hiring of local staff. The businesses will include a recycling center, compost facility, electric motorcycle rental company and PTSC program office.
A. Preservation – The program will educate local businesses, hotels and service providers in eco tourism practices. These new practices will have a direct impact on pollution control, waste and energy usage reduction.
B. Waste – The pilot waste diversion program would aim to reach a 60% diversion rate in the first year. The city-wide recycling program would be implemented 6 months later to reach all residents.
C. Pollution – The clean vehicle program will aim to have at least 10 alternative fueled vehicles in operation by year two. The plan will also involve the creation of bike lanes and a system for traffic control.
D. Social Infrastructure – The creation of new green businesses will lead to job growth and lower rates of unemployment during the off-peak season.
E. Measurement - After a year in place, we will benchmark hotels and business in the pilot program to other hotels in Montevideo and surrounding towns to compare the benefits and savings from the Carmelo Sustainable Tourism Program.
What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.
- Administrative - Site location for program office within existing city office building. Recruit and train local program support staff.
- Begin preparations and develop waste diversion pilot program with city public works staff. This will include the training and development of employees (creation of 5-10 green jobs in 3rd quarter of 2011).
-Bring in residents, hotels and businesses to become members of PTSC and promote sustainability certification for strategic conservation and business development.
-Organize introductory site visit with alternative fuel vehicle manufacturers to Carmelo to prepare for first fleet of vehicles for the city.
- Launch Electric Scooter Rentals Pilot Program and tourist shuttle.
-Start certifying businesses on the Carmelo Sustainable Tourism Program and encourage them to pursue voluntary certification while provide marketing support.
- Establish relationships with neighboring coastal cities to build regional network of sustainable cities.
- Engage the largest hotels in the pilot waste diversion program, evaluate results, and eventually roll out to include the residential and commercial program. A waste-to-energy technology demonstration will also be implemented at the largest hotel.
- Spread Electric Scooter Rentals Program and sales city-wide with incentives from city.
- Host Forum on Sustainable Cities from Mercosur in Carmelo.
- Spread Recycling Program and Natural Beach practices to sister cities within regional network.
What would prevent your project from being a success?
The program requires the cooperation and support form local nonprofits, hotels and the city government. Fortunately, the project director (Delfina Zagarzazu) is considered a “local” due to her family’s history of building the city’s foundation. The project is being developed with the local community with the goal of strengthening community spirit around environmental sustainability.
The program has been incubated and initial funding provided by Three Squares International Inc. However, in order for the program to succeed additional investment is critical. The funding from this grant application will be of key importance and will also provide the support to bring vehicle manufacturers and technology providers to the region.