Sustainable tourism?

If you want to voice your concerns about the economic, environmental and community impacts of uncontrolled tourism, here is your chance. Following the article are notes from the NapaVision 2050 economic summit on tourism impacts to the community. Tourism based economies are the first to go in downturn and last to recover.  


Let’s Talk Tourism: Sonoma County Tourism invites you to talk tourism and explore the road ahead

Let’s Talk Tourism is a series of conversations to discuss Sonoma County’s tourism industry. We invite our residents and tourism businesses along the coast and Russian River area to join Sonoma County Tourism in this discussion.

The event will include information about SCT from Ken Fischang, president and CEO, and Nicole Bradin, director of community engagement and operations.

The agenda also includes an interactive group exercise focusing on your local destination.

Join us for coffee and pastries to discuss local tourism issues and the road ahead for our industry.

Please encourage your neighbors and friends to register for this event.

We look forward to seeing you there.

When:Thursday, May 4, 2017 from 8:30 AM to 9:45 AM PDT
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Where:Jenner Inn 10400 Coast Highway 1
Jenner, CA 95450

5 Stages: “Tourism’s Faustian Deal” – George Caloyannidis: NAPA Vision 2050

  • Stage 1: Tourism is purely supplemental and supportive to an existing economic base.
  • Stage 2: The local economy increases its reliance on tourist dollars and is perceived by local governments and businesses as essential.
  • Stage 3: The dislocation of the local population begins, a gradual tearing of the social fabric, the proliferation of low paying jobs with the associated concentration of outsider investor wealth at the top.
    • Examples: Neighbors move out and part-timers or vacation rentals proliferate: neighbors do not know or talk to each other. – Low paying jobs proliferate – the income gap widens – only the wealthy are “thriving”
    • – Housing is not available – workers have to commute in creating more traffic congestion
  • Stage 4: By this stage, the process is irreversible. The deficit economy of tourism becomes evident as the wear and tear of the infrastructure requires ever increasing funds for maintenance and further destructive expansion. (Taxes, use and mitigation fees)
    • Examples: Tourism becomes “unwelcome” by local residents. – Traffic and road safety problems proliferate. Local governments propose additional taxes on residents to pay for fixing roads, etc. Are reluctant to impose “mitigation fees” on the businesses benefiting from the tourism. – Authentic character is lost – feels like living in or visiting Disneyland.
  • Stage 5: The Faustian deal is complete: Local government has negotiated itself into the corner of no alternative than the vicious cycle of even more and more tourism to pay the bills. It never catches up … the infrastructure erodes … once thriving communities are in tatters both in terms of infrastructure and social capital.

Tourism then moves to other destinations – and the cycle starts again – devouring once thriving communities and locations with authentic character.