Innovators Think Tank:
Climate Change & Coastal Tourism

July 22 - 24, 2015 | Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

4th Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism

July 22 - 24, 2015 | Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

About

CREST, the Puntacana Ecological Foundation, and Puntacana Resort & Club in the Dominican Republic hosted the first ever Innovators Think Tank: Climate Change & Coastal Tourism. Grupo Puntacana was one of the first large tourism complexes in the Caribbean to adopt good practices of both ecotourism and of climate change adaptation and mitigation. As host for this Think Tank, CREST and Puntacana brought together success stories from sustainable tourism innovators, as well as the latest evidence from climate change experts.  The geographic focus of this invitation-only Think Tank is on North America and the Caribbean.

Over the pasts several years, CREST has hosted three larger scale Innovators Symposiums designed to highlight initiatives in social and environmental sustainability in coastal and marine tourism in the Americas. The 2015 Think Tank was designed as a smaller, more intimate, working session organized around a single critical theme:  how coastal and marine tourism must be planned, built, and operated in an era of climate change. With this targeted focus, practitioners and experts focused on tangible, hands-on climate change solutions for coastal and marine tourism.

Outcomes:

The Think Tank was designed to be a practical, ‘how to’ working meeting of leading tourism practitioners and climate change experts. Discussion focused around minimizing damage to tourism infrastructure and activities in the wake of increasingly severe storms and rising sea levels and water temperatures, as well as solutions for lessoning the industry’s contribution to climate change.

The three dozen carefully selected participants presented on their field of expertise, participated in two days of collaborative, interactive discussions, and are now working to prepare papers for a forthcoming CREST publication on best practices in coastal and marine tourism in the age of climate change. This publication, with its prescriptions and strategies for how various sectors of the tourism industry need to address the realities of climate change, will serve as a guide within the tourism industry. The projected timeline is Fall 2015.