Oregon Coast Tourism and Climate Change: Where does tourism fit in? | Big Tourism
Coastal tourism and climate change: opportunities and risks
Join Big Tourism Host Arica Sears and Climate Change Specialist Patty Martin as they give the ASPN audience a peek behind the curtain at the Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) and it’s recent commitment to climate action. Climate change has the potential to significantly impact travel and tourism in the coming years, but this sector also has a tremendous opportunity to be a catalyst for change, and to do so it is imperative that coastal communities and tourism destinations work closely together. Explore the role of tourism in climate change, what they’ve learned at OCVA so far and where they are going next.
Arica Sears 0:00
Hello, ASPN listeners, and welcome to another episode of big tourism. with yours truly, Erica Sears. As the host of big tourism, I have the pleasure of interviewing interesting experts around the world, on tourism, destination management trends, unique case studies and timely projects. If you listen to any of my episodes, you'll soon realize that I'm basing my questions and interviews off of my own traveling experience, of course, but really, from the perspective of my full time job as the deputy director of the Oregon coast visitors Association. And yet in the year and a half, that I've kept this show running, I haven't really taken the time to dive deep into my organization's work. So we're going to do that today. And for those of you who know me, you know, I'm a Go big or go home kind of gal. So we are tackling a big topic, a topic that some may say is the 800 pound gorilla in the global room. And he guesses out there.
Well, I can't hear you. So I'm going to go ahead and just give you the answer. It's climate change. And a big part of this conversation is not only climate change, but who or shall I say what industry needs to be tackling that climate gorilla, my argument, tourism. So let's quickly take a look at what my Tourism Organization does before we jump into how it supporting climate action. I mentioned, aka the Oregon coast visitors Association, a lot in my interviews, like oh, we're doing that on the Oregon coast. But I hadn't really given the structure. So in brief, Aqua, as we'll call it moving forward, is the official regional destination management organization for the entire Oregon coast, from the northern Washington border to the Southern California border, nestled between the mighty Pacific Ocean on the west, and the protective coastal mountain range to our east is this incredible region of diverse communities, traditional industries like fishing, farming, and forestry, and of course tourism. Our team of five full time staff make up this strong nonprofits. And we work closely with local communities, tourism businesses, and travel Oregon at the state level to coordinate regional tourism projects and partnerships. I hope you're still with me so far. So how do we make our decisions with such a small team and a large region? We decide how to invest our time and dollars based on what our stakeholders prioritize via Town Hall style meetings, one on ones in a biennial survey. I have to admit that I was surprised that in our most recent survey, which was maybe six six months ago, and climate action and resilience was one of the priorities that popped up on the radar. But it makes sense, right? Like we're living during an expected amounts of unprecedented events. People are seeing these impacts like wildfire and drought of close and personal. And additionally, other industries, less traditional ones I mentioned like oyster industry, crabbing, and fishing fleets on the Oregon coast have already been hit hard by ocean acidification, one of the detrimental impacts of a warming ocean, and they've been speaking out about it for years. So with all that context in mind of who we are, how we decide on projects and what's going on in the world around us. It was like perfect timing. When the travel foundation reached out to us about joining an international initiative called tourism declares a climate emergency. In short, this tourism declares community believes that the complex nature of the tourism industry, its climate impacts, especially through aviation, and its potential for positive influence and transformative change necessary necessitate necessitate the creation of an industry specific tourism declares a climate emergency initiative. This has become even more urgent as our industry looks to recover, reimagine and renew from the COVID-19 crisis. Aqua join that initiative and officially declared a climate emergency on April 9 2021. So really not that long ago, but a lot has happened since April. And to talk about that process. Lessons learned so far and next steps. I have invited Patti Martin to join the show today. Patti is a climate scientist, writer and social entrepreneur, relentlessly connecting new dots and bridging knowledge gaps. She uses her PhD, analytical leadership and creative skills to solve problems to solve problems impacting the world at the end of the day, Patty Believe success happens when people connect to their creativity, dreams and community. To this end, she spends part of her time emboldening students, scientists, community leaders and advocates to develop and communicate impactful visionary science. currently working with the Oregon coast visitors Association. Hello. Patti is on a mission to leverage her expertise to help support Oregon's path of climate stewardship. sustainability. Welcome to the show, Patti.
Patty Martin 5:31
Hi, Erica. I am so excited to be here and to be having this conversation with you today.
Arica Sears 5:37
Yeah, Patti and I, this we have a number of meetings together today. So just warm up with this interview of sorts. But yeah, it's been great having you co lead this. And I thought this interview would be a great way for non Oregon coast people, so other tourism organizations and local leaders around the United States to hear how a Tourism Organization is jumping into this space, but also for our own stakeholders on the Oregon coast to have sort of this opportunity to hear where we're at and how we're going. It's really hard if people say, hey, how's that climate change? We're going? And we're like, yeah, yeah, it's going. There's so much to it. So I think by diving into these questions together today, this could just be one avenue for our stakeholders to learn more about this process. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So let's start with the very basics. Really acts like people have never heard of this, or it probably actually haven't heard of tourism working in this space. So as we started this work, what were some of the expected big picture impacts to Oregon tourism due to climate change? So what are things that were expecting to negatively impact? Oregon's tourism, anything that stood out to you?
Patty Martin 6:54
Yeah, I mean, we all have this fear and anxiety around climate change. Our world is changing, and it's just becoming less habitable. In Oregon, we have more drought, more fire, hotter days, bigger storms, larger waves, loss of foundational ecosystems, acidification of our oceans, to just name a few. And all of these have been linked through science to be caused by climate change. All of these things impact tourism in one way or another.
Arica Sears 7:33
Yeah, definitely. And, and it sounds dire is, um, but it was interesting. I felt like there were, you know, these different reports that we kind of were going through and articles. And so some of the things that stuck out that were like, well, that's just so obvious is, you know, the loss of snow recreation and our Central Oregon region. You know, we have mount bachelor, we also have Mount Hood. Last year, we had the historic wildfires in Oregon, which really impacted our wine industry. Yeah, and just like you mentioned, smoke and ocean acidification, people that come to the Oregon coast like to eat seafood. Like, surprisingly enough, they want local seafood. But we're seeing that it's really impacting our seafood industry, in a major way. So yes, it's definitely worth the Tourism Organization working on it as it's probably our biggest threat to our industry.
Patty Martin 8:28
Yeah, absolutely. There's also a really big argument for the economic impact of climate change on our economy. What comes to mind, there's some really great research coming out of OSU, looking at the impact to the Oregon coast in terms of dollars, due to the loss of endangered species due to climate change. And one example that's coming to mind, specifically is Pacific coho salmon. These researchers actually calculated that for every 100,000 fish that return each year, the Oregon coast receives over $500 million in revenue. And so it just shows how important something like fishing is to our coastal industry as well and how that's tied into our tourism.
Arica Sears 9:21
Yeah, certainly. And it has to do with the identity of our communities as well. In my last episode, I interviewed Jane Connolly talking about food tourism, and a big part of culinary tourism is that instills this local pride in your own identity. And so the Oregon coast is, you know, built on fishing industries and timber industries. So the loss of that is also the loss of identity. So, off to a great start really got everybody pumped up as we do with climate change. Let's talk about sort of the words that we use. So as I mentioned, we officially declared a climate emergency. So what does a climate emergency mean to you, Patty?
Patty Martin 10:07
Yeah, so to me, it means an acknowledgement. And it's a call to arms for all of us. On a personal note, my scientific training and background is actually in biomedical science, not environmental science. And somewhere in my PhD, I realized that the world needs all of us to pivot somehow. And we are literally facing one of the biggest challenges, arguably, in human history. And I, you know, somewhere there, I realize I need to be using my brainpower, thinking about climate solutions, and kind of lead this effort towards change. And my hope is with using this word emergency, that we can be real about what's going on. And we can help motivate others in the same way I was motivated, and help them transition as well into what we need to do to help our future.
Arica Sears 11:05
Yeah, I agree with that. And, you know, also just going back and forth, there are a lot of different reactions, we've, you know, released a press release on this, and some people had voicemails that were like, you go, sister, this is so cool. We're proud to be part of this organization. Other people were really concerned, they were like, Why are you saying climate emergency? Why are you being so polarizing? This is too alarmist, you know, we prefer words like climate change. And there are a lot of scientific journals that are saying it no longer is climate change. It's changed. This is an emergency. And I think that's the part that spoke to me was, you know, using the word emergency, it's urgent, like, it's not like, Oh, it's changing. And we should really start thinking about this, like, this is an urgent thing that's happening, that requires immediate, immediate action. So yeah, declaring officially declaring was an experience. Like I mentioned, this only happened a couple months ago, but I feel like we really learned a lot of lessons. It's one of the only times that our organization has really declared something before we do it. Usually we, you know, do it, do some kind of project, we implement it. And then if we have time we do a press release, like, look at this amazing thing we did. But we actually don't do that, because we don't have enough time. So it was a little, it felt a little backwards being like, Hello, we're gonna do this great thing. And some people definitely call us out. They're like, Yeah, why don't you circle back when you've actually done something, and I get it, I totally get that. And so that was sort of different for our organization to do something like that. We also declared this during Oregon's legislative session, which was pretty heated, they had a ton of legislation trying to be passed, some of that had to do with clean energy, some of it had to do with ocean conditions. So some people were like, are you doing this on purpose during this timing to kind of, you know, be political, and we absolutely weren't. But if we did this, again, I would not do it during a time like that. So just being transparent, and just what we're learning here for others that are considering doing this. But it was interesting, and definitely got some reactions and some attention from people. And I think that it's also going to hold us accountable, right? Like, we can't be six months into this and say, oh, man, this is really hard. Let's just kind of slink away. We're committed, our organization is committed to making a plan. So
Patty Martin 13:33
yeah, I mean to that, that's been my experience as well that it's a little difficult to talk about a plan that we don't actually have the details for 100% yet with people. But on the same level of time, it keeps us accountable. And it keeps, you know, it definitely keeps me going every day to go back to the drawing board to figure this out.
Arica Sears 13:57
Definitely. And so kind of a brief overview of our timeline, which I guess is always subject to change with the changing world around us. But the first thing that we wanted to do, obviously was dig into the research. And so that's how Patty really started this work. So I think, Patti, that you started working with us in May. And so what, you know, when we brought this project up to you, what did you start researching at the beginning of this project? What did you dive into?
Patty Martin 14:28
Yeah, well, like To be fair, it's a big, it's a big project, right? And when there was very little direction on exactly how to start. And so really, the first thing that we had tried to do is define our goal. So in doing that, I use the IPCC. So the intergovernmental panel on climate change their recommendations for emissions reduction, so On their advice is to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to 55%. Below 2017 levels by the year 2030. And so that's what we took on as well. That's that's our goal. And it's a big it's a big goal. You know, it's ambitious. But
Arica Sears 15:19
that's what everybody. When we bring it up, everyone's like, oh, wow, ambitious.
Patty Martin 15:24
That's right. But it's also one of those, like, you shoot for the stars, and you get to walk on the moon type thing. So that's my, my approach with it.
Arica Sears 15:34
Yeah, definitely. And I would like to just back up a step. The tourism interest industry is huge. And we have a ton of different stakeholders. And so there are a number of ways that we could have adjusted this plan that we're developing our climate action plan, we could have said, hey, let's focus on our guides and Outfitters, or let's focus on, you know, transportation organizations or private tours, what we did is we looked at our tourism industry for the Oregon coast. And we selected our biggest economic contributors. So those sectors that have the largest dollar impact, and that ended up being lodging, which was separated into vacation rental homes and hotels, as well as the food industry and retail. So that those are the sectors that we're focusing on moving forward with this action plan. So yeah, you started researching was really focusing in on a goal, we knew the sectors we were looking at. And so what did you start discovering?
Patty Martin 16:38
Yeah, so I guess the next step was to really then understand what Oregon's emissions footprint is. And that is very clear. In 2017, which is our baseline, that's what what we're going off of Oregon had 64 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted into that atmosphere. However, the difficulty and kind of where I began to get a little bit lost in the weeds at points, is really understanding the specific role of those tourism sectors, and contributing to this number. Definitely, most reporting, like not most like the way the state reports emissions, they do it based off of a different definition of sectors. So it's agricultural, industrial, commercial, natural gas, use, electricity, use transportation. And as you can imagine, tourism kind of has its fingers and all of those different sectors. And so really understanding, you know, exactly what the contribution is, was really difficult, based off of the the data that was that the state was presenting to us.
Arica Sears 17:58
Definitely, and it's in what else, let's just a side note is I don't know how this works in other states. But in Oregon, it is really hard to define the tourism industry. And that really hurts us. So even when we're trying to work with workforce boards. We can say tourism is one of the top three industries in our region. But the way that it's defined with workforce is not considered like a sector. Or maybe if Business Oregon is not considered, you know, a trade sector yet, even though we're selling this good, maybe to international markets. And so that is that does hold us back a lot with gaining access to funding or to support from state agencies. Because just like Patti, you're saying is really hard to define tourism.
Patty Martin 18:46
Yeah. And I think overall, that's probably one of the bigger hurdles that we've been facing so far, is exactly what this definition is. Yeah, the good news is, you know, what we do know is that approximately 80% of organizations, and all sectors comes from energy use. So that's like electricity, transportation, and direct fuel use. And I see this as really great news, because there are very easy big ways that we can begin to reduce emissions around energy use specifically. And this is something known as beneficial electrification. And it's by it's a process where you make electricity green and carbon zero, and then you convert direct fuel use to electricity. And so kind of based off of this idea, that was where I really spent a lot of time researching and understanding what is the electricity profile of on the order coast and, you know what are some points that we can take advantage of this approach to really reduce our emissions?
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Arica Sears 21:02
And I think that was one of the one of the really positive highlights. I think that you know, maybe because I'm a millennial, I always think of things in a negative sort of bleak way. Like this isn't good. There's nothing we can do to fix it. But we actually found that Oregon has a pretty good energy plan. Right body as far as going clean?
Patty Martin 21:22
It does. Yes, absolutely. The state actually just passed or just committed to 100% clean energy and electricity by 2040. So that's huge for us. And it particularly with this plan. But yeah, the the state is definitely forward thinking.
Arica Sears 21:42
Yeah, and I think that fits into sort of a West Coast profile too. with Washington, California having similar similar goals. Maybe a little bit different but similar. So yeah, a West Coast. Also the ones dealing with all the wildfires, so I think it makes sense. Um, so you've kind of talked about having to, you know, change up your research strategy. And you mentioned it briefly like, and I know, this was a hard time where we would have like this big picture view. And then we would dive into the weeds and be like, well, we're too far into the weeds and go up. So what's been the biggest change up with your research strategy?
Patty Martin 22:18
Yeah, um, I guess, you know, because there's not a great clear way to define tourism emission specifically. And also, because our plan is incentive based and completely optional. I think, you know, the decision to support individual businesses. And that was the decision that we made. And I guess that's where the research began to pivot a bit is we're supporting individual businesses in calculating their emissions footprint, and will then have businesses individually reduce their emissions and report them every year, until they get to that 55% emissions reduction. And so a lot of the research and strategy that has been going into this plan now is figuring out how to help business calculate this baseline footprint, and how to support them in self reporting annually, and really having the solutions to get to that goal
Arica Sears 23:30
that they'll have. Which sounds so easy. But we know that's not the case, we know that this is a really big ask, especially coming out of this economy. In this global pandemic. I mentioned a lot that the Oregon coast is pretty rural. And a lot of our businesses are small mom and pop businesses. And you know, before this work, we do spend a lot of time talking to different businesses about the importance of having social media, having a Facebook having a, you know, a functioning website, updating your hours on Google. And that's challenging. Because we don't always people only have a couple of staff or they just don't have the time or the expertise. So we're definitely taking that into consideration as we're exploring. Okay, what kind of tools can we use to support a business and measuring their carbon footprints? How can we make this as simple as possible? Because we don't want someone to feel like they need to be a climate expert or a scientist to engage in this type of work. I think that's something that does happen on a larger scale, is that the average Joe or the average? Jane is like, yeah, climate change seems scary. It really seems like there's something we should do about it. But I'm not a scientist. I don't know how to do that. I don't know. I'm not I don't can't design technology. So that will be a hurdle that we are still working on.
Patty Martin 24:53
Yeah. 100% I mean, as I I have tried to figure out a Way to calculate for these individual sectors like, what's a kind of like, Is there a one size fits all solution that we can use. And it's a really complicated problem where every single business has a very unique profile, emissions profile. And so, you know, it's a little bit like taxes in some ways, right? Like, it's, it's definitely not easy and can at times feel a little bit painful. And so I think that's definitely a pain point that we are needing to tackle. And the hope is, you know, as we go forward, that a lot of these strategies, we can get bigger agencies and organizations to help support in this, maybe Business Oregon, and up so that we can, there can be more support in this going forward.
Arica Sears 25:57
Definitely. So speaking of some of those sort of larger agencies, that was the next step. And that's kind of where we are right now, of course, we're still doing research, and we're still learning. But this summer, we have been interviewing relevant agencies in this space. So, so far, Patti, and I have connected with the Oregon Department of Energy, energy trust of Oregon, business, Oregon, and Department of Transportation for Oregon, and have more upcoming meetings. But, um, that's a step that we're at right now to kind of talk to them about, okay, this is what we're looking at for our Climate Action Plan. You know, we'd love any feedback, what do you think? Do you have resources available for this? So it's been exciting? And probably what was your expectation going into these meetings? With expectation versus reality? Yeah,
Patty Martin 26:50
I, I, you know, I didn't know what to expect. I you know, since last year, the I didn't know that the governor has been encouraging all state agencies to begin implementing an action plan. And so the expectation is that we could actually have a conversation. And, and, and that was the reality. Um, you know, I think, depending on the agency, everybody's in early stages, some agencies are have a little bit more preparation than others, but also out of necessity, because, you know, some agencies have have been directly dealing with this a lot more than others, you know, the Department of Transportation, you know, is, you know, responsible for thinking about, you know, like eroding highways and, you know, transportation systems that gets get disrupted due to wildfires, or, you know, big storms. And so that's been a little bit more at the forefront, I think of their minds. But all everybody was incredibly excited and encouraging.
Arica Sears 28:01
Yeah, I, you know, my expectation, to be honest, was, a lot of times, I feel like when tourism tries to invite themselves to a table, like, we'll be like, Hey, hey, we want to work on this, you know, seafood supply chain, a lot of times we maybe it's unfair to say, but you kind of get the vibe, like, Oh, this isn't like stay in your lane tourism, like, you should just be working in marketing, you should just be doing your thing over here. And we should be doing our thing over there. But we have been a destination management organization for quite a while now. And so we're always trying to get into the management side of our region. But it's not always easy. And so I was like, oh, maybe I'll go to these meetings. And they'll be like, Okay, well, you know, why would a Tourism Organization be trying to encourage, you know, measuring your carbon footprint? Or what do you know about transportation systems. But the reality was, everybody was so excited, like, everyone that we've talked to so far was very encouraging and said, Hey, this is really cool. This is very exciting. And some of them said, we're just starting to enter the space as well. A lot of them mentioned, you know, like that they have this missing piece, which is private business sector, where they're like, okay, we haven't actually quite engaged with the private businesses yet. We've been working with maybe larger systems thinking. So has been super positive. And I'm looking forward to continuing these conversations with other agencies as well.
Patty Martin 29:30
Yeah, I think like, there's definitely opportunities for leadership, and how the public and private sectors really interact and go forward on this.
Arica Sears 29:42
Yeah. And so what have been your a few of your biggest takeaways so far? Again, this has only been, you know, a handful of meetings, but any big takeaways?
Patty Martin 29:53
Yes, that everyone is excited and encouraging. I think also, there is Lot of funding available for some of the solutions that we have on our list. You know, if businesses want to take the initiative, there seems to be funding for big projects that would otherwise be really exclusive. And so I thought that was really exciting.
Arica Sears 30:17
Yeah, I was really encouraged to there was a lot of funding for Evie, like electric vehicle charging, and a lot of really interesting programs, the names, the programs were, like, very difficult to remember, like we wrote them down. I was like, What is this secret code that you need to know, to get into this into these direct grants. Some of my biggest takeaways, especially just again, with my destination management lens on was that a lot of the solutions that we're talking about to for climate action are directly related to destination management solutions. So on the northern part of our coastline, we consider this a management region. There's just so much tourism that comes so many daytrippers that we have a lot of problem with traffic and congestion and parking. And at the same time, we're talking to the Department of Transportation like, Okay, if we get people to be carpooling, if people were commuting to work together, that would really decrease that carbon footprint, then in my mind, I'm like, it would also be less cars on the road, there'd be less parking issues. So I've been really excited, because even people that aren't necessarily excited about climate action, or they don't really want to engage with that, they do want to engage with destination management, because it's affecting their daily life right now. So that has been super exciting, talking about the CO benefits, one of the agencies we talked to is like, definitely bring up co benefits. And just in that example, you know, if you're the climate change group, like, okay, here's how this is gonna benefit our climate change work. If you're more of them, we don't care about that we do care about our livelihood, or our business, talking about those types of CO benefits. So it's been really exciting to see all that'll click back into the work that our organization is already doing. Yeah, absolutely. So what are you most excited about after we meet up with all these different agencies? And is there some something that you hope will come out some kind of baby big realization that we'll have after these different interviews?
Patty Martin 32:29
Um, I think I'm looking for like, the hope is to find support for small business in this arena. A lot of the focus, especially in talking with these agencies, is on a much bigger scope, which is great and will definitely begin solving this problem. But it doesn't really leave much room or accessibility for small business. And so I think that's my, the thing I'm most excited about, we had a really positive conversation with Business Oregon, where they seemed very open to expanding support, in some ways, or at least open to another conversation around it. And so yes, that's the thing I think I'm looking forward to the most.
Arica Sears 33:23
Yeah, I agree with that on. And I would add, again, you know, just from the tourism advocacy lens, I'm most excited about so selfish to that when these agencies start saying, Okay, let's pilot this list, let's pilot our grant program, or let's pilot this initiative. They'll come to the Oregon coast first, that will have already, we've already introduced ourselves, as, hey, our tourism region, we want to do this, like we're already engaging this work, we're going to have a 10 year plan, as different counties and communities start saying, Hey, we really need to work on a plan, the tourism sector will already have an idea of what we need to do. So I just love that. I love being ahead of the game. And I love that we've already been knocking on doors like hey, as soon as you're ready to start working with the private sector come to the Oregon coast, prioritize our region, like we will be the squeaky wheel. So I am really excited. For those initial meetings. I definitely
Patty Martin 34:20
feel like we have planted a lot of seeds in these conversations that will come You know, hopefully some of them will bear fruit later, later. Definitely. The other the other thing that I did find very exciting is all of these agencies are actually hiring or creating positions and programs and groups that are specifically tackling climate change in climate solutions. And so that also was just like, kind of like a ray of hope that like this change is actually happening.
Arica Sears 34:57
Yeah, yeah, I always like everyone knows As I talk about LinkedIn at least once, during each of my episodes that I always see on LinkedIn, like all these different agencies hiring for those positions, and I'm like, Yes, I can't wait to hire them. And then they meet me. waiting. So watch out whoever gets those jobs. Last question about our different agency interviews is, what are still the biggest questions? We have an answered? maybe one or two of the biggest questions. I know, we have quite a few. Um,
Patty Martin 35:34
yeah, like I think, really figuring out how businesses can calculate easily their carbon footprint, whether it's baseline or going forward. That's a really big unanswered need, I guess. And then the other one is, you know, how can there be transparency around this? How can businesses report this, whether it's on a state level, or nationally, you know, to see the progress as we continue to develop the solutions?
Arica Sears 36:12
Yeah, agreed. I think that mentorship network component that we've been talking about will, will be interesting to who wants to be part of that mentorship network, why agencies, but also what businesses are already doing this work that can be highlighted. That kind of brings us to our next section here, which is our next step in this timeline of developing our action plan is engaging with the businesses. So I mentioned at the beginning of this, we usually do it the other way around. We work with all of our businesses and local communities, get what they want together, and then kind of present that, or start implementing that. And we've done it sort of top down this time, which makes sense, because we're trying to align the resources and the plans of the state agencies and their expertise, and then offering up as an opportunity to businesses. So yes, the next step is connecting with our business sectors. Again, that's the hotels, the vacation rentals, food industry, and retail. And we're actually trying to align our focus groups with annual conferences that these groups are already attending. So the Oregon restaurant Lodging Association, has their annual Oregon hospitality conference, September 20, and 21st, in Bend. So we'll be holding one of our focus groups there. And we've applied to a few other conferences, because we, we don't want to make anybody have to go to an extra meeting that they don't have to go to. So what do you hope we will get out of these focus group sessions with the businesses?
Patty Martin 37:46
Yeah, I think what you said is exactly right. You know, we haven't engaged with businesses yet. And so it's really understanding where these businesses stand with this plan. We now know where, you know, what the sentiment and feeling is, is from the agencies. You know, but you know, we need to know how our stakeholders are going to respond, their concerns, their needs, their desires, you know, their aspirations. So hopefully, to get that, and then also to get a better understanding of what has already been done in this area. You know, there's a lot of people who have individually tried to tackle this problem, who have created their own solutions. And so, you know, just kind of understanding, okay, what is it that you already have done? You know, maybe there's some really great case examples that we don't know about yet. Like that type of information I'm really hoping to get from Yeah, I'm,
Arica Sears 38:47
I'm excited to have sort of a meaty conversation to say, hey, we've looked at the research, this is what we're seeing. We've talked to the agencies, this is what they're saying, this is what we're thinking for you getting that feedback, but also just having the opportunity to engage in this conversation. Of course, I've already talked to a few businesses like, Hey, what do you think about this, and a lot of them have said, this is really cool. We've never, to be honest, we've really never really thought about our role and climate change. So count us in for these conversations when they come up. But I think also having these conversations about what consumers wants, and the fact that especially you know, I don't know if I can say post COVID because it seems like we are really still in it. Um, another conversation that like consumers, visitors want to be having more meaningful trip, that they're willing to pay more for sustainability, that we talked to people that are choosing their trips around where Evie stations are for their electric vehicle. So showing again, that co benefit of this is how our industry how we can speak with one voice and one voice and be a part of the solution. But also here's how it will benefit you as a business. This is how you will stay up to speed For the rest of the world is doing and with what consumers want. And so I am really excited to have those conversations to and to, like you mentioned, highlight those businesses that are already doing that. There are businesses, private businesses on the Oregon coast that already have Evie charging stations, that already you know, is a brewery that's capturing its own carbon. We just keep finding more and more interesting examples. So it'd be great to highlight them in the work that they're doing. And then see how as a Tourism Organization, at the end of this, the cherry on top, how we can have a marketing campaign, how we can highlight the sustainable businesses. So there's so much, you know, exciting work that can be done. And I am excited to start working again with our coastal community in the space. So that is kind of where we're at in this timeline. Anything else you wanted to mention, Patty, before I mentioned another upcoming event?
Patty Martin 41:00
Well, yeah, I think I wanted to kind of, as we wrap this up, one of the things that has been most exciting for me, is, there's so much hope and innovation in this field. I know we all get, there's there's a lot of fear and paralysis, as well, especially with the lack of understanding and education around it. But there's so much hope and new ideas coming forward every single day, we have the solutions to be able to solve this problem. And, and, and really, you know, emerge and step forward into just a different way of approaching business.
Arica Sears 41:42
I think that is a great, great note to leave it on. And I feel the same way too. And the more I learned, that's, you know, I feel like after every meeting, we've had to like look at all these opportunities for so many opportunities. It's just a matter of connecting our businesses to those. So yes, I agree, a lot of hope and a lot of innovation happening and to the point where I don't think we'll be able to keep up with it, which might actually we difficult for our plan, because there's so many, you know, new and exciting things happening. So the last thing I wanted to mention, for the rest of you audience out there, we have an event, the Oregon coast visitors Association has an upcoming event that we wanted to invite you to. And it's also travel Oregon and the tribal foundation that are inviting you to co host a tourism and climate action watch party. And you can do that with your board of directors, key stakeholders and your tourism leaders in your region on October 12th. So watch party is a great opportunity to bring together local stakeholders around insightful content. And it allows for facilitated discussion around an important topic, which requires industry engagement and collaboration. Climate change has the potential to significantly impact travel and tourism in the coming years, like Patti and I talked about at the beginning of this, but our sector also has a tremendous opportunity to be a catalyst for change. And to do so it's imperative that we work closely together. So during this watch party, a live stream will be provided to a keynote presentation given by Jeremy Samson, CEO of the travel foundation we've also had on the show. He's also the chair of the destinations working group for tourism declares a climate emergency. Participating groups all along the west coast or anybody that can fit into our time zone will then be provided with a facilitated discussion questions deck to help engage participants in thoughtful conversation about the topic of tourism and climate change. This watch party is part of the annual people's coast summit, and takes place one month before the United Nations Climate Change Conference cop 26 in Glasgow, just remember that remaining relevant and forward thinking is crucial for the tourism industry as we continue to face challenges together. So more details on this but if you are Tourism Organization out there, we would love to have you co host a watch party. And you don't have to be an expert you don't need to be committed to climate change is just maybe the first step in having this conversation about climate change and tourism in your area. So stay tuned for more details on the timing of that on October 12. Well, thank you all for listening to another episode of big tourism on the American shoreline Podcast Network. It was a pleasure to talk about the Oregon coast visitors Association in our work with tourism declares a climate emergency with Patti Martin. In Stay tuned. We're planning on doing more of these episodes as are as we progress in this work and also to interview other tourism organizations that are a part of this community.
Arica Sears is a fourth generation resident of a one stoplight town on the Oregon Coast. She was raised in the hand-me-down wetsuits, life jackets, and rubber boots of her two brothers and the waters of the Nestucca River. Her International Studies degree paved the way for her to research the effects of globalization in Peru on indigenous communities, count by-catch on the Ecuadorian coast, teach English in Spain & France, guide scuba diving in Mallorca, and document timber industry practices on the Oregon Coast. Arica currently works for the Oregon Coast Visitors Association as the Destination Management Coordinator for all 363 miles of Oregon coastline. She works with land management agencies, local businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and citizens to inspire travel and strengthen collaboration to create and steward a sustainable coastal economy.