Sustainable tourism in Puerto Rico. What’s next and how to be a more sustainable traveler.
In May, the Puerto Rican government kicked off a three-day summit in the hopes of connecting more than 150 travel professionals to exchange best practices for sustainable tourism, attend exhibitions with local entrepreneurs, and volunteer at a community farm that was an unofficial headquarters for disaster-relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Today, Puerto Rico is poised to become an industry leader in sustainable travel. Recently, the island passed the Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, which requires a transition to 100% renewable energy sources by 2050. Additionally, the new Green Certification Program to highlight sustainable tourism (including emerging agritourism businesses) is the first of its kind anywhere in the Caribbean.
What is sustainable tourism how can you make sure your next trip environmentally-friendly?
Sustainable tourism is defined as tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, especially to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. Those who participate in, market and execute sustainable travel embrace the following:
- Minimizing physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
- Building environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Providing direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Generating financial benefits for both local people and private industry.
- Recognizing the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.
While you can practice these principles anywhere, Puerto Rico offers an especially unique opportunity to do so. Here’s who to team up with:
Black Beard Sports is an outfitter that specializes in recreation in nature. As a tour operator, Black Beard Sports offers scuba, snorkeling, kayaking, SUP, and biking adventures in addition to tours of Bio-Bay. The company supports Vieques Island families through sponsorship and participation in a wide range of high-quality community activities. From conservation and outdoor recreation to education, culture, and arts, Black Beard Sports is committed to providing positive role models and experiences for residents and visitors.
Pirate Snorkeling Shack offers kayas, paddleboards, snorkel gear and tours for use in the crystal-clear waters of Natural Reserve Cabezas de San Juan in Fajardo. They’re committed to conserving the environment and preserving local waters. Their tour groups are always the right size to effectively carry the message of conservation, education and most importantly love for nature. Pirate Snorkeling Shack actively participates in International Coastal Cleanup Day, water safety workshops, recycling programs and other conservation efforts.
Ceiba – East Region
Pure Adventure Snorkel and Dive Center is located in the old Roosevelt Roads Naval Base in the municipality of Ceiba. The surrounding area of over 3,000 acres offers everything any nature lover could want, including bird watching, beaches, reef for snorkeling, wetlands and Mangrove forests. With Pure Adventure, you can have fun in the sun like never before with a variety of water sport activities that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
There you have it. If you love the environment and traveling to new and exotic places, sustainable tourism in Puerto Rico is for you. Book your stay at the Fajardo Inn today.