I have mixed feelings about Las
Vegas, but what it does right few people talk about and
what it does wrong locals don't think visitors need to know
about. In 2015 it's still a challenge to listen to locals downtown.
There are attractions, points of interest, downloadable maps,
but no regularly scheduled guided walks. Responsible travel
as understood and sold elsewhere is unknown here.
There needs to be a way to create more stickiness in the realm
of responsible travel
travel and ecotourism,
Think of this as a way to move beyond silos.
What sets Las Vegas apart from most anywhere else is the abundance
of short-term visitors. The city draws 40 million+ visits per
year, many repeat visitors smitten with the diamond in the desert.
I'll be updating Las Vegas on the Web, a primer for anyone interested
in local, responsible travel and hopefully we can begin scheduling
some local events for Responsible
Travel Week, February 8-14.
Online Conversation of the Week
The online conversation of the week unfolds as a real time
tweetchat hosted by RTTC
focusing on responsible travel in all its wonders and stories.
This week the focus turned to responsible tourism in Las Vegas.
Here are the questions (in bold) and my responses, lighly ediited
from the Wedmesday, November 11 chat.
6:00 AM & PM GMT: Q1 Is ‘#ResponsibleTourism
in #LasVegas' a contradiction in terms? via @vickysmith
A1. Ask a local: ‘what does responsible
travel mean to you?' and you'll get a blank
stare. This is not linguistically embedded in the city parlance.
Ask about the specifics – creating city parks or bike
lanes, promoting water conservation – and you'll
spark a wide ranging and heated discussion. Responsible travel
in Las Vegas in no more contradictory than responsible travel
in any place. It's a matter of degrees and what we could
be paying attention are what locals think import. Educate and
engage visitors. How? That's part of this very discussion.
6:10 AM & PM GMT: Q2 What are the biggest sustainability
issues that #LasVegas faces? #irresponsibletourism via @vickysmith
A2. Top issue is education – how does the city
manage education, from grade school and universities? There
are serious red flags which signal opportunities for those who
can connect responsible travel to matters of mutual interest
of locals and visitors.
6:20 AM & PM GMT: Q3 Does the excessive #food
waste from buffets mean a RT should avoid them even though they're
SO cheap? via @brandyleebell #RTTC
A3. Must-Read: The Pigs That Eat at Las Vegas
We need to know more of course behind the scenes in the kitchens.
Yes, it means going to more buffets but we'll go the better
ones. Responsible travel shouldn't mean a yes-no binary
response. Grey is the new black.
6:30 AM & PM GMT: Q4 Is the mentality of excess
in #LasVegas dangerous for tourists? How so/not so? via @brandyleebell
A4. Whose excess? And at some level, isn't excess part
of the local personality? Visitors come to gamble, some better
than others. If Las Vegas were a Star Trek planet (and there's
a story) it would be …
6:40 AM & PM GMT: Q5 What solutions do you have
to make #LasVegas a more responsible destination? via @WSEtravel
A5 Pay attention to specific issues over time. Blend grassroots
events, responsible travel and education
Listen to locals. And locals listen to Twitter! Someone's talking
To create and support grassroots events and educational opportunities
that are truly world-class and world famous.
is not an ethical dilemma of whether to have fun or be responsible.
We can do both!
6:50 AM & PM GMT: Q6 Is there specific accommodation/tour
providers/restaurants you can suggest are more responsible in
#Vegas? How so? via @vickysmith #RTTC
A6 Bicycle shops! There are several top-of-the-line stores but
local fave is the Bike Shop on 2630 Windmill Parkway. Terry
the owner is the must-visit person for anyone keen on cycling
and connecting with locals. They just hosted the Chocolate Chase.
More chocolate, anyone?
Questions for RTTC:
Does anyone blog or storify individual #RTTC chats? Is anyone
editing a transcript or summary on Google docs? Care to follow
up via hangout?
welcome on my blog