After just over six years of successful program implementation and considering the incredible advances sustainable tourism has made in the Mexican Caribbean since the launch of MARTI´s first environmental best practices program, the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative decided to update its Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan.
In review these are some of MARTI achievements:
- Over 200 tourism businesses -primarily Hotels and Marine Recreation Providers- have participated in MARTI’s environmental best practices programs;
- 130 hotels in the Mexican Caribbean with over 32,000 rooms implemented MARTI’s environmental best practices and around 100 established a MARTI Environmental Management System;
- An initial group of 15 hotels passed Rainforest Alliance’s Verification Standard;
- Development of the MARTI Guide for sustainable Planning, Design and Construction in the Mexican Caribbean with the Quintana Roo State Ministry of Tourism, SEDETUR;
- Over 300 construction professionals in the Mexican Caribbean were trained in MARTI’s best practices for sustainable Planning, Design and Construction;
- First Rapid Sustainable Destination Diagnostic (RDD) in Mexico (island of Cozumel) and in Honduras (island of Roatan) including the development of Action Agendas with local stakeholders identifying priority projects towards destination sustainability;
- Over 60 marine recreation providers participated in MARTI’s Environmental-Walk-Through program;
- 30 Coral Reef Leaders and 900 dive and snorkel guides trained in MARTI best practice
Therefore, by last August, MARTI Partners Amigos de Sian Ka’an, Coral Reef Alliance, Grupo Intersectorial Island of Cozumel, Rainforest Alliance, Riviera Maya Hotel Association and Sustainable Travel International initiated an internal strategic planning process to maintain MARTI’s regional leadership in addressing the new challenges posed by tourism and the conservation needs of the MesoAmerican Reef region.
The three stage process, led by MARTI founding partner Coral Reef Alliance, consists of a stock taking exercise and the conclusion of ongoing activities by fall /winter 2013. This is followed by a review of the Initiative’s vision, outcomes, strategies, and opportunities throughout the Mesoamerican Reef Region, towards building the new MARTI strategy to be concluded with the launch of “MARTI 2.0” in August 2014.
As of October MARTI Partners had developed the Initiative’s new Vision and Mission
A healthy reef environment, that creates the conditions for human well-being, a competitive tourism industry, and increased environmental conservation throughout the MesoAmerican Reef region.
Lead the development of partnerships and collaboration with the tourism industry, government, NGOs, and communities for the conservation of the MesoAmerican Reef environment, generating social and economic benefits.
In early May in Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, Mexico, at MARTI’s next Steering Committee Meeting, the Partners will finalize MARTI’s Strategic Plan 2014 providing a road map to engage the tourism sector to address the new challenges of conservation in the Mesoamerican Reef Region with specific focus on conservation relevant issues and destination level activities.
We are looking forward to presenting the new MARTI program, projects and activities in summer 2014.