Global Sustainable Tourism Leaders and Community Stakeholders to Gather in America's Pioneering Green Destination, Monterey, California

15 August 2012

California prepares to roll out the "green carpet" to welcome over 400 international delegates who are champions of sustainable tourism, and to showcase its progressive sustainability initiatives, from alternative energy to organic wines.

Washington, DC and Monterey, CA – This September, hundreds of tourism industry professionals and sustainability experts from over 30 countries will gather in Monterey, California, USA, for the premier annual industry event, the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), being held from September 17-19, at the LEED-certified Portola Hotel and Spa.

"California boasts some of the most progressive green destinations and conservation programs in the U.S.," said Caroline Beteta, president & CEO of Visit California, the state’s official tourism marketing organization. "As the American leader of the organic, slow food and sustainable winemaking practices, a pioneer in alternative energy and home to innovative 'green' tourism practices, California invites visitors to enjoy our lifestyle while minimizing their carbon footprint."

Highlighting some of the state’s visionary efforts and innovative approaches to sustainability, the ESTC12 opening plenary session on Monday, September 17th (Portola Hotel & Spa, De Anza, 9:00-11:00) will feature:Louise J. Miranda Ramirez, Chairwoman, Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation; Congressman Sam Farr, U.S. Representative for California's 17th Congressional District, and Co-Chair of the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus (CTTC); Chuck Della Sala, Mayor, City of Monterey; Caroline Beteta, President and CEO, Visit California; and Tammy Blount, President & CEO, Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCCVB).
"Monterey County is proud to host this spotlight on sustainable tourism. This conference is an important statement about the critical role tourism plays in the environment's fragile balance," said Tammy Blount, President & CEO of the MCCVB. "The No. 1 agricultural region in the US is right in our backyard. Our community is home to organizations like The Offset Project whose volunteers work to reduce the environmental impact of events and conferences. We know sustainable and responsible tourism is imperative to preserve the precious assets that make a destination like Monterey County so special to visitors, residents, and our planet."

In addition to learning first-hand from these leaders from Monterey and California, ESTC12 delegates will have the opportunity to experience some of Monterey County’s sustainability initiatives in action through the specially organized field sessions on Tuesday, September 18th. From beach clean-up, waste management, to coastal hiking, to green hotel and green building tours, to historical walking tours, these field sessions offer a glimpse into what makes Monterey an internationally recognized green destination.

The ESTC12 conference program, attendee profile, destination information and registration details are available at: