It's time to have a look on another innovative solution towards more sustainable future of the industry.
This time we will dive into FIU Chaplin school of Hospitality & Tourism Management and their ideas for Dimension 3: Hospitality Tomorrow.
The impact of tourism on the community of Greater Miami is more substantial than in a city the size of London, UK. Greater Miami has a population of over 470 thousand people and welcomes over 23 million visitors annually (Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau [GMCVB], 2019). By comparison London, UK, has a population of almost 9 million people and welcomes 19 million visitors annually according to Clark (2020). Miami is currently sinking from sea level rise. Cusick (2020) asserts that Miami is “the most vulnerable major coastal city in the world,” according to Resources for the Future. Billions of dollars in assets are in jeopardy from extreme weather events that include hurricane-force winds, storm surge, coastal flooding and sea-level rise. More changes are coming to the area’s natural landscape. Miami Beach, the Florida Everglades, and Biscayne National Park have the potential to be completely submerged by the end of the 21st century. In an effort to combat the compounding effects of over- tourism to the Greater Miami area, The Sustainable Hospitality Accord brings a three- part approach to increase revenue for sustainability initiatives, reduce single-use plastic waste, and sustain the tourism community.
Part 1 – A Sustainability Fund supported by a Tourism Surcharge will increase revenue for sustainability initiatives. Every hotel room and event ticket sold in Greater Miami will incur a $1.00 charge paid by the consumer. In 2018, Greater Miami sold 15.6 million hotel nights and two of the largest city-wide events sold over 245 thousand event tickets (GMCVB, 2019). The $1.00 Tourism Surcharge would contribute over $15.8 million dollars directly to The Sustainable Consumption Initiative (Part 2) and the Commitment to Community (Part 3).
Part 2 - The second proposed objective in the accord is in regard to single-use plastics through a Sustainable Consumption Initiative. There is currently no sustainability plan in place specifically for events. Polylactic (PLA) vegetable-based single-use plastics will be used exclusively for drinkware and compostable bamboo for foodstuffs at all events. This will include an audit of all single-use items for each event in the event and hotel sectors. The contracts for these events will include a stipulation that states the event must follow the Sustainable Hospitality Accord’s plan. Due to COVID-19, certain protocols that were in place, including a single, reusable glass per person per event is no longer viable. Post-event beach cleanups and refillable sunscreen kiosks at events will be offered as a way to encourage guests to adopt habits in sustainability and increase awareness.
Part 3 - The Commitment to Community Clause is perhaps the most crucial part of the Hospitality Accord. To sustain the workforce, the core of the hospitality industry, people, we must redefine what hospitality is. Hospitality must be looked at as helping the community first and for monetary gain secondly. A program that trains individuals who have been displaced in the workforce to do hotel-related jobs will be established with area hotels. Individuals will be housed and fed during the training period. Typically, a hotel room in Greater Miami costs approximately $141 per night. The revenue generated from the Tourism Surcharge of $1.00 will help to fund the education, training, and room and board of the individuals in the program.