Lessons from Colorado: Common Sense of Eco-Tourism

Go Lean Commentary

Tourism is both give and take!

To visually depict this, imagine a “well of water”. In the Caribbean we take from that well with our voluminous tourism activities – many guests partake of our hospitality with stay-overs and cruises. And then, periodically, our Caribbean stakeholders “give back” by visiting other destinations.

This is the theme of this series of commentaries. There are lessons that have been learned from visiting a tourist destination that is foreign to the Caribbean. That destination is the US State of Colorado.

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We have so much in common and so much in contrast. One commonality to consider is how Colorado structures its tourism around the natural terrain of its mountains: the Rocky Mountains range; see Appendix VIDEO. This is also true in the Caribbean, where we structure our tourism around our natural terrain: sun, sand and sea.

This commentary opens a 5-part series on the subject of Lessons from Colorado. There are so many lessons that we must consider from this land-locked US State; good ones and bad ones. In fact, the full list of 5 entries are detailed as follows:

  1. Lessons from Colorado – Common Sense of Eco-Tourism
  2. Lessons from Colorado – Legalized Marijuana: Heavy-lifting!
  3. Lessons from Colorado – How the West Was Won
  4. Lessons from Colorado – Water Management Art & Science
  5. Lessons from Colorado – Black Ghost Towns – “Booker T. turning in his grave”

The book Go Lean…Caribbean calls for the elevation of Caribbean society, to re-focus, re-boot, and optimize all the engines of commerce so as to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.  The category of “play” covers the full scope of tourism, which is the primary economic driver for our Caribbean region – and a lot of American communities; see Appendix below – the book estimates 80 million visitors among the Caribbean member-states. (Since that number includes cruise passengers that may visit multiple Caribbean islands on one itinerary, each port is counted separately; without cruise passengers, a figure of 68 – 69 million is perhaps more accurate).

There are a number of specific categories of tourism. In the course of time, this commentary have considered these globally –accepted definitions:

  • Resort Tourism – Hospitality tied to destinations and attractions; think Disney World, Beaches.
  • Cruise Tourism – The destination is the ship (luxuries & amenities) and the ports-of-call.
  • Event Tourism – The focus is to attend cultural events; the capacity for accommodation can determine success.
  • Sports Tourism – Participants and spectators for sports tournaments.
  • Medical Tourism – Patients traveling for standard, alternative and experimental treatments.
  • Eco-Tourism – Structured around natural terrain and/or monuments, with minimal infrastructural enhancements (i.e. roads, docks, lifts, zip lines, etc.).

Our focus here is on eco-tourism.

1. tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, especially to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. – Oxford.

2. a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial mass tourism. – Wikipedia

In terms of give-and-take, this category is all “take”. Visitors consume the territory and take nothing away but memories. This business model is masterfully administered in the State of Colorado; they feature two “crown jewels”: Rocky Mountain National Park and the Garden of the Gods:

Rocky Mountain National Park is a United States national park located approximately 76 mi (122 km) northwest of Denver International Airport[4] in north-central Colorado, within the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The park is situated between the towns of Estes Park to the east and Grand Lake to the west. The eastern and westerns slopes of the Continental Divide run directly through the center of the park with the headwaters of the Colorado River located in the park’s northwestern region.[5] The main features of the park include mountains, alpine lakes and a wide variety of wildlife within various climates and environments, from wooded forests to mountain tundra.

The Rocky Mountain National Park Act was signed by then–President Woodrow Wilson on January 26, 1915, establishing the park boundaries and protecting the area for future generations.[2] The Civilian Conservation Corps built the main automobile route, named Trail Ridge Road, in the 1930s.[2] In 1976, UNESCO designated the park as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves.[6] In 2016, more than four and a half million recreational visitors entered the park, which is an increase of about nine percent from the prior year.[7] [The actual number is 4,517,585 (in 2016)[3]]

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(Photo Credit: Camille Lorraine, vacationing Bahamian student)

The park has a total of five visitor centers[8] with park headquarters…  – Source: Wikipedia

To allow for the full consumption of this Rocky Mountain National Park, the authorities only had to invest in infrastructure for these visitor centers and roads. Ditto for the “Garden of the Gods” attraction; see details of this example here:

Garden of the Gods is a public park located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971.[1]

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(Photo Credit: Camille Lorraine, vacationing Bahamian student)

The Garden of the Gods Park is popular for hiking, technical rock climbing, road and mountain biking and horseback riding. It attracts more than two million visitors a year, making it the city’s most visited park. There are more than 15 miles of trails with a 1.5-mile trail running through the heart of the park that is paved and wheelchair accessible. Annual events including two summer running races, recreational bike rides and Pro Cycling Challenge Prologue also take place in this park.[9]

The main trail in the park, Perkins Central Garden Trail, is a paved, wheelchair-accessible 1.1-mile trail, “through the heart of the park’s largest and most scenic red rocks”. The trail begins at the North Parking lot, the main parking lot off of Juniper Way Loop.[10]

Because of the unusual and steep rock formations in the park, it is an attractive destination for rock climbers. Rock climbing is permitted, with annual permits obtained at the City of Colorado Springs’ website.

The Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center is located at 1805 N. 30th Street and offers a view of the park. The center’s information center and 30 educational exhibits are staffed by Parks, Recreation and Culture employees of the City of Colorado Springs.  – Source: Wikipedia

The common sense of it all!

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The book stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 11 – 13):

iii. Whereas the natural formation of the landmass for our society is that of an archipelago of islands, inherent to this nature is the limitation of terrain and the natural resources there in. We must therefore provide “new guards” and protections to ensure the efficient and effective management of these resources.

iv. Whereas the natural formation of the landmass is in a tropical region, the flora and fauna allows for an inherent beauty that is enviable to peoples near and far. The structures must be strenuously guarded to protect and promote sustainable systems of commerce paramount to this reality.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Eco-tourism is just common sense. We should not miss out on these benefits.

Yes, there is the need for some investment (roads, trails, lifts and visitor centers), but the returns are quantifiable, undeniable and irresistible. This is how Caribbean communities can grow their economic engines. This is the quest of the Go Lean movement. This was anticipated from the beginning of the Go Lean movement with the focus on UNESCO World Heritage Sites for the Caribbean region. See this Page (248) from the book:

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Click on Photo to Enlarge

The Go Lean details that 1,000 additional jobs can be created by fostering the promotion and development of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the region. This is just common sense.

Thank you Colorado, for your fine role model.

We can do the same; we can make our Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. 


Appendix VIDEO – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA in 4K (Ultra HD) – https://youtu.be/tdWV2xEyOfE

Published on Sep 23, 2016 – 

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is one of the most popular and scenic National Parks in the United States, famous for its high mountain peaks, alpine lakes, abundant wildlife. The main sightseeing road in the park, and some of the hiking trails cross over the 12,000 feet/3,600 m altitude line;

Locations in the video:
Sprague Lake (0:01), Nymph Lake (0:17), Dream Lake (0:38), Emerald Lake (0:59), Lake Haiyaha (1:12), The Loch (1:26), Timberline Falls (1:51), Sky Pond (2:24), Mills Lake (2:57), Alberta Falls (3:05), Multiple viewpoints along the Trail Ridge Road (3:108:12), Chasm Lake Trail (4:03), Chasm Lake (4:54), Mt Ida Hike (6:39), Horseshoe Falls (8:58), Chasm Falls (9:26), Old Fall River Road (9:31).

Recorded August 2016 in 4K (Ultra HD) with Sony AX100.

Mystic Crock – Difference – The Difference (Part II)
Licensed via ilicensemusic.com

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APPENDIX – American Tourism Statistics

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