The Riviera Nayarit region offers plenty of sustainable and conscientious activities and accommodations to enjoy as it continues growing as an eco-friendly destination.
by Lacey Pfalz, Associate Writer, TravelPulse
The Riviera Nayarit is looking to grow as an environmentally conscious luxury brand. It has been a pioneer in combining unique experiences in unique locations, emphasizing sustainable practices through industry-leading travel and tourism programs.
Marc Murphy, managing director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau, indicated that investing in sustainable tourism is the way forward in this era. Tourist destinations must adapt to new trends to remain competitive: “While the central purpose of the Riviera Nayarit CVB is to promote the destination as a tourist destination, it is also a priority to help preserve its natural wealth, as these are the main attractions we have to offer our visitors.”
In that respect, he added, more and more hotels and tourism service providers are offering a responsible and respectful travel experience toward the environment and communities. This is in response to travelers who are looking for exclusivity but with the least possible impact on the place they are visiting.
Along these lines, we present below some of the practices the Riviera Nayarit has been involved in or pioneered:
Blue Flag: Application of strict environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria in managing beaches, marinas, and other bodies of water. The first Blue Flag for the Riviera Nayarit was awarded to Nuevo Vallarta Norte Beach in 2013; since then, it has maintained its certification.
EarthCheck: The Fraccionamiento Nautico Turístico Residencial Nuevo Vallarta is certified as an EarthCheck Community, the world’s leading sustainability program for the travel and tourism industry. As one of the communities with the highest number of tourists in the Riviera Nayarit, a solid commitment to caring for our resources and protecting local flora and fauna is essential.
Playas Limpias: The Riviera Nayarit is one of the national leaders in certified clean beaches (10 in total), a recognition endorsed by the Mexican Institute for Standardization and Certification (IMNC).
Beach Cleanup Network (BCN): This is a unique network created seven years ago, coordinated by the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) in conjunction with the Banderas Bay Hotel and Motel Association. Various groups of volunteers from different sectors of society participate in the BCN, such as NGOs, hotels, private companies, authorities, and schools, spread throughout the coastal towns of the Riviera Nayarit, from Bucerías and Punta de Mita to Rincón de Guayabitos and Isla de Mexcaltitán.
Cigarette butt collection: This practice seeks to reduce litter on the beaches but also helps to protect the country’s forest cover since one ton of recycled cigarette butts to generate paper is equivalent to saving 14 to 17 trees. The initiative led by the Association of Hotels and Motels of Banderas Bay (AHMBB), the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Riviera Nayarit Sustainability Committee, began in November 2020 (Colilla Challenge). A total of 18,250 cigarette butts were collected; in the first half of the year, around 27,005 have already been recycled.
Sorting counts (Separado cuenta): From April to June 2021, the Riviera Nayarit CVB promoted a crusade to help raise awareness about the importance of separating waste through environmental education talks, environmental fairs, and beach cleanups, among other activities.
Reducing Plastic and Energy Consumption
Training: Efforts to raise awareness among tourism sector workers and tourists about plastic reduction, energy consumption reduction, fuel savings that have a direct impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) generation, and reduction in water consumption.
In addition, the Islas Marietas National Park has banned the use of single-use plastics by tourism providers, so no boat should use this type of plastic when visiting the park. Since 2016, all tour operators wishing to carry out activities in the protected natural area must undergo ANP management training, which helps train operators and ensure that activities are carried out sustainably.
The Riviera Nayarit also participates in actions to protect the Islas Marietas and humpback whales, the turtle conservation program, and the protection of the national marshes and the species that inhabit them, among others.
SOURCE: Riviera Nayarit press release.