Attracting travelers to Monterey County has always been our mission for the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) and ensuring that these visitors treat the destination responsibly is also a top priority. “Sustainable Moments” is the MCCVB’s responsible tourism initiative designed to educate travelers on how to make the most of every moment in Monterey County while at the same time, being safe, respectful to the environment and communities and understanding how to travel responsibly.
“We challenge our guests to grab life by the moments when visiting our home, beautiful Monterey County,” says Tammy Blount, MCCVB President and CEO. “It’s critical to us to ensure balance between growing our tourism economy and enhancing quality of life for our residents. We need to make sure that the visitor today is equipped to leave the destination every bit as pristine as they found it for the visitor of the future.”
From an awe-inspiring coastline to miles of lush fields to the breathtaking Santa Lucia Mountains, Monterey County continues to attract more and more visitors every year. With more travelers coming to the region, the MCCVB is encouraging guests to travel responsibly. Monterey County works hard to make our communities the very best places to live and to visit with a thriving environment and respect for the local culture. As part of “Sustainable Moments,” the organization is educating visitors on the importance of protecting and preserving the destination’s incredible natural assets and pristine landscape.
As state parks, campgrounds and hiking trails in Big Sur continue to reopen to the public after the winter rains and mudslides caused temporary closings along Highway 1, the MCCVB offers tips for responsible travel:
- Bring a reusable water bottle and shopping bag to reduce the amount of one-time use plastics.
- Wildfires are a great concern, especially during the dry season. Please extinguish cigarettes in your ashtray. If camping, make sure your fire is safe and legal, and be sure to extinguish before you leave. Do not start illegal fires.
- Please don’t set up camp on the roadside. Roadside camping is unsafe and prohibited along Highway 1. Book a reservation at one of the area’s hotels or campsites for the best experience.
- Don’t treat the side of the road like a restroom. Public restrooms are scarce along Highway 1 so be sure to make a pit stop in Monterey or Carmel beforehand.
- Always leave a place better than the way you arrived, this includes “pack in, pack out” and “leave no trace” practices. Bring garbage bags with you so you can dispose of trash in a safe and clean way.
- Stick to marked trails to avoid harming native flora, and consider taking a bag to pick up trash along your hike.
- Plants, animals, rocks and artifacts are protected and should not be disturbed. Collecting driftwood, firewood and rocks may be allowed in certain designated areas. Contact the nearest park ranger station or park official.
- Use public transportation, rent a bike or walk when convenient.
“This is such an important initiative that really takes everyone’s participation to be successful,” says Rob O’Keefe, MCCVB Chief Marketing Officer. “In order for us to preserve our picturesque destination for generations to come, we must all – businesses, communities and visitors – play a part in creating a sustainable region and future.”
Responsible travel minimizes negative impacts and brings positive benefits to local communities. Visitors can learn more about sustainable travel and enjoying the destination like a local by visiting www.seemonterey.com/sustainable. Together we can preserve Monterey County for generations and generations to come.