Outcomes Present the Caribbean Relies on Tourism, Which Depends Closely on Wholesome Coral Reefs

JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU), together with The Nature Conservancy, whose mission is to preserve the lands and waters on which all life relies upon, in the present day launched a brand new report specializing in the connection between pure sources and tourism. The report’s outcomes revealed that the Caribbean is extra depending on tourism than some other area throughout the globe and highlights new information on the advantages that coral reefs present to the journey business and the area’s financial system. Coral reef well being is diminishing from impacts comparable to air pollution and local weather change. This report, additionally supported by Microsoft and the World Journey & Tourism Council, utilized machine studying and synthetic intelligence to quantify the numerous worth that reefs contribute to the Caribbean financial system via reef-adjacent actions, comparable to crusing, diving and snorkeling, and the direct connection on tourism. The worth of reef-associated tourism is estimated at greater than $7.9 billion yearly from over 11 million guests. This accounts for 23 p.c of all tourism spending and is equal to greater than 10 p.c of the area’s gross home product. This marks the second research funded by JetBlue to measure Caribbean ecosystems and correlate it to journey business income. “Estimating Reef-Adjoining Tourism Worth within the Caribbean” follows 2015’s The up to date report analyzes the part of the journey sector that relies on coral reefs however doesn’t make direct use of them in the best way that diving or snorkeling does. Reef-adjacent tourism worth comes from seaside actions, coastal views, scrumptious seafood and tranquil waters for swimming and boating—lots of the causes folks flock to the Caribbean. The brand new report could be discovered right here. “The Caribbean and Latin America account for one-third of JetBlue’s flying. The well being and long-term progress of this area is straight tied to our backside line,” stated Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability and environmental, social governance, JetBlue. “This research proves the connection between wholesome coral reefs and tourism, and the general monetary stability of the Caribbean. It’s time for conservation organizations like The Nature Conservancy and the tourism business to work collectively on options to preserve the area’s sources.” “Scientific proof reveals that residing corals within the Caribbean have declined over 60% in simply the final three many years alone. The Nature Conservancy is presently deploying modern options to guard and restore coral reefs all through the area; we should nevertheless transfer sooner to outpace the present fee of degradation and growing threats to coral reefs” commented Dr. Luis Solórzano, Government Director of The Nature Conservancy within the Caribbean. “Hundreds of thousands of individuals within the Caribbean depend upon coral reefs as a supply of livelihood, and the area is called paradise to so many vacationers from across the globe. It’s ours our duty to guard the pure wonders, like coral reefs, that maintain each the Caribbean financial system and tourism alike.” The methodology for this research was derived from some of the prevalent methods folks talk in the present day – social media. Social content material was analyzed utilizing Microsoft’s machine studying. Greater than 86,000 social photos and almost 6.7 million textual content posts had been studied for identifiers that indicated reef-adjacent actions. The social media metrics had been layered with historically sourced information from authorities businesses and the tourism business, comparable to surveys from customer facilities, gross sales figures reported by travel-associated companies and financial information from authorities accounting methods. “A extra sustainable future relies upon upon our capability to higher mannequin, monitor and handle pure sources like coral reefs, and that may require human ingenuity paired with AI,” stated Dr. Lucas Joppa, chief environmental officer at Microsoft. “For this report, Azure Cognitive Providers helped precisely determine coral reef photos all through the Caribbean that had been already out there on the web so they might then be utilized in a tourism-based financial valuation mannequin. We’re proud to proceed our work with The Nature Conservancy to boost conservation planning and financial modeling with the ability of Azure and AI for Earth.” Different key findings of this research that straight affect JetBlue and Caribbean tourism embody: The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, the place JetBlue is the most important airline to each islands, profit from vacationer spending of greater than $1 billion per 12 months. This tourism income is straight linked to reefs. The Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Puerto Rico obtain multiple million guests per 12 months whose visits are straight linked to coral reefs. The highest 10 p.c highest-value reef areas every generate greater than $5.7 million and seven,000 guests per sq. kilometer per 12 months. These reefs are scattered in nearly each nation and territory within the area and have a big proportion of high-value reefs, every with a median spend worth equal to over $three million per sq. kilometer per 12 months. The international locations most depending on reef-adjacent tourism embody many small island nations and JetBlue locations, like Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda and St. Maarten, the place there could also be comparatively few various sources of earnings outdoors of reef-associated tourism. Solely 35 p.c of Caribbean reefs are positioned the place they don’t draw income for the area’s tourism sector, indicating that there are little to no choices to broaden reef-associated actions to new areas. Many of the reefs not used for tourism are in distant places. The potential impacts to tourism within the Caribbean embody local weather change and different threats to coral reefs, like overfishing, air pollution and coastal improvement. As tourism is an important pillar of all Caribbean economies, depletion of pure sources might result in financial and social dangers. With 65 p.c of the Caribbean’s reefs producing tourism {dollars}, the outcomes reveal a possibility for tourism-associated companies — together with cruise traces, airways, and lodges to work collectively and proceed to spend money on defending the area’s environmental well being. As a follow-up to this research, JetBlue is donating 50 flights to The Nature Conservancy for scientists to journey to the area to additional analysis and assist preserve coral reefs. JetBlue relies on pure sources and a wholesome surroundings to maintain its enterprise operating easily. Pure sources are important for the airline to fly and tourism depends on having lovely, pure and preserved locations for purchasers to go to. The airline focuses on points which have the potential to affect its enterprise. Prospects, crewmembers and neighborhood are key to JetBlue’s sustainability technique. Demand from these teams for accountable operations is without doubt one of the motivations behind the airline’s efforts to cut back its environmental affect.

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