Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Amigos de la Paz Sustainable Tourism Award Program of May Peace Prevail on Earth International
Explain your project in details:
Amigos de la Paz Sustainable Tourism Award Program is a new initiative of the May Peace Prevail on Earth International Foundation. It is an innovative marketing approach to help tourism communities attract and retain culturally diverse travelers who are concerned about the environment and represents a viable economic development opportunity for participants. Program Objectives: 1) To help tourism communities attract and retain the growing market of culturally diverse and environmentally conscientious travelers. 2) To stimulate economic development opportunities in participating communities. Strategies for Implementation: 1) Link sustainable tourism with peace-building activities to uplift the community's consciousness and image. 2) Partner with community NGOs that are registered to accept public donations, to facilitate and organize a local program. 3) Co-create an Annual Amigos de la Paz Sustainable Tourism Award Ceremony to recognize individuals, organizations, or businesses that have made significant contributions to sustainable tourism during the year, inviting international dignitaries and tourists. 4) Co-create fundraising activities like music concerts, art, and cultural exhibitions, tours, etc., along with the Award Ceremony for economic investment and development. Requirements for Participation: Communities, through a local NGO, may request this award by demonstrating their achievements in sustainable tourism and peace-building activities. The Community must: * Construct and maintain a Peace Monument in a high-visibility public area; * Celebrate the International Day of Peace; * Through Award Nominees (nomination form with information and photos), demonstrate its achievements in at least 3 of the following 4 sustainable tourism areas: 1. Cultural heritage and diversity; 2. Sustainable growth and environmental protection; 3. Equitable access to quality education/ Peace education; 4. Economic empowerment. Program Benefits: * Image enhancement * International media * Promotion for airlines and travel agencies * Community can promote itself as an Amigos de la Paz Sustainable Tourism Winner * Award Recipients - businesses, organizations, etc. - may use the Amigos de la Paz logo on publicity materials, uniforms *Economic development
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Research from the World Travel & Tourism Council and the Institute of Economics and Peace indicates that linking tourism and peace-building activities results in positive outcomes for sustainable development. The Amigos de la Paz (Friends of Peace) Sustainable Tourism Award Program is based on this research and utilizes existing programs already developed by the United Nations, the Foundation, and its affiliates. We will initially target tourism communities in Mexico and Latin America for participation in the program. I have used the communities of Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico, as test markets for its implementation. United Nations SDGs and Existing Programs: Most tourism communities are already embracing the UNs Sustainable Development Goals because they are vital to their continued existence: clean water, responsible consumption, climate change, cultural enhancement, wildlife conservation, etc. For example, Zihuatanejo participates in programs such as the Earthcheck Clean Beach Certification, Whales of Guerrero Research Project, Eco-Tianguis Cooperative Market, turtle conservation, plastic elimination, etc. Existing Peace-building Programs: Anticipated success is also based on the fact that communities do not have to "invent" peace programs; they can use existing UN programs and those of the Foundation, and its affiliates: * UN International Day of Peace and other observances: Women's Day, Youth Day, Indigenous Language Day, etc. * May Peace Prevail on Earth Peace Pole Program: Zihuatanejo constructed a peace monument in 2010; San Miguel de Allende in 2017. * Peace Pals Children's Art Contest: Zihuatanejo hosted the first exhibition in Mexico in 2014 and continues participation. * Goi Youth Essay Contest: Volunteers in San Miguel de Allende judge the Spanish-language entries. Zihuatanejo students have exhibitions. Zihuatanejo is the first community to request this distinction. The Amigos de la Paz Sustainable Tourism Award Ceremony & Festival will be February 15-22, 2020. Success will be measured by more communities participating.
Sustainability and future plans
This program was designed using the "Business Model for Creating Sustainable Development Strategies" developed by Dr. C. K. Prahalad (deceased), my teacher and mentor at the Ross Graduate School of Business at the University of Michigan, USA, the elements of which are as follows: * Empower Locals: The Foundation partners with local NGOs to facilitate the program. * Shape Aspirations: Any individual, organization, or business can receive the annual Award based on their achievements. * Consumer Education: The program utilizes the UNs and the Foundation's peace-building programs and requires the community's participation in sustainable tourism activities. * Communication Links: Participating communities will be promoted through the Foundation's media channels, and other international, national, and social media. * Access to Trade & Income Generation: The program attracts tourist to participating communities, providing access for vendors to sell their products and generate income. * Bottom-up Innovation and Product Development: The program can inspire the development of new products and services - caps, T-shirts, jewelry, clothing, environmental goods, etc. * Access to Credit: Local NGOs can provide micro-loans for new start-ups. * Access to Distribution Channels: Hotels, businesses, and restaurants serve as venues for fundraising activities and distribution channels to sell new products resulting from this program. Financing Sources / Growth Plans: The program participation cost is minimal - only the expense of the Awards (peace pole or plaques), which can be funded by local entities. The Award ceremony can be part of an existing community event, or a separate event, depending on local resources. The Foundation will share donations raised with partnering NGOs from related fundraising activities (art exhibitions, essay exhibitions, music concerts, etc.) to offset administrative costs. As more communities participate in the Amigos de la Paz Sustainable Tourism Award Program, we plan to create tours between them.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
At 68, I am in the twilight of my entrepreneurial career. My work is now focused on developing and designing business models and concepts for others to follow. Through grants from educational foundations, I received a great business education: a Bachelor of Science in Finance from California State University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. This is my motivation to help other aspiring entrepreneurs. I enjoyed a wonderful business career including a vice president position in banking; marketing management positions in the food and beverage industries; and, I was the founder and president of a marketing agency in Chicago, consulting with General Motors Europe, Citibank, Kraft Foods, and other international corporations, winning numerous marketing awards and honors. In 1996, I decided to pursue a doctorate in economic development and moved from the USA to Mexico to conduct research. I never went back because I discovered so many business opportunities in the tourism sector. Over the past 23 years, I operated a boutique hotel and three restaurants; wrote eight bi-lingual vocational training manuals for the hotel and restaurant industries; and, for the last 10 years, I have published Imagine-Mexico.com Magazine, providing English communications to promote international tourism. I also lecture on international marketing, tourism, and entrepreneurial development at universities. Ten years ago, I organized the construction of a Peace Monument in my community of Zihuatanejo, thus starting my relationship with the May Peace Prevail on Earth International Foundation. I discovered that I could apply my research, experience, and business models for sustainable economic development to link its peace-building activities with tourism events. The Amigos de la Paz Sustainable Tourism Award program is the result of all these years of research, work, and dedication to my mission of creating business strategies for sustainable economic development.