Monterey Bay and Costa Rica – a partnership 3,000 miles apart but bonded by being world-renowned destinations in sustainability. While Monterey County has been at the forefront of sustainable practices and initiatives, community leaders want to take the region to another level and join Costa Rica as world leader in sustainability. On Thursday, February 23, visionaries, public officials, public policy experts, hospitality and tourism professionals and hospitality developers and contractors gathered for the first-ever Sustainable Hospitality Development Symposium hosted by the Sustainable Hospitality Management program in the College of Business at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). The event was held at the InterContinental The Clement Monterey.

CSUMB plans to continue the sustainable hospitality development conversation with leaders in Costa Rica. Kamath says the hope is to bring a group of about a dozen community and business leaders from Monterey County to Costa Rica in 6 months and host a symposium there to brainstorm and further discuss opportunities in eco-tourism and sustainable hospitality. For more information, please visit: The MCCVB continues its Sustainable Moments initiative and educating visitors in an effort to preserve this incredible region for generations and generations to come. Visit to learn more.

Welcome from Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís

This first ever, one day symposium brought together leaders from California and Costa Rica to discuss opportunities and ideas on the topic of sustainability in the Monterey Bay region. Hospitality, tourism, education and political stakeholders, and decision makers came together to delve into this increasingly important topic, for both our region and across the globe.

Highlights of the day included a keynote address from former Costa Rican president, José María Figueres Olsen, detailing the successful sustainability initiatives from his country, and Aramark’s Director of Sustainability and Engineering, Allison Gosselin. Together we explored how to leverage these examples, and others, in framing a sustainable culture and fostering opportunities for sustainable development and hospitality.

Our Goals

  • Embed a culture of sustainability in the tri-county region
  • Frame sustainable opportunities for development and hospitality
  • Raise the visibility and impact of sustainability with policy makers, investors, and developers in the state
  • Enable public-private partnerships between local developers and local government
  • Attract sustainable investment to the Monterey Bay Region

The symposium involved a partnership between the Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties tourism industry as well as the Government of California and the Government of Costa Rica targeting hospitality and tourism industry companies and organizations; senior California Government officials and policy makers; tri-county government officials and policy makers; educational institutions and organizations; trade association and development organization executives and officials; as well as investors and developers interested in making the Monterey Bay Region a hub for sustainable hospitality development, eco-tourism and eco-recreation.

The former President of Costa Rica and current Chairman of the Carbon 21 initiative, Mr. Jose Maria Figueres Olsen, as well as senior Costa Rican government officials, sustainable hospitality facility owners and managers and green developers and responsible investors attended the symposium to dialog with their American counterparts. It is the first step in growing the sustainable hospitality industry in the region and making the tri-county Monterey Bay Region the leading eco-tourism and eco-recreation region in the United States.