Expanding our comfort zone

Conchalito Island
Conchalito Island – Magdalena Bay

This week RED was invited by Travel Weekly to participate in a webinar for travel agents and outbound operators in North America interested in travel to Mexico.

We took the opportunity to talk about Baja California Sur, how there’s a growing trend in nature and adventure travel, a few highlights of the natural attractions, and how easy it is to arrive. As these were travel agents, I thought I would blow quickly through the slides about RED, how we were launched with the goal of merging socioeconomic development and conservation in rural communities along the peninsula, and how we provide training to local operators, marketing support, and even educational outings for local youth and funding for conservation work. I didn’t think they would be so interested in that as much as details about pricing and commissions.

But the questions kept coming back to these other aspects of RED, especially from the moderator, who was interested in RED Travel as a project, not just a product. This inspired me a bit, as these are the folks that are out there selling to the public. And if they are interested and convinced in the model, then that means that they know their customers will be interested, which tells me… that this can work. The only question that I couldn’t answer – “can I stay in a hotel?”

RED 's High-end camping
RED’s high-end camping

I can give you a secluded island with nothing but shells and mangrove, I can offer you food so good it will blow your mind and your taste buds, I can put you alongside ex-poachers-turned-conservationists as part of a globally recognized sea turtle restoration project, and wake you up at night on your ergonomic mattress with the exhalations of passing gray whales. But no, in Magdalena Bay, I cannot give you a hotel.

Many thanks to Mary Pat at Travel Weekly and all the agents who participated.