Explore the World of Authentic Ecolodges

Explore the World of Authentic Ecolodges

Hitesh Mehta

Authentic Ecolodges world premier launch was held at the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC) in September 2010

Authentic Ecolodges

Launched in September 2010, the one-of-a-kind "chai-table book" Authentic Ecolodges is the result of many years of dedicated research by the world-renowned ecolodge guru and sustainable architecture and design expert, Hitesh Mehta. Having traveled through 46 countries in six continents, he hopes that Authentic Ecolodges will create environmental and social awareness around the world, and inspire everyone to enjoy the world and save it for our children at the same time! President of HM Design and Member of TIES Advisory Board, Mr. Mehta is co-author and editor of the best-seller International Ecolodge Guidelines (2002).


"Authentic Ecolodges promises to be a must have reference guide, perfect for anyone interested in the future of tourism facilities, sustainable architecture, and the health and well‐being of our planet" – Signe Bergstrom, Editor, Collins Design


Meet the Author: Hitesh Mehta

HItesh Mehta

The following are excerpts from an interview with Authentic Ecolodges author Hitesh Mehta, written and published by Frances Figart (Read full article by Frances – "Hitesh Mehta and Authentic Ecolodges").


Frances: You are obviously overjoyed to have reached the milestone of having your amazingly beautiful and immensely educational book finally published by Harper Collins. Tell us more about your vision for the book and why you undertook such a vast and awe-inspiring project.


Hitesh: There are two main reasons I have done this book: to create both environmental and social awareness amongst people around the world and to celebrate the fantastic and altruistic work of people on the ground – such as craftspersons and lodge owners. As you know, I created my own rating system for ecolodges, which is explained in the book, and I sifted through 24,000 of my own professional photographs to pick just over 300 for this book.


The feedback I am getting from people in-the-know is that it is the most all encompassing and holistic book ever created in the hospitality industry. In addition to stunning photos, there are professional illustrations, site plans and text that has substance for the lay person and industry professional alike. And it is printed on environmentally friendly FSC certified paper. Harper Collins is so excited that they want to submit the book for an award!


Frances: What new trends do you see influencing decision makers and stakeholders in ecolodge development?


Hitesh: One new direction is the idea of community owned and operated ecolodges. This concept started in Kenya but now has spread all over the world. These are projects which are entirely owned and operated by the local communities, such as Maasai and Native Americans in the Bolivian Amazon. A second interesting trend is that more and more ecotourism enterprises are adding "wellness centers" to their program of offerings. Yet another is the expansion into higher quality lodges. The upgrading of facilities is a response to the growing upper middle-class 'experience seekers' and 'metro-spirituals' market.


Frances: Why did you choose to study ecotourism and why do you love it?


Hitesh: Ecotourism is low-impact, practices non-violence principles and, as a sector of the tourism industry, has played a role in alleviating poverty in several rural parts of the world. It is the one sector of the tourism industry that has the greatest respect for both faunal and floral species as well as the welfare of the local people. Everything in the landscape is inter-connected and dependent on each other. The flowers are dependent on the butterflies and bees, the fruit dependent on the flowers getting pollinated, the birds and monkeys dependent on the fruit, the eagles and leopards dependent on the monkeys etc. Every single species is connected in this web of life. As humans, we are dependent on so many things—not only those that are man-made but those things that come from nature. If the natural web-link is destroyed by humans then our own existence will be in peril. In fact, it already is!




About TIES

As the world's oldest and largest international ecotourism association, TIES seeks to be the global source of knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation, sustainable travel..




> The International Ecotourism Society 



The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference will highlight global challenges and local opportunities, supporting sustainable development of tourism and promoting solutions that balance conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

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