Letter from TIES' Chair (December, 2013)

Letter from TIES' Chair (December, 2013)

Dear Friends,


On behalf of the TIES Board, and our hardworking Team, thank you for supporting The International Ecotourism Society!  All of our efforts are focused supporting the mission of TIES and the work you all do in ecotourism and sustainable tourism.  There are many initiatives that have moved forward this year – we are proud of all of our members who have dedicated their lives to really contributing to creating a more sustainable world.  While we continue to face many challenges, ecotourism certainly is the flicker of hope for a promising way to partner with the planet, local communities, and travelers.


While I certainly am not naïve to believe ecotourism is the panacea to all the challenges we face as a global society, I think we can all rally around the belief that it has the potential to support the health and well-being of residents, biodiversity conservation efforts, and cultural heritage preservation while creating a mechanism for education, sustained economic development, equal opportunities for women, and human rights—ultimately working toward a greater good.  We must continue to find ways of documenting what works, reworking what does not, and continually improve our strategies towards a sustainable planet.


In the creative words of Wendell Berry,


“This world, this Creation, belongs in a limited sense to us, for we may rightfully require certain things of it—the things necessary to keep us fully alive as the kind of creature we are; but we also belong to IT, and IT also makes certain rightful claims upon us; that we leave IT undiminished, not just to our children, but to all the creatures who will live in it after us—to do this, we must take back our country watershed by watershed, its seas and plains, our valleys, wetlands, and coasts, to reclaim the places that give form to our culture, that give life to our families.” Wendell Berry



May 2014 bring joy and happiness, understanding, peace, and health and well-being to you. 

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a Joyous New Year!















2013 has certainly been a busy one!  Some of the events in the life of TIES are briefly summarized below:


ESTC 2013-Nairobi, Kenya


The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference in Nairobi, Kenya took place during a very challenging time for Nairobi and Kenya in the Westgate Mall Attack.  The importance of tourism was highlighted throughout the crisis, and the support brought by conference-goers elaborated the Kenya’s strength and ability to recover and not let terrorism define them.  Our hearts and prayers continue to support the efforts on the ground to remember those lost, while supporting Kenya as a world-class ecotourism destination.  Asante sana to all conference participants and our US and Kenya Organizing Teams for an inspiring and educationally rich event!  We are excited about the continued opportunities 2014 brings for this conference in Bonito Brazil!


  • B2B and Professional Networking: THE meeting place for industry trend-setters and decision-makers, designed to help you build and harness relationships.
  • The Best and the Brightest of Ecotourism: The ESTC's technical program features the industry's foremost "brain trust" of innovation and sustainability in tourism.
  • Your Chance to Be Part of the Solution: Through global partnerships and local networks, the ESTC helps harness the momentum for positive change in the tourism industry.



TIES Lifetime Achievement Award


TIES awarded Megan Epler-Wood “TIES Lifetime Achievement Award” for 2013, Congratulations Megan!



NEW! Ecotourism Master Class Webinar Series!


TIES and EplerWood International teamed up this year to offer a successful Professional Learning Series on Community-based Ecotourism.  Due to the success of the first Professional Learning Series, TIES  will offer the program  in a replay format in September 2014 for a small course fee.  This fee will be offered to participants who wish to apply for an additional registration for a new Ecotourism Master Class 4 part series to take place in October-November 2014.  





In an effort to tailor our Ecotourism Master Class to timely topics important to our ecotourism community, we have developed a survey to gage your thoughts on various themes important to you.  Please go to our survey site and let us know your thoughts on what you feel are important topics to you!


Survey Link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/EcotourismMasterClass


The survey will open on December 16th and will remain open until January 15th.  Please let us know your thoughts.



Staff Updates!


A heartfelt thank you to Ayako Ezaki and Ferdinand Weps for their dedication to TIES!  We wish them well as they venture into new endeavors. We would also like to thank Edith Bosire for helping us make the ESTC13 in Kenya such a successful event!


We welcome the support of Hilary Sgalitzer, Membership Coordinator and Gabriella Zampoli de Assis, Sponsorship Coordinator.



Board Updates!


Stepping Down:

Thank you Richard Edwards, Shadia Garrison, and Paul Radchenko for your service to TIES!  We wish you all the best and thank you for your contributions to ecotourism!


Continued Service:

Thank you to our Executive Board and Advisory Board Members who continue to volunteer their time and expertise to TIES!


Administrative Board

Kelly Bricker, Chair, Jason Banks, Jon Bruno, Deirdre Campbell, and Masaru Takayama


Advisory Board

Tony Charters

Palitha Gurusinghe

Glenn Jampol

Ariane Janer

Judy Kepher-Gona

Karen Lewis

Rick MacLeod Farley

Hitesh Mehta

Wolfgang Strasdas, PhD.

Albert Teo Chin Kion


New Members of the Board Team!


We welcome our newest Board Members!  Thank you for joining the Team!


New Board Members Joining the Team in January 2014

Javier, López, Chile; Lone Lamark, Norway; Nabil Tarazi, Jordan; Supaporn Prachumpai, Thailand; Julio Bin, New Zealand and Brazil; Rob Holmes, United States


For more on the bios from the new board members click here.


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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