National Ecotourism Declaration Calls on U.S. to Promote Responsible Travel

National Ecotourism Declaration Calls on U.S. to Promote Responsible Travel

The Bar Harbor Declaration on Ecotourism Calls on the U.S. Government to Implement Measures to Support Sustainable Development of the Tourism Industry


TIES Press ReleaseWASHINGTON DC, November 8, 2005 - A newly released Declaration on Ecotourism, endorsed by 300+ tourism professionals from across the country, calls on the U.S. government to adopt measures that ensure tourism practices are environmentally and socially sustainable.


The Bar Harbor Declaration on Ecotourism, which grew out of the first-ever national conference on ecotourism held in Bar Harbor, Maine, calls on the U.S. government to "lead a national initiative dedicated to specifically fostering ecotourism principles and practices within the United States."

"In the wake of Hurricane Katrina's devastation in New Orleans and the eminent opening of Alaska wilderness to oil drilling, a growing number of Americans are calling for protection of our country's cultural and environmental treasures. Tourism, done well, can be a tool for sustainable development, bringing positive benefits to host communities and conservation," says Martha Honey, Executive Director of The International
Ecotourism Society (TIES), one of the organizers of the recent conference.

Noting that the U.S. is one of the world's leading tourism destinations, the Declaration calls on the federal government to create a national tourism office, reinstate official U.S. membership in the World Tourism Organization, and endorse the United Nations global code of tourism ethics. It also calls for U.S. government support on clean energy transport, sustainable design and construction of tourism facilities, and careful
monitoring and management of popular travel destinations to "avoid overcrowding and negative impacts" in our parks and marine protected areas.

"For many towns and communities in America, tourism is the economic lifeline. This declaration is a call to maximize the economic benefits from tourism while also safeguarding our natural and cultural heritage - the very foundation upon which tourism's future depends," said Costas Christ, an internationally recognized expert on sustainable tourism and the Executive Director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.


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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..




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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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