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Australia is one of the world’s most diverse natural places! This article first appeared on Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours' Blog. The earth is a remarkable, exciting place, packed full of animals and plants. It is estimated that the world has 5,400+ mammals, 10.000+ species of birds, 10,000+ reptiles (and growing), 7,300+ amphibians, 950,000+ insects and around 310,000 species of higher plants. But did you know that most of these can be found in 12 countries? These 12 are the Mega-diverse Nations (1). 60-70% OF THE EARTH’S SPECIES RESIDE IN THESE...
My Summer in the Amazon This blog first appeared on Gondwana Ecotours In 2011, I volunteered in the Ecuadorian Amazon. I discovered a delicate yet complex world teeming with life and giving life. Seeing this ecological wonder in person is life-changing to me. My journey to the Amazon that summer took me to a little village deep in the heart of the rainforest. To get there, I travelled from Quito, through the Andes Mountains to a little town bordering the Amazon River Basin. I climbed into a small plane and flew over an endless sea of trees with a serpentine design...
Thoughts on Green Travel This original article first appeared on the Adventure Life Blog. Sustainable, Responsible, Green, Eco Tourism -- I know it can be tough to get beyond these labels and into the meaning behind such abstracts. But here's a little help... Traveler, Sarah Shelton, provides some direction and does a great job highlighting the sort of questions you should ask your travel company if you are looking at going green on your next adventure. Green Travel Green travel, also called sustainable travel or ecotourism, focuses on vacations that minimize...
Protecting a Living Museum This original blog first appeared on The Adventure Life Blog. A brief history of human impact on the Galapagos Islands The Galapagos first appeared on maps around 1570 with various explorers making stops but never settling on the islands. Whalers and maritime fur traders started moving in during the 18th century. At this time, tortoises were hunted as a source of meat since they could be kept alive onboard ships for months without food or water. This hunting was responsible for greatly diminishing, and in some cases...
Empowering Women through Adventure Tourism & Sports The 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking Company was established in 1994 in Pokhara, Nepal. Prior to that, the founders, the three sisters Lucky, Dicky and Nicky Karki Chhetri were running a small guest house and restaurant in Pokhara’s Lakeside tourist area. Some of their female guests shared disturbing stories of being harassed by male guides on their treks. The sisters were shocked and saddened to hear such stories and decided to become guides themselves. After a few years of being guides, the sisters could see the...
2015’s Top Travel Destinations: 5 Ecotourism Experts Weigh In by Bret Love and Mary Gabbett. This original blog first appeared in Green Global Travel. The New Year brings with it an annual rite of passage as reliable as the swallows returning to Capistrano or the Great Migration of Kenya and Tanzania. Every travel magazine under the sun feels it their moral obligation to predict the top travel destinations for the coming year, while every travel blogger (including us) waxes rhapsodic about the wanderlust adventures that dance like so many sugarplums in their...
Los Angeles, [January 5, 2015] Wellness Tourism Worldwide (www.wellnesstourismworldwide.com) has identified 50 key findings addressing wellness in leisure and business travel in the United States. As a result of a year-long study, Wellness Tourism Worldwide (WTW) is pleased to introduce a new model of engagement for wellness tourism. The report, Wellness Travel: Shaping America’s Health & Economy is a game-changing reference to unify and influence industries not only to better meet consumer demand but also to serve public good. Wellness tourism is at a tipping point....
WASHINGTON, DC -- Effective January 1, 2015, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) has revised its Definition and Principles, created by the founding members in 1990. Leading up to the 25 year anniversary celebration in 2015, ecotourism experts from around the world connected to re-evaluate TIES principles of ecotourism as an initiative led by Hitesh Mehta, Judy Kepher-Gona, and Dr. Kelly Bricker. TIES has implemented small changes and additions to both the principles and the definition to provide more clarity, eliminate the ambiguity, and therefore reduce the greenwashing and...
The History of Surfing This original post can be found on the Gondwana Ecotours Blog. Surfing was not invented by the Beach Boys, nor a group of teenage, mutated reptiles, surprisingly. The origins of surfing cannot actually be pinpointed to a single place and time, but the first written records of the hobby come to us via the diary of Lieutenant James King aboard the Discovery in 1779. He writes: “The Men sometimes 20 or 30 go without the Swell of the Surf, & lay themselves flat upon an oval piece of plank about their Size and...
The Moon and I: A Look at Cultural Celebration This blog first appeared on the Gondwana Ecotours Blog. Thailand's Lantern Festival Celebrating the Moon While visiting a friend in Ireland this summer, I had the luck of being at her home on August 10th. On this auspicious day, I had the good fortune of witnessing a “Supermoon”, a wonderful natural phenomenon that is maybe only slightly less amazing than the name, “Supermoon”, itself. However, it is still a highly noteworthy instance of the Moon’s elliptical orbit bearing it...
Little Fishing Villages, Big Vision of Ecotourism in Brazil by Felipe Zalamea The original blog first appeared on the Sumak Travel Blog. As you might have noticed when browsing this website, we support a business model chosen by local communities who want tourism to provide a complementary, rather than the sole source of their income. The difference is critically important. We believe that mass tourism is unsustainable and prefer an approach focused on more diversified livelihoods. We wrote recently about how community-based tourism can be a tool for...
Travel Storytelling: How Can Stories Help Destination Marketing? This original article first appeared on TrainingAid. It seems that everyone - from corporate marketers to non-profit campaigners - are talking about how important storytelling is nowadays. In the travel and tourism context, it's not hard to imagine the positive impact of good storytelling: after all, memorable travel experiences are all about stories - stories of the local communities and their cultural traditions, stories told by the expert local guides, and stories about the travelers...
Tales of the Aurora by Jared Sternberg This original blog first appeared on the Gondwana Ecotours Blog. My last post inspired me to research other mythologies about the Northern Lights because the fact why it is called Aurora borealis: it was named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek god of of the north wind, Boreas. This lead me to ask the question, before science how did people make sense of the mysterious lights? The Sami people (also known as Lapps or Lapplanders) live North of the Arctic Circle in Norway, Sweden and Finland....
Community-based tourism: a tool for sustainable development by Felipe Zalamea This original article can be found on the Sumak Travel Blog. Mass tourism can be an incredibly destructive activity with wide reaching consequences. However, fortunately for all, local communities across the developing world have and are setting up eco-tourism projects; a truly viable solution to some of the most urgent problems faced by human kind today, such as global warming, deforestation and land speculation. Community-based tourism (CBT) is not something new; it is...
Responsible Tourism: Whose Responsibility is it to Educate Travelers? by Ayako Ezaki This original article first appeared Nov 26, 2014 on TrainingAid. During last week's Responsible Tourism Twitter Chat (#RTTC), which was around the theme "Indigenous communities and responsible tourism", I came across and discussed this question: Who’s responsible for educating travelers about responsible behavior? We All Need to Be Responsible, But Are We Doing Enough? In our mini-chat about this question that happened within the #RTTC chat, I...
ECOVENTURA partners with Ecology Project International in Galapagos Ecology Project International or EPI is a non-profit organization whose main goal is to inspire conservation in young people through education and field science programs. EPI develops field-based academic courses for 15-17 year old students who live in Galapagos, focusing on experiential learning in three main areas: science, conservation and intercultural exchange. From February to August, several groups of 12 students and two teachers spend 50 hours in the field and then design and carry-...
Why llamas? Because they are a native and highly eco-friendly animal Llamas are indigenous animals perfectly adapted to pack labor in high altitudes and mountain trails, unlike foreign carrier animals introduced to Peru such as donkeys, mules and horses, whose use results in trail erosion and ecosystem degradation. Llamas have a high value for our cultural landscape since they are the emblem animals of Peru. They are present in a great variety of local cultural expressions. Their feet are like cushions, which do not erode or...
TIES member TIME Unlimited Tours has been nominated for a GreenTec Award, Europe's largest environmental and business competition. Help them win! Vote Green now! http://www.greentec-awards.com/en/competition/online-voting-2015.html And visit their Profile
Croatia: Sustainable Travel by Rhea Franjetic, owner of Cosmopolitan Adventure Tours This blog was originally posted in the Cosmopolitan Adventure Tours Blog Aerial View of Dubrovik Those who have visited Dubrovnik, the most famous city in Croatia, and walked the old town between 10am and 2pm were probably disappointed with this Tourist Trap. The beautiful limestone paved Stradun street was hidden behind multicolored T-shirts guided by even more colorful umbrellas. How do we practice...