Top Ecotourism and Community Development Experts Offer Online Professional Learning Series

Top Ecotourism and Community Development Experts Offer Online Professional Learning Series

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and EplerWood International have partnered to develop an interactive online learning program, to be offered in April-May 2013, focused on community benefits through tourism.

February 19, 2013, WASHINGTON, DC and BURLINGTON, VT – Recognizing the need for accessible professional learning opportunities for tourism industry stakeholders engaged in ecotourism and sustainable community development, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and EplerWood International are presenting the Professional Learning Series "Tourism and Community Development: Tested Strategies for a Better Future", which will be offered online in April and May 2013. In addition to online lectures by top experts with successful hands-on experience worldwide, this four-part series will include social media platforms to create a dynamic and interactive learning experience.


Registration for the Professional Learning Series is now available online. The early-bird registration rate (US$160 for TIES Professional and Organization Members / US$180 for non-members) will be offered through March 1st, 2013, with registration ending March 15th, 2013.



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Through tailored curriculum and an interactive global learning experience, this series focuses on achieving lasting community benefits, strong partnerships, vibrant supply chains, local well-being, and significant support for biodiversity conservation. Participants will learn tested strategies for tourism and community development from some of the world’s foremost leaders in ecotourism business management, community-based tourism development, and sustainable destination stewardship.


The TIES-EWI Professional Learning Series features the following expert lecturers:

  • Mr. Kurt Holle: Naturalist and social entrepreneur with extensive experience working with local and indigenous communities in the Amazon region, and Co-Founder of one of Peru's leading ecotourism company Rainforest Expeditions.
  • Ms. Judy Kepher-Gona: CEO of Basecamp Foundation, a non-profit organization working in tourism and sustainable destination development globally, and the former director of Ecotourism Kenya, the national ecotourism association.
  • Mr. Peter Richards: Ecotourism marketing and partnerships specialist, with a wealth of hands-on experience in the fields of sustainable tourism and community based tourism in the Greater Mekong Sub-region of Southeast Asia;
  • Ms. Megan Epler Wood: TIES Founder and Principal of EplerWood International, with global expertise on projects focusing on improving supply chains, benefiting the bottom billion, and creating marketable community tourism enterprises.

For more information on the Professional Learning Series program, contact Dr. Kelly Bricker (kbricker[at] or Megan Epler Wood (megan[at] For program schedule and registration details, go to:


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About TIES

TIESThe International Ecotourism Society (TIES) is a non-profit association committed to promoting responsible tourism practices that benefit conservation and communities worldwide. Representing the voices of stakeholders from all corners of the world, TIES' global network supports and is supported by members from over 120 countries, who are leading the vital efforts to make travel and tourism more sustainable.


Through membership services, industry outreach and educational programs, TIES is committed to helping organizations, communities and individuals promote and practice the principles of ecotourism.



About EWI

EWIEplerWood International (EWI) is an international development consultancy which provides sustainable tourism solutions for governments, private business, international development projects, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions.


EWI develops regional sustainable and ecotourism plans to alleviate poverty, conserve natural resources, and develop viable economic strategies for sustainable growth with 15 years of experience in community based tourism in Latin America, Asia and Africa.





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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