Travel and Climate a Significant Area of Discussion in Ecotourism Conference

Travel and Climate a Significant Area of Discussion in Ecotourism Conference

The International Ecotourism Society's 2007 Conference in Madison, Wisconsin to Feature Discussions and Stakeholder Meeting on Climate Change and Tourism


Climate Change and TourismWASHINGTON DC, September 10, 2007 - When ecotourism industry leaders convene at Monona Terrace in Madison, WI at the end of September, the role of nature based travel and its impacts on climate change will be a major topic of discussion. Ecotourists, who are making conscious choices to help the environment by traveling to an ecotourism property, might not be doing all they can to help protect the planet.


The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), which is holding its annual industry conference in Madison from September 26-28, has been engaged in an Advocacy Campaign focusing on travel and climate change. Themed "Traveling with Climate in Mind," the TIES Advocacy Campaign is designed to provide information for travel suppliers, organizations and travelers to help minimize their environmental footprint through more conscious use of energy and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.


"Ecotourism is a large and rapidly growing movement for good in environmentally sensitive areas of the world," said Dr. Kelly Bricker, Chair, TIES Board of Directors, "but the distance between where people live and where ecotourism typically takes place puts people into airplanes, boats, cars and other modes of transportation that contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere."


The solution, according to Dr. Bricker, is to make travelers more aware of how the travel choices they make impact global climate change. By engaging in responsible options such as offsetting their transportation through carbon offsets, making recreation choices that have positive impacts on a destination, and being aware of the energy consumption by their lodging, travelers can significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced through their travel.


At the TIES annual conference, TIES, along with Native Energy Travel Offsets (NETO), will host a three-hour stakeholder forum on Traveling with Climate in Mind, featuring speakers from transportation companies, ecolodges, national and international environmental and travel organizations and others. The forum will review and comment on the Sustainable Transportation Guidelines for Tour Operators, developed as part of the TIES Advocacy Campaign, in conjunction with the University of Eberwalde's Dr. Wolfgang Strasdas and CESD, a Washington-based research group focusing on sustainable travel.


"NETO is committed to working with the travel industry to help reduce carbon impacts on the atmosphere in this time of crises." says Megan Epler Wood of NETO, "We are proud to be working with TIES on an educational program to help the industry both reduce its carbon footprint and provide carbon offsets that go directly toward renewable energy infrastructure on Native American lands and family farms."


The stakeholder forum will address the sources of greenhouse gases, ways of reducing carbon release into the atmosphere by both individuals and companies, and voluntary carbon offset programs, and provide an in depth discussion on what the travel industry need in order to be an effective part of the solution. The forum will be divided into two parts with topics including Internal Corporate Management of Carbon, Voluntary Carbon Offsets, Sustainable Transportation Guidelines and the Impacts of a Carbon/Friendly Program on the Travel Industry.


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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