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By Attila Woodward   Vietnam is a place of incredible natural beauty, rich cultural and historical heritage, hard working people and tremendous agricultural and intellectual richness. The country is blessed with a 3,250 km coastline of mostly pristine beaches, beautiful lagoons and awe- inspiring Deltas. Biodiversity is rich with an estimated 12,000 plant, 275 mammal, 800 bird, 180 reptile, 2,470 fish and over 5,500 insect species.(i)   New economic policies initiated in the late 1980’s, known as "Doi Moi" (renovation), opened the country to foreign...
  By Kelly and Nate Bricker, Rivers Fiji   Imagine a place abundant in tropical biodiversity where a small goby was discovered for the first time; where iguanas, once thought extremely rare on the island of Viti Levu, were found in the highlands; and where waterfalls are countless... no need to imagine anymore, this place exists deep in the highlands of Serua Province, on the island of Viti Levu in the Republic of Fiji—and ecotourism dollars are contributing to protecting this unique river resource, the Upper Navua Gorge.   The Upper Navua Gorge is located...
By Kelly May, CTB Project Manager, North Andaman Tsunami Relief (NATR) / Andaman Discoveries   There's nothing more rewarding than selflessly helping others. Combine this with the chance to travel to exotic destinations off the beaten tourist track and you have the potential for a memorable trip. "Volun-touring," as it has become known in the tourist industry, is an ideal way to gain authentic experience and engage with the local people. It also gives you the chance to give back to the communities you visit, much more than you can by simply taking photographs or...
By Rick Murray, Manager, Savannah Guides   Guides of Australia, a national tour guide accreditation program to provide a benchmark for all tour guides in all sectors of the industry in Australia, was released in June 2006 by the Guiding Organisations Australia (GOA).   Guides of Australia ensures best practice in services to tourists visiting Australia, and provides visitors with an assurance that a guide has met specific standards and has a commitment to the best practice standards outlined in the Australian Tour Guides' Code of Guiding Practice. The accreditation is...
  By Steven Schipani, Team Leader Mekong Tourism Development Project, Lao PDR   With nearly half the country covered in dense monsoon forest, 49 officially recognized ethnic groups, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 13% of its land set aside in a network of 20 National Protected Areas, Lao PDR has the resources to become one of the top ecotourism destinations in Asia. In 2005, Lao PDR welcomed over 1 million international tourists.   More than half say they came to experience the country’s rich cultural and natural heritage. In an effort to ensure that...
  The terms community-based tourism (CBT) and community-based ecotourism are commonly used to describe the type of tourism that, recognizing the significant social, environmental and economic impacts tourism can have, primarily focuses on tourism’s benefits to the local communities.   According to WWF International(i), community-based ecotourism takes the social dimension of ecotourism a stage further, by developing "a form of ecotourism where the local community has substantial control over, and involvement in, its development and management, and a major...
By Amos Bien   Since early 2004, TIES has been studying two of the central issues facing green tourism certification programs: 1) what is the current industry and consumer market demand for sustainable and ecotourism certification; and 2) what strategies will help increase the demand. This article examines some of the recent findings and recommendations of this study. It will be useful to both existing tourism certification programs in formulating their marketing strategies, and other stakeholders, including certified businesses, consumers and policy makers.   Primary...
The Japan Ecolodge Association (ECOLA) released the first Ecolodge Guidelines developed specifically for Japan on June 18, 2006 at its annual general meeting in Kyoto. The tourism ambassador to the city of Kyoto joined ECOLA members and Board of Directors to celebrate the launch of the guidelines. The Ecolodge Guidelines comprise of a checklist of 110 items, covering six categories (Environmental Sustainability; Food and Beverage; Reduction of Wastes and Recycling; Saving Energy and Water; Green Purchasing; and Environmental Conservation). The first five categories comply with the Green...
Savannah Professional Nature Guides Savannah Guides is a network of professional tour guides with a collective in-depth knowledge of the natural and cultural assets of the tropical savannahs of northern Australia. The original purpose of the organization was to provide access for tourists to unique natural features on private, leased or public property and in a manner which protected the region's assets. Members are drawn from local communities within the tropical savannahs of northern Australia.   Savannah Guides to contribute to the development of regional tourism,...
  North Andaman Tsunami Relief (NATR) provides assistance to the coastal communities on and near Koh Phratong (Phang Nga, Thailand) that have been affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, in collaboration with others involved in the relief efforts to work toward long-term sustainability of these communities. Please see NATR's website for pictures, reports and information on donation and other ways to help.   Recognizing that tourism will play a major role in the North Andaman communities' future, NATR has been working to provide the local people with...
By Annie Vanderwyk   To discuss the development of ecotourism as a viable option for sustainable development in developing countries, it is important to first understand the basic tenets of ecotourism as opposed to the universal traits of mass tourism. As a general guide, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) subscribes to the following definition of ecotourism: "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people".   In contrast, the history of mass tourism has been firmly positioned within the...
  By John Gray, John Gray's Sea Canoe   On December 26, 2004, Phuket shook so softly the five-minute tremor passed without notice - except for a handful of earthquake-experienced folks on solid ground who detected the subtle low frequency vibrations. Within ten minutes, the online USGS shake report showed the epicenter at 200km southwest of Banda Aceh, a 70-degree turn to Phuket, which led some to assume that Phuket was safe.   Unfortunately, throughout South Thailand the word "tsunami" was largely unknown. Frantic calls to chain hotels warning...
  The Ecotourism Training Center (ETC) is a long-term tsunami recovery project focused on providing immediate employment and vocational career training to young adults in Thailand. Many of the current students lost everything to the waves including homes, jobs, and in many cases family members and providers. The ETC program trains young people for a career in environmental tourism through courses in English, computer skills, and nature tour leadership.   Reid Ridgway, ETC’s Managing Director, and his Swiss partner Pascal Hernikat have connected the program with a...
By Potjana Suansri and Peter Richards, REST Project, Thailand "Share life in our community after the Tsunami" Eight months of rain and then four months of sun. In southern Thailand, this pattern is woven into the lives of each generation of local fishers. The sea sustains their families, communities, and way of life. In December, the end of the rainy season is welcomed as it ushers in the end of storms and a period of calm. On December 26, 2004, however, the sea rose up towards the clear sky and swept violently up the coast, laying waste to entire villages. The tidal wave...
  By Nikki Bond   Go Differently is a UK-based ethical tour operation specializing in small group and tailor-made trips as well as volunteering/voluntourism itineraries primarily in Southeast Asia. Go Differently has worked closely with the North Andaman Tsunami Relief (NATR), providing web space to promote and solicit support for the NATR team's activities, as well as sending direct financial contributions collected from clients and other UK donors. Go Differently continues to support NATR as its Adventure, Community-based and Ecotourism (ACE) projects evolve....
  Agha Iqrar Haroon, Ecotourism Society Pakistan (ESP)   There is significant evidence that many casualties caused by the October 8 earthquake in the mountain areas were a result of ill-planned and shoddy building construction that did not follow the basic principles of sound mountain area construction. Shortly after the earthquake, the Ecotourism Society of Pakistan (ESP) sent a team of students to the areas affected by the earthquake, including Murree, Muzafarabad and Balakot, in order to prepare a report on the situations of the devastated communities.  ...
The Bar Harbor Declaration on Ecotourism Calls on the U.S. Government to Implement Measures to Support Sustainable Development of the Tourism Industry   WASHINGTON 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....
  By Wendy Brewer Lama, KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel   Nepal's hospitality has long been a favorite among world travelers. That, despite the political upheavals in recent years, has not changed, and the situation seems to be improving with the Maoists’ call for a ceasefire on 3 September 2005. "The ceasefire is a welcome opening for peace negotiations," says Wendy King, Nepal Peace Corps Volunteer and CARE employee who lived in Nepal from 1977 and 2004. "During my visit to Nepal in July, I felt as safe and welcomed as ever. No...
By Hum Bahadur Gurung, Griffith University   The Himalayan kingdom of Nepal is a breathtakingly beautiful country, and its people have been peacefully united for over 240 years. The country, however, has been facing immense challenges in recent years, as Maoist insurgencies have escalated throughout the country, and the King has seized power and reestablished the monarchy.   International tourist arrivals have decreased in recent years in response to the media reports on political instability in Nepal. While over 490,000 tourists visited the country in 1999, the figure...
The First National Conference in Ecotourism To Be Held in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA   WASHINGTON, DC, August 29, 2005 - With nature and adventure travel today representing two of the fastest growing sectors of the US tourism industry, top ecotourism leaders from across the United States will gather in Bar Harbor, Maine, on September 14-16, to discuss how to make tourism a positive force for protecting our nation’s cultural and natural heritage.   The first-ever National Conference on Ecotourism in the US will feature more than 85 speakers, including a keynote...

 

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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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