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What’s in The Bush? An overview of Aussie & New Zealand wildlife. Part 1: Mammals This blog first appeared on Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours Now you’re Downunder, everything is upside down. Our mammals lay eggs, our reptiles care for their babies, birds are flightless but mammals fly, and Orion does a headstand in the starry sky. You’ll meet our mammals, birds and reptiles. You’ll see how many of them live in female-dominated and matriarchal societies. Many of them breed communally too. Its all part of living Downunder! So to...
Ecotourism Generates 8 Billion Visits A Year This original blog post first appeared in EcoWorldly PLOS Biology, an open source, peer reviewed biology journal, has published a new study which estimates the world’s protected environment areas generate 8 billion visits every year, 80% of them in Europe and North America. The numbers for the US say ecotourism generates approximately $600 billion annually in direct in-country expenditures and $250 billion each year in consumer surplus. The point of the study is that protecting natural habitats from ecological damage is...
Is Blogging an Effective Content Marketing Tool for Travel Brands? by Ayako Ezaki This original article first appeared on TrainingAid. Our Tourism Training Live session last month focused on digital marketing strategies for tourism businesses, including search performance, website techniques and social media marketing, all in the context of effective content marketing approaches. (You can see the recording of this session here). One of the questions addressed during the above session was "Should I blog?" - a question that came from a small...
LITHUANIA: Responsible Dog Sledding in Neris Regional Park This blog first appeared in Green Global Travel. Raise your hand if you’d like to go dog sledding. I imagine a wave of hands will fly up across the cyber-world, fingers stretching in the air. I mean, gliding across a frozen landscape, with no sound other than the dogs’ paws, muted by the snow as they reach top speed… who wouldn’t love the idea? Great. But what about the dogs? Are they happy? Are they treated well? What is the difference between dog sledding and, say,...
Endemic mammal families of the world: Part 1 Australasian Ecozone This original blog first appeared on Echidna Walkabout's blog. In Australia, we grow up knowing that most of our mammals are found nowhere else on earth. We almost take that for granted, but it really is an incredible legacy! But which mammal families are endemic to Australia? Which are endemic to Australia+New Guinea and their islands? Which are endemic to the region east of the Wallace Line (incl Sulawesi, New Guinea, Australia)? How does our level of endemism compare to other...
Latin Trails adds HakunaMatata Amazon lodge to its portfolio Ecuador based tour operator, to provide stability to sustainable eco friendly property in the Amazon rainforest. February 9, 2015 (Quito, Ecuador) –Latin Trails tour operator, which has been operating for over 20 years on the local market in Quito - Ecuador, has recently acquired a small Eco-lodge to its diverse travel property portfolio. The Hakuna Matata eco-lodge is located in the Ecuadorian Amazon, nearby the small town of Archidona, where exclusive nature lovers can fully enjoy from a "close watch" the...
Greenpop has just launched their Zambia Festival of Action 2015 and is calling on people to… Branch out and be the change! Why Zambia? Zambia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. After decades of poor land management, slash and burn farming methods, unsustainable logging and tree-cutting for charcoal, Zambia currently has an estimated deforestation rate of 250 000 to 300 000 hectares per year - that’s twice the size of Houston, Texas. Greenpop has run their annual Zambia Festival of Action in Livingstone since 2012,...
CapeNature Staff Act Fast To Save Rare Pangolin This article first appeared on CapeNature's blog. A rare Ground Pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) was recently given a new lease on life when it was translocated to the safety of a rehabilitation facility after it was seized in the Western Cape last month. While it may appear a cute animal to some, pangolins are not indigenous to the Western Cape and it is illegal to possess them in the province. Thus, this endangered wild animal had to be transported to another province where it could be reintroduced into a natural habitat...
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...