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News & Updates
New biking tour offers a unique way to experience the landscapes, wildlife and culture of the Galapagos Cycling more than 100km across the inhabited island of the Galapagos, the new tour being offered by Galakiwi is aimed at active travelers who crave a more intimate island experience. Limited to only 10 cyclists, the tour will be guided by a Galapagos Park Naturalist Guide and will also have a dedicated bike support team throughout the tour, which visits San Cristobal, Floreana, Isabela and Santa Cruz Islands. Blending together wildlife discoveries, cultural...
The 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards: New Name, New Categories The World Responsible Tourism Awards, formerly known as the Responsible Tourism Awards, is celebrating its 10th year with not only a new name, but also 6 new categories and several new partners. The Awards celebrate the shining stars of responsible tourism - those ventures around the world that make positive contributions to conservation and the economies of local communities. Below are the 8 categories in the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards and for the first time they include a People's Choice...
Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards: Opportunity for Asia-Based Accommodation Providers and Tour Operators Committed To Sustainability Launched in 2006, the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards honor innovative businesses that have excelled through the practice of responsible tourism. Now in their seventh year, the Awards are open to accommodations and tour operators across Asia in all shapes and sizes, budgets and locations. Grounded in the UN World Tourism Organization's Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, the Awards have helped shape international standards for...
2013 GHT Fam Trip Programme for Tour Operators and Media The Great Himalaya Trail Development Programme (GHTDP) and SNV Nepal, in partnership with local communities and tourism businesses throughout Nepal, are offering international tour operators and journalists a chance to experience new trekking destinations in Nepal first hand. The objective of the GHT Fam Trip Programme is to promote some of Nepal's emerging tourism destinations, such as Humla, Dolpa, Manaslu, Lower Solukhumbu, and Kanchenjunga. The GHTDP has been running an extensive training program for local...
Advice on Voluntouring and Making Worthwhile Contributions Abroad Andean trekking specialist Llama Expeditions in Peru offers 10 tips for travelers on making donations that are as meaningful as possible. "We offer meaningful vacations for people who work hard and want a chance to relax," said Diane Valenti, owner/founder of Llama Expeditions. "But our vacations are also a chance for culturally curious travelers to make a meaningful connection with the people and the land of Peru." Guests are encouraged to "pay it forward" by contributing to a...
Ecowildlife to Join WWF in Turning Off the Lights in 2013 Ecowildlife Travel is joining the Earth Hour event for its second consecutive year. World Wildlife Foundation’s (WWF) campaign has become a major global initiative in defense of the environment, inspiring millions of people around the world to turn off their lights for one hour as a symbol of their dedication to the fight against climate change. This year’s event will be taking place from 20:30 (8:30pm) to 21:30 (9:30pm) on March 23rd, 2013. More than just a symbolic action, Earth Hour results in real impacts and...
Are You Leaving a Trail of Plastic Water Bottles When You Travel? Today (March 22) is World Water Day, a great occasion to reflect on the importance of freshwater for community well-being, and on the need for improving freshwater resource management. TIES member Crooked Trails, in partnerships with key industry organizations, has launched the TAP (Travelers Against Plastic) campaign today, with the goals of spreading awareness about the impacts of disposable plastic water bottles used by travelers, and encouraging people to travel...
A Model of Sustainable Ecotourism in a Changing Brazil Vitória da Riva Carvalho, owner of Cristalino Jungle Lodge in Alta Floresta, was recently featured in a Financial Times article about the shifting attitudes of Brazilians toward their abundant natural resources. Having inherited land from her father, who purchased 800,000 hectares of rainforest in the 1970s with dreams of creating a model agricultural city, Vitória has witnessed this attitude change firsthand. Despite resistance from locals and even death threats, Vitória's persistence in...
Travel That Gives Back Profound personal experiences with endangered environments and cultures can be a powerful motivator for change and the demand for conservation travel globally is growing. Kurt Kutay, founding president and CEO of Seattle-based Wildland Adventures, recalls a family on a tour in Africa that was so moved by encounters with a traditional Maasai community that the experience literally set their lives on an unexpected course. Upon returning to the United States, they launched a fundraising campaign and returned as a family to help build a school in the...
Natural Habitat Adventures Receives Top Award from Outside Magazine Natural Habitat Adventures has been selected by Outside, America’s leading multimedia active-lifestyle brand, as a recipient of its second annual Active Travel Awards. Natural Habitat Adventures was honored with the top award - BEST OUTFITTER. The full list of award winners can be found in the April issue of Outside magazine, available on newsstands now. "Outside magazine has long been one of the world's most trusted advisors for active and adventurous travelers," says...
Our current issue article series this week focuses on the concept of "luxury" in ecotourism. What does luxury mean to you, as an eco-tourist, or from the perspective of an ecotourism business or destination? What are some examples of ecolodges and eco-destinations incorporating "luxury" into the experiences they offer? What kind of luxury do eco-tourists seek? Head over to TIES-EXCHANGE to add your comments and ideas related to this topic! (Member log-in required) Some may consider "luxury ecotourism" an oxymoron. However,...
Global Sustainable Tourism Council Appoints Chief Executive Officer, Opens Madrid Office at World Tourism Organization The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) has announced the appointment of Mauro Marrocu as its new Chief Executive Officer. Marrocu will lead the organization through its next phase of growth and extended global partnerships. Marrocu is an experienced executive and entrepreneur in the travel industry. He has worked on various continents in developed and developing markets, with past roles including President and COO of the Verona Valeria Catullo Airport in...
Tourism and Peace As part of their "Tourism and Peace" initiative, the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO) and the Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education of the University of Klagenfurt, Austria will be publishing an International Handbook on Tourism and Peace at the end of 2013. The handbook will be a compilation of current knowledge and will provide an overview of the most important areas of work and research on tourism as a potential tool in peace building efforts as well as how tourism can potentially cause conflict. As part of...
Support Trips That Are Win-Win For Conservation and Communities As demonstrated by TIES members around the world, ecotourism, by providing economic incentive for protecting natural and cultural diversity, can be an effective solution to conservation challenges facing many communities. And as travelers, you can not only be part of the solution but also play an active role in making conservation successes possible by traveling with responsible businesses, and supporting local conservation initiatives. Learn more...
Running With the Maasai Registration is now open for the 3rd annual Amazing Maasai Ultra Marathon, which will be held in Laikipia North on September 28th, 2013. Runners from across the world are set to gather again in the foothills of Mt. Kenya for this unique running challenge and to experience life in the African bush. "The run takes place in a very remote area, far off the tourist trails", explain race directors Sarah Edson and Molly Fitzpatrick. Vast African vistas are the backdrop and a very special Maasai community is your host – it is truly...
Encouraging Sustainable Tourism Development in Oregon Through its new Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund (OTPF), Travel Oregon, in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, will be donating more than $14,000 to projects throughout Oregon that improve the environment, support local culture and enrich the destination for future visitors. OTPF is the first statewide program of its kind. The goal of the program is to improve experiences for visitors and locals by connecting them to participating tourism businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and tour operators that are...
Sustainability Training in Kathmandu Attracts More than 85 Travel Companies and 40 Hotels Late last month, more than 85 Nepali travel companies and 40 hotels joined a 2-day training course in Kathmandu to learn how to integrate sustainability and CSR principles. Participants included committed Nepali travel companies interested in achieving formal recognition and better market access, recognizing the growing demand from European business partners to comply with sustainability standards. The tourism professionals learned how to integrate sustainability in their office...
Botswana Ecotourism Certification System Botswana Tourism realizes that "green" is more than just a color or concept – it is a way of life. Botswana's commitment to the conservation of its natural resources, rich wildlife, and cultural heritage was formalized in 2002 with the inception of the country's National Ecotourism Strategy, which positions Botswana as a leading sustainable tourism destination and has led to the development of the Botswana Ecotourism Certification System, a voluntary, tourism industry-wide program run by Botswana Tourism. The...
ITB Berlin: Celebrating Heritage, Sustaining Communities Join TIES and sustainability leaders from around the world at ITB Berlin! Last year the ITB brought together over 180,000 visitors from 187 countries, making it the world's leading travel trade show. The ITB Berlin 2013 Convention will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, March 6th to 10th. With the theme "Earth's Wetlands & Geoparks", the Adventure & Responsible Tourism Hall (Hall 4.1b) at ITB Berlin will provide a platform for professionals and destinations to showcase their programs and...
Our current issue article series this week focuses on tourism’s contribution to biodiversity conservation. How does tourism benefit conservation? How can tourism ensure the involvement of local communities in conservation efforts? How does your organization work with communities and guests to support and promote conservation? Head over to TIES-EXCHANGE to add your comments and ideas related to this topic! (Member log-in required) Through many successful examples around the world, ecotourism has been proven as an effective market-based solution...