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Welcome to the Greenloons Blog, your go-to ecotourism / sustainable / responsible (or whatever term you feel comfortable with) travel resource. Here, you will find eco travel destination profiles, environmentally friendly travel tips, ecotourism certification information, eco trip reviews and much more! Read, share and let us know your thoughts about ecotourism!

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Women on Wheels in IndiaLast fall, G Adventures announced the 50-in-5 campaign as part of the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.  I had an opportunity to ask Kim McCabe of G Adventures, a few questions about the goals of this campaign and how it related to sustainable tourism as well as benefiting local communities socially, economically and environmentally.

What is your ultimate goal with the 50-in-5 campaign, as it relates to traveler awareness of sustainable community experiences?

G Adventures’ 50-in-5 Campaign will raise CAD $5 million (USD $3.9 million) to integrate 50 new social enterprise projects into the G Adventures portfolio within 5 years.

Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Kelly
    Kelly says #
    Love G-Adventures!
    I've just finished reading Bruce Poon Tip's book Looptail and have been DYING to go on a G Adventures Trip since. I too studied Su
  • Irene
    Irene says #
    RE:Love G-Adventures!
    Thanks Kelly! We think they are doing good work as well, but by far are not the only ones who are benefiting local communities soc

Small Farmers CowThere are 500 million small farmers across the world producing around 70% of the global food supply. They do this despite the numerous threats and challenges that they face on a daily basis. This is no small feat.  So, in order to support production, we are working with these small farmers to develop their own innovative low-cost solutions.

We are Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) and we are a charity with difference. We are led by small farmers and owned by 38 producer organisations and their 280,000 members across Latin America and Africa.

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  • ZHI QING
    ZHI QING says #
    Importance of Sustainable Micr...
    Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation is an organization who works with smallholders in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.Their programs
  • Tynk
    Tynk says #
    My humble point of view toward...
    I am so amazed and inspired by what your organization has done in terms of establishing this great organization and helping in max

PetraMy journey to Jordan began in 2005.  Having never travelled to the Middle East, the first time I looked at a map of where Jordan was, I was a little unsure what to expect. However, within moments of arriving at Queen Alia Airport, I felt welcome and happy to be there. Ten years later and this feeling of happiness, security and hope has not faded.

Despite the challenges we, as a country, are facing with our neighbours, Jordan has, is, and I hope always, will be a land of safety, legendary hospitality, and breathtaking beauty. With the unrest in the region, tourism has unsurprisingly dropped significantly and in towns like Petra that rely on tourism for their livelihood, times are tough.

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  • Janice Hans Christian
    Janice Hans Christian says #
    ECO TOURISM COMMENT
    I am currently studying in international tourism management course and this blog definitely widen up my horizons about Petra, Jord
  • Yurie
    Yurie says #
    Best place Petra
    I could feel Jordan is a amazing place when I read these article. Tourists could feeling the real middle east life, nature and cul
  • Shernice Goh
    Shernice Goh says #
    Ecotourism Blog
    I am currently studying in international tourism management course and this blog definitely widen up my horizons about Petra, Jord

Volunteer Africa 32 Fair Trade Certified Wild Coast Schools Program Does this sound familiar?  You are a person with sought-after technical, teaching, and/or artistic skills that would love to combine your passion for travel with your pay-it-forward attitude.  You have the drive, but are unsure about whether that volunteer program that looks good to you (and your family) will actually help the community. How do you know that it will be a rewarding experience socially and environmentally?

Eco-certification goes a long way toward providing that necessary transparency and accountability, but until recently, there weren't any volunteer programs that were certified.  Enter Volunteer Africa 32 South

Hoi An 1 vietnamOur new partner in Vietnam, Easia Travel, has taken the concept of green travel one step further than what is traditionally seen in southeast Asia by supporting specific environmental awareness, aquaculture training, heritage preservation, and gender equality initiatives aimed at improving the living conditions of local communities as well as enhancing the travel experience for their clients.

We asked them to provide some additional perspective and insight into their sustainability goals, based on the results they are noticing from these various projects.

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  • Chihiro
    Chihiro says #
    Easia Travel’s actions and vis...
    By reading this article, I have a lot of interest about this travel agency, Easia Travel since their projects which they are takin

Florie HopTrip Latin AmericaA few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Florie Thielin at the Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism Conference in Quito and learning more about the Hopineo initiative.

It's a deliciously simple, but impactful idea! In exchange for sharing best practices and providing specific recommendations for how a responsible hotel can enhance their marketing efforts, Hopineo provides access to experienced sustainability, marketing and/or photo/videography professionals, among other skills, who only ask that their room and board accommodations be waived.

Responsible Tourism Campaign of Animal WelfareIn an increasingly urbanized world, wildlife tourism is gaining more and more popularity, and many travellers choose to spend their holidays getting to know – even volunteering with, wild animals.

Unfortunately, in the vast majority of activities with animals, what we see are creatures torn away from their natural habitat and placed into an artificial one where they suffer and are forced to perform in ways which are unnatural for them.

Every year, travellers, volunteers and animal lovers unwittingly contribute to the cruel exploitation of those very same animals they so badly wanted to see and help.

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  • Painting Company in Dubai
    Painting Company in Dubai says #
    Painting Company in Dubai
    Nice information providing by your article and I would really like to thank for your article it’s really helpful. Regards Painting
  • Fundación FAADA
    Fundación FAADA says #
    Fundación FAADA
    Dear Prabhakar, thank you for your interest in this topic. You can find much more information on animal and tourism entering the w
  • prabhakar gurung
    prabhakar gurung says #
    hello i am a research assistant at a ENVIS center in India. It is a center for collecting news related to the environment. Then we

As part of our continuing series of Ecotourism Industry Profiles where we discuss the issues surrounding the triple bottom line and, more recently, the actual return on investment (ROI) that businesses realize as a result of implementing sustainable operations, we profile Steve Macfarlane, owner of the Glenuig Inn.

While Costa Rica comprises only .01% of the earth’s landmass, it is home to five percent (5%) of the planet’s biodiversity. Breaking it down even more, within Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula provides a pristine habitat to more than half of all the bird, butterfly, mammal and plant species found in the country.

In other words, if you want to see 2.5% of the planet’s flora and fauna species during one vacation, head to the Osa Peninsula!

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  • Costa Rica Eco Lodge
    Costa Rica Eco Lodge says #
    Thank God there are still entrepreneurs with a high environmental awareness. I'm very happy living in the osa peninsula, where tou

Marinus Gisolf is a man on a mission – empowering tourists to become an active partner in sustainable tourism. Marinus began his professional career first as a tour guide and then as general director for Ecole Travel, in Costa Rica. As part of his duties, he was not only responsible for the company’s sustainable operations, but also for setting up Ecole Travel agencies throughout Ecuador, Argentina and Panama.

In 2005, he published the book, The Functionality of the Tourism Supply Chain and followed it up with Tourists and Sustainability in 2009. After Ecole Travel obtained its Level 5 Certification in Sustainable Tourism (CST) accreditation in 2010, Marinus decided to start his next venture, Tourism Theories. I had the opportunity to ask him some questions about where the sustainable tourism industry stands today.

When it comes to green travel, we could learn a lot from the Scandinavian countries, especially Sweden. Our series "how ecotourism brings about positive community changes" continues with our interview with Anders Junler, who along with his wife IngMarie, manages Vildmark i Värmland, one of our certified ecotourism partners. What became obvious during the interview was that nature preservation is such an endemic part of the Swedish culture that expectations are high for sustainable tourism companies.

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  • naser
    naser says #
    omg its so beautiful

One of our partners, EcoCamp Patagonia, has the remarkable distinction of opening the world’s first Geodesic ecotourism accommodation. Since EcoCamp’s opening in 2000, the environmentally-conscious design concept has sprung up throughout Chile, Argentina and Switzerland. I had the pleasure of posing some questions to Yerko Ivelic, co-founder of EcoCamp Patagonia about the catalyst for developing this innovative green building design.

In an effort to encourage the development of sustainable tourism in Alaska, one of our partners, Discovery Voyages, has been working with the Alaska State Parks, Chugach National Forest, National Wildlife Federation, and others to develop the Prince William Sound Marine Trail as a world-class water trail along the coast of Prince William Sound. I had the opportunity to pose some questions to Captain Dean Rand concerning the catalyst for developing the Marine Trail.

I had the pleasure of meeting John Kiseda, Education Coordinator for Sustainability for Florida’s Lee County Parks and Recreation Department, during last September’s Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC). I was thrilled to learn from John that the state of Florida had recently implemented its own eco-certification program for tourism suppliers.

Our ecotourism conservation spotlight continues with a profile of Ecoventura, a certified sustainable tour operator in the Galapagos Islands and its pledge to sponsor 12 local student scholarships for one Ecology Project International course to study conservation and ecology-related issues.

I had an opportunity to post some questions about this amazing program to Doris Welsh, Director of Sales & Marketing at Ecoventura and Ana Maria Loose, Director of Galapagos Ecology Projects at Ecology Project International. First, watch this video to learn a bit more about Ecology Project International.

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  • Christine Tibbetts
    Christine Tibbetts says #
    Exciting project----I always appreciate building the next wave of wonders by involving kids in travel and sustainability. Thank yo

How do you know that your eco-travels can make a huge impact on wildlife conservation? One practical tip is to investigate exactly how much an ecotour operator is contributing toward conservation efforts. One such example of true ecotourism can be found in Vietnam.

The Intrepid Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that supports non-governmental organizations in the areas that Intrepid Travel visits, has been supporting a range of conservation projects at the Cuc Phuong National Park, including endangered primates rescue and small carnivore conservation since 1997. I had an opportunity to pose some questions to Jane Couch, Responsible Travel Manager at Intrepid Travel to understand their impact.

Last September, I had the pleasure of meeting the Director of Spirit of Japan Travel, Masaru Takayama, who founded the company in February, 2008 so that local communities interested in ecotourism could market directly to travelers from America and Southeast Asia, rather than through mass tourism travel agents. I had an opportunity to ask him some questions about the state of sustainable travel in Japan in the wake of the devastating tsunami earlier in 2011.

When you travel to a new region or land in the world, there is always an experience that sticks with you. It could be something ordinary, such as a brief moment of complete relaxation when you learn something new about yourself or something quite profound, such as a chance meeting with a wise local that provides you with a different perspective about life.

Last October, when I traveled to Mexico for the Adventure Travel World Summit, I had such a profound moment when listening to Pati Ruiz speak, laugh, sing and cry about her mission for empowering the communities of the Sierra Gorda region of Mexico.

Tourism is the largest industry in the world and as such has the power to greatly benefit communities and elevate people’s standards of living. I had an opportunity to ask Enrique Valdes Garcia, who is the Cultural and Sustainable Tourism Director at Mayaland Resorts, which has been family owned and operated since 1921.

Its founder, Fernando Barbachano Peon, is credited as the nation’s first tourism industry pioneer that helped to introduce many travelers to the glories of the Yucatan and the magic of the Mayan culture. The properties have also been verified by the Rainforest Alliance.

Recently, I had an opportunity to pose some questions to Kym Cheatham, CEO of Ecotourism Australia, which is a non-profit organization that is Australia’s main ecotourism industry association. Here, she shares some great perspective on the importance of maintaining high ecotourism standards and encouraging triple bottom line sustainability.

Recently Alfredo Ferreyros, the President of Explorandes Peru, which is a sustainable tour operator offering authentic ecotours to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley and the Amazon Rainforest in Peru, answered some questions about the process his company went through to obtain ISO 14001 designation.

As a manner of introduction, the intention of the ISO 14001 standards for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) is to provide a framework for a holistic, strategic approach to an organization's environmental policy, plans and actions. ISO 14001 is a management tool that enables an organization to identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products, or services; improve its environmental performance continually and to implement a systematic approach to setting environmental objectives and targets.

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  • chetan
    chetan says #
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  • Greenloons
    Greenloons says #
    Organizations applying ISO 14001 only have to take a few steps to become registered under EMAS: The two main differences involve a
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