After days of overcast and rain, the morning sun over Luzern was a very welcome sight! I was not reveling alone as (it seemed) many of Luzern’s residents, visitors and children came out in droves either for a stroll along the city’s main tourist attractions or a moment of contemplation in one of its many quiet, hidden corners.
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Ecotourism Blog!
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!
It’s been almost one month since I came home from your amazing State that stretches along the Gulf Coast like “the graceful tentacle of a sea creature” – and I’m still smiling.
I loved how the strong Mexican sun cascaded all over your lovely beaches, mountainous peaks and formidable rivers, and the even friendlier hospitality that permeated through all your people. I loved learning about your indigenous cultures as well as the infusion of Afro-Cuban and Spanish artistry, music, foods, bright colors, and traditions. More huachinango a la veracruzana, (red snapper in a spicy tomato sauce) por favor!
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council recently spotlighted Norway's efforts toward ecotourism:
The Norwegian fjords have a tourism history dating back to 1850. The area is known for its pristine natural beauty and its stunning fjords and has won many accolades. In 2006, two of its fjords were named among the world’s best-cared-for UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and in 2009 the region was rated the world’s most iconic travel destination by National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine.
This article was originally posted in Business Insider and was so telling and accurate, I thought it would be useful to re-post here.
How often do you check your LinkedIn and Facebook accounts when you travel? Perhaps you like to stay connected or maybe you prefer to unplug completely. Either way, your social media and tech habits say something about what type of traveler you are. Expedia has analyzed people's travel habits based on 40,000 trips booked through their site. Based on that information, they've created an infographic that shows how tech and social media habits affect travel.
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!
Some of my formative summer seasons were spent in Rhode Island and since Block Island and Newport were within close driving (or ferry) distance, it never occurred to our family to visit Kennebunkport too. Well, during all those summers, we were definitely missing out!
By now, you are probably experiencing the lazy days of August in the run up to September, where school starts, fall sports and cooler weather change the dynamic of weekend getaways. However, if you’ve got one more weekend getaway left in you and want to do something really different – check out these great festivals in the United States and around the world.
If you are looking for some eco travel inspiration, start by visiting the towns across the United States that host some of the greenest college campuses. Compiled by Online Colleges Guide, this infographic depicts how many colleges are leading the charge in building LEED certified buildings, growing their own crops in organic farms and gardens, and offering degrees in sustainability.
Croatia has been receiving a lot of press lately as the “new” and relatively untouched area of Europe for wanderlusts to discover. The country offers pristine beaches, hiking trails and vineyards for adventures and culinary enthusiasts alike.
In addition, since 1993, Croatia has also instituted the Environmental Label, so that consumers could understand the “environmental friendliness of a product…and an indication of continuous efforts (toward) environmental protection”.
Rolling hills, castles, churches, potatoes, shamrocks and leprechauns – that’s what Ireland means to me! Since 2004, Ireland has also stood for a practical ecotourism standard. Developed by the organization, Ecotourism Ireland, and in association with Failte Ireland, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the (Ireland) Environmental Protection Agency, the National Standards Authority of Ireland and the (Ireland) National Parks & Wildlife Service, the eco-label aims to expand the concept of environmental sustainability and stewardship through extensive training and accreditation procedures.
This short video (shot entirely on June 8, 2012) encapsulates the festive nature of Warsaw during the opening day of the Euro 2012 football (soccer) championships. Co-hosting with Ukraine, Poland's capital city was well prepared for guests ensuring plenty of public transportation for fans to get to the big game, and open areas with large screens so revelers could watch Poland play Greece.
Our family visit to Poland earlier this month came about because we had the opportunity to attend the opening game of Euro 2012 (Poland versus Greece) in Warsaw. While it was a thrilling match (not just because I’m Greek and my husband is Polish) in a pretty city, I found Warsaw to be too austere for my taste and was happy to get on train south to Krakow for a different view of Polish life.
From the moment we stepped off the train in Krakow and within minutes, found ourselves walking down pedestrian-only Floriańska to the main market square (Rynek Główny), our family felt that we had just arrived in a very special place that not only had a long history - one look at the architecture alone tells this - but proud and deep cultural roots that were not going to succumb to commercialism anytime soon. That notion made my little ecotourism heart so happy!
It’s just about time for the start of one of the most hallowed traditions in football (aka soccer for us Americans). It’s time for UEFA's Euro 2012 and the host countries of Poland and Ukraine are ready to showcase their stadiums, culture and sportsmanship to the world.
Last March, I had the pleasure of staying in three distinct green lodgings in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, which emphasized the city’s culture, history, diversity, and ecological sensitivity. Quito Turismo, the tourism office for the capital, sponsored my stay at a lovely trio of accommodations that was affordable, centrally located and comfortable.
The following guest post was written by Nick DiMatteo, who is the President & Founder of Nomadico Travel. By coincidence, we were both staying at the lovely Anahi Boutique Hotel in Quito for a couple of nights before heading into the Amazon Jungle and had a lovely time sharing our experiences in the city.
While I've already discussed my visit to Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, I wanted Nick to share the life-changing experience he and his family had while visiting the Huaorani community (in Central Ecuador).
There’s an abundance of quality travel guides available, but none that focus on engaging elementary school students who want to learn some kid green travel tips for the foreign country they are visiting with their family. Therefore, Greenloons has developed a green informational guide to Costa Rica designed for children in elementary school.
It was a surreal experience to visit the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve in Ecuador last March. Surreal because there was an emotional tug-of-war going on inside me to enjoy the ecological wonders of the area, while at the same time uphold the principles of ecotourism.
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.
This short video depicts the natural beauty of Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Located in the northeastern part of Ecuador, near the border with Columbia, the relatively new national park contains rivers, swimming lagoons, and a floating forest. It is also abundant with life.
Last month, I spent five days in the Quito area of Ecuador and was enthralled by the region’s austerity, beauty, history and green mindset. Upon first glance, Quito’s topography is breathtaking - simply astounding! Over the course of my short stay, I visited many conservation-minded sites all within a 2 hour radius of Quito and was amazed at the diversity of culture and colors.
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.
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.