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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!

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Elephants of Southern AfricaGood news: there are too many elephants!

Bad news: there are too many elephants!

With so many environmental groups fighting to prevent poaching of these impressive beasts for their ivory tusks, it is ironic that there is over-population in the parks I recently visited in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia with Overseas Adventure Travel.

An estimated 120,000 elephants roam the vast, unfenced preserves under the protection of armed, patrolling rangers.

Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Linda Ballou
    Linda Ballou says #
    Much appreciated
    Thank you for your thoughtful response to my article. Humans have created imbalances in nature all over the planet. This is just o
  • Yuki Tsuchido
    Yuki Tsuchido says #
    Know first, then act properly
    It could be said that most of all tourists do not know the issue stated in the article, which is that the number of elephant has d

Madagascar Tourism Helping CommunitiesAcross Africa, the transformational abilities of tourism have proven invaluable in helping to repair the relationship between people and planet. Sustainable certification standards, like those instituted by South Africa's Fair Trade Tourism, have ushered in new awareness for tourism that benefits communities socially, economically and environmentally.

This awareness has translated into action on the island of Madagascar. A country of startling contrasts, its incredible natural beauty and unique ecosystems are offset by a rapidly expanding and largely impoverished population, threatening species found nowhere else on earth.

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  • Janet
    Janet says #
    Responsible Tourism in Madagas...
    Madagascar is blessed with its natural beauty and this is an advantage for people in Madagascar to develop ecotourism business. T
  • Vincent
    Vincent says #
    Ecotourism in Madagascar
    I am a tourism student and undergoing ecotourism subject. Madagascar is a beautiful country indeed, from the friendly people to
  • Indrilisa Azwar
    Indrilisa Azwar says #
    Eco lodge that Empower local c...
    currently I'm studying about ecotourism and thanks for this blog. Awareness that being done by South Africa's Fair Trade Tourism i

World Summit on Sustainable TourismI have been a proud member of Sustainable Tourism Charter's ST+20 Scientific Committee for more than two years during which I have tried to advance the organization's goals for preserving common heritage, supporting tourism biodiversity, decreasing tourism's effect on climate change, wealth redistribution, and enhancing partnerships and innovation - the last of which specifically related to the development of a Return on Investment (ROI) Model for Sustainable Tourism.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in this growing and important field of tourism, later this year, from November 26-27, a seminal event will take place in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) to mark the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Charter for Sustainable Tourism.

Researcher at Bidoup Field School VietnamLooking for a unique way to 'pay it forward' and add to your resume with your sustainable travels? Spearheading an innovative program that applies responsible tourism practices with practical scientific research, the Bidoup Field School, will be holding a special 2 week program in January for budding researchers who want to combine their sustainable travels with the opportunity to contribute and advance tropical forest research.  

Located within the Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park in Vietnam, a newly named UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, researchers will first spend 9 days touring Vietnam with Dr. Nhu Hoa Le, bi-lingual guide and leading expert on sustainable tourism in Vietnam followed by a week of environmental research.  

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

Horseback riding at the foothills of Cotopaxi volcano

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Quito, Ecuador to give a presentation at the Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC). Many speeches and declarations were made during the conference, but the most notable was when the Minister of Tourism, Sandra Naranjo, announced that Ecuador was partnering with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to create standards for sustainability in tourism.

A fantastic step forward indeed! But, what does that mean to you as a traveler?

As you consider traveling to the beautiful country of Ecuador, here's some practical examples of boutique hotels located in the Cotopaxi region that are already implementing standards of sustainability, namely Hacienda El Porvenir, Black Sheep Inn and Chilcabamba Eco Lodge.

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  • Nilufar sheikh
    Nilufar sheikh says #
    Sustainable Travel Through Cot...
    Sandra Naranjo, the Minister of Tourism announced that Ecuador collaboration with Global Sustainable Tourism Council about Creatin
  • Stacey Stovall
    Stacey Stovall says #
    Missed you at ESTC
    Hello Irene! I must have missed you at the ESTC in Quito. You and I talked a year or so ago re: your project to gather data on eco
  • Irene
    Irene says #
    RE:Missed you at ESTC
    Hi Stacey, It was a beautiful venue for a conference, but difficult to find people. Happy to share my ESTC presentation with you,

Lumnishenca Wikipedia CommonsAfter what seemed to be an endless Washington DC winter filled with errant snow storms, sleet and frigid weather, our family realized that we desperately needed to experience the rejuvenating warmth of a sun, sand, and sea vacation.

So began the research to find a relatively uncrowded Caribbean island that would also fulfill our need for eco-adventure.

Eventually, we settled on St. Croix and although I was a little apprehensive about the traveler warnings for getting a mosquito-borne disease (Dengue and Chikungunya had been spreading for months), ultimately we were pleasantly surprised with St. Croix's vistas, quirky history, beautiful beaches, and hospitality – and I haven't yet even mentioned the great kayaking!

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  • Malha
    Malha says #
    Bioluminescent and Ecotourism ...
    Hello, i am student currently studying in Tourism and undergoing 'ecotourism' as a subject. I found the blog interesting as i come

Male Gaur asiatic wild ox at Nagarahole wildlife sanctuaryThe vast and diverse landscape of India is embedded with a rich biosphere that is home to myriad species of flora and fauna.

I believe that with the evolution of technology and infrastructural development in India, today, there is a perpetual conflict between the Indian wildlife and humans.

Gaur bull at Nagarhole National Park, India. Photo by Dinesh Kannambadi (Wikipedia Commons)

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  • fathimath Nashfa
    fathimath Nashfa says #
    Protect the wildlife from tour...
    Wildlife safaris have now become a very popular tourism activity as more facilities and opportunities are being provided for the t
  • Gargi Doulatani
    Gargi Doulatani says #
    Sakrebailu Elephant Camp
    It is remarkable to see the forest department has finally understood the value of preserving wildlife as well as creating a sustai
  • gruhkhoj
    gruhkhoj says #
    konkan, western ghat
    konkan, western ghat, are one of the most attractive tourism locations in the india. very interesting and attractive blog and post
  • jessica
    jessica says #
    sanctuaries in india
    An informative content was posted.Its representation is very nice.India is a nurturer of rich legacy of Flora and fauna which make

Alaska AdventureAlaska is one of the least-densely populated places in the world, and much of the state remains wild and road-less. Travel to Alaska typically focuses on these remote areas, and enjoying the stunning scenery and abundant wildlife they offer.

To ensure that nature and eco-travel can continue, we must be stewards for the natural environment so that wild places like these remain for future generations to enjoy.

1-night-RaftI am fortunate to live in an area of Northern Virginia near the Potomac Gorge, which is a wilderness expanse with over 240 species of animals (including frogs, toads, foxes, raccoons, deer, possums, etc.) and where many migratory birds spend part of their year.

With its beautiful American elm, ironwood and redwood trees as well as many walking and biking paths that connect up to an extensive network of trails throughout the Washington DC area, it's no wonder why visitors are amazed at the expanse of mature trees and quiet solitude found so close to the city.

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  • Greenloons
    Greenloons says #
    Wilderness has value in its diversity of living things; from the smallest to the largest; from the clean air to clean water; from

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

There are various times throughout the year when I make a conscious decision to unplug from the world and, instead, reconnect with myself and my natural surroundings. Ultimately, while I do feel balanced, once I endeavor to rejoin the greater world again, I also realize that I missed some interesting news stories along the way. One such story occurred last summer while I was in Greece. The story was about a traveler's touching moment with a polar bear who was trying to push away a cruise ship from its Arctic homeland.

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  • Rona
    Rona says #
    Great article .

The term "Noah's Ark" can conjure up many images. For some, it's a biblical reference set in modern day Turkey. For others, it's traveling through the lush landscapes of southern Africa while on safari. For Australians though, the term invokes a call to action to protect the endangered species that call Tasmania home.

Tasmania's strikingly picturesque land - with its nature reserves, beaches, clear waters, glacial remnants and World Heritage Sites – provides the perfect ecosystem for migrating blue and humpback whales, kangaroos, southern elephant seals, wedge-tailed eagles, albatrosses, petrels, skinks, wombats, the threatened subarctic fur seal, and, of course, the famed Tasmanian devil.

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  • rekha
    rekha says #
    Thanks for sharing awesome post. I loved your blog.
  • Greenloons
    Greenloons says #
    Noah's ark really conjures now a new image. Nice description. I felt a strong desire to visit this area in Tasmania.

The countdown has begun! One month from today, our family will be setting off to Namibia for an authentic African safari!!  Given all the questions we've received about Namibia, I thought it would be interesting to post this infographic from 'My Destination' that takes a look at then of the most interesting facts about country, including that it is home to the biggest single piece of meteor on Earth and that its total land mass is equal to the combined total land mass of Spain and Germany.

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  • Sophie
    Sophie says #
    The content on Namibia is well precised, as Namibia is one of the adventurous places to visit, close to the animal life over there

Quite often, I am asked to describe the typical Greenloons travel experience with respect to how our trips promote sustainability for communities, the environment and for travelers. It's always a pleasure for me to give examples, and the latest is no exception.

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.

Tourism is the largest industry in the world and, as such, has the power to (positively or negatively) change lives and impact communities. Along with that, Greenloons has consistently advocated the values of authentic ecotourism, namely, sustainable or responsible tourism activities that uphold community:

How do you know when eco-certified travel is going mainstream? It is when customers and hotel chains both extol the virtues of certification and eco-labels.

Earlier this year, a Canadian Travel Intentions Survey found that 25% of leisure travelers and 31% of business travelers said that a hotel with an environmental certification program was important to them. Overall, 42% of business travelers surveyed said that practices like recycling and energy efficiency matter to them when choosing where to stay (up five percent from 2011) and the same percentage of all travelers said they would pay $1 or more to offset their carbon footprint during a stay at a property.

Posted by on in Sustainable Travel News

Patagonia is one of the world's greatest natural treasures—admired for both its ecological significance and its extraordinary beauty. However, in the last 100 years, forest fires and human intervention have destroyed more than 7.5 million acres of pristine wilderness.

One of the region's worst fires occurred in December 2011, destroying 42,500 acres in Torres del Paine National Park. This tragedy inspired Reforest Patagonia, the largest native-species reforestation campaign in Chile's history.

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

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.

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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.

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

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