ECOCLUB.com - International Ecotourism Club is a global, mutual aid network for an Ecological and Socially Just Tourism. We started out in 1999 and today have Members worldwide. Fifteen years and a century later, we still believe that local communities may cover (if they so wish) their real needs and aspirations through appropriate forms of tourism. More broadly we still believe in a voluntary and peaceful passage to a better world, a world without borders, divisions, violence or oppression, serving the well-being and respecting the rights of all people and other life forms. Examples and good practices of this alternative, better & happier world already exist and new ones pop-up every day, so we cooperatively try to promote and propagate them. On a day to day basis, we try to support genuine ecotourism practitioners, academics and students, offer specialist resources and an alternative, free Ecolodge Rating System. The ECOCLUB.com Team (comprising of Frosso Dimitrakopoulou & Antonis Petropoulos) is based in Athens, Greece, the city of direct democracy and of many other interesting inventions. The word and mark ECOCLUB® is a registered trademark of our company ECOCLUB S.A. which is the legal owner of this website.
Antonis Petropoulos has been an invited speaker at various international & national events including the European Union Environmental Governance Conference (Volos, Greece 2003), the World Leisure Congress (Hangzhou, China 2006), the World Ecotourism Summit (Oslo, Norway, 2007), the Tallinn University Activities & Recreation Conference (Tallinn, Estonia, 2007), the European Greens Tourism & Climate Change Conference (Brussels, July 2008) and co-organised the Tourism & Ecology Conference (Chania, Greece Oct 2008). He has also presented at the Ecotour Amazonia (Manaus Brazil, 2001), the European Union Environmental Governance Conference (Volos, Greece 2003), the IIPT 3rd Global Summit on Peace through Tourism (Pattaya, Thailand, 2005). He has also conducted various live online presentations including at ICRT-Leeds University (Jan. 2009) and the International EcoFest Dominica (May 2009). Antonis has appeared live on over a dozen Greek radio and TV stations, on BBC Talking Point (Aug 2001) while he has been interviewed or quoted by international newspapers (New York Times Aug 2007). For ECOCLUB.com he has interviewed over 100 international tourism and environment personalities and coordinated the annual ECOCLUB.com Ecotourism Awards (2004-2011) which provided micro-funding to community projects. Other tourism-related highlights include coordinating the Tourism group of the green party in Greece (2008 and 2011) and participating in the workgroup which evaluated the new proposed national tourism marketing plan of Greece (2007). At the European level he provided input to the "European Ecotourism Labelling Standard" (2010) and the "Basic orientations for the sustainability of European tourism" (2003) projects. Antonis graduated from Athens College (1987) and was accepted by the London School of Economics where he gained a B.Sc. in Economics (1990) and an M.Sc. in Economic History (1991). He also holds an M.Sc. in Shipping Trade and Finance (1994) from the Cass Business School, City University, London. He is a Lifetime Member of the World Leisure Organisation and an active member of various NGOs, societies and networks.
Frosso Dimitrakopoulou is the co-Editor of ECOCLUB.com. She holds an M.Sc. in Finance from Birkbeck School of the University of London and a B.Sc. in Business Administration from Piraeus University. Frosso is primarily responsible for the Jobs, Opportunities and Ecolodges for Sale sections.
Correspondents (Find out more)
Patrick Esteves Mills is an ECOCLUB.com Correspondent based in north central Vietnam. He is a currently a sustainable tourism volunteer in the Phong Nha Tourism Centre, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam. Patrick has a BaHons in Tourism and Geography. He is keen to work with tourism's long-term benefits and its increasingly important role in community development and empowerment as well as in environmental conservation. His long-term goal is to set up his own sustainable tourism consultancy NGO working in bottom-up tourism development across the globe. He is particularly interested in working with coastal communities and marine conservation.
"Your response to my question is detailed, informative and substantial ... the exact nature of content I have come to trust of ecoclub.com. I very much appreciate the time you've taken to put your answer together."
"I would suggest that ECOCLUB.com can continue to focus on being the leading provider of ecotourism job postings, education resources and events as you have been"
"Thank you very much for your great website, full of informations and consultancy offers...I use it quite often!"
"You guys are awesome and I thank Google in helping me to find your website. Keep up the good job you do..."
"I've found two of my favorite employers through ecoclub.com. I don't know how else I would have tapped into job opportunities in this niche industry in a specific city. Ecoclub jobs listing has really delivered."
"I really appreciate your comments and feedback. Nobody has invested so much time to analyze my CV"
"You run a very good website. It is unique in the information you share especially the job and project postings. I often refer students and job hunters to your website because there is no one who does what you do."
"My hearty congratulations on your annual Awards ceremony and 10-year anniversary!"
"Congratulations on 10 years of ECOCLUB!...From my perspective it's an absolute pleasure dealing with such a professionally run, passionate, innovative and informative organisation. Thank-you for your marvellous work and thank-you for the Award which will make a big difference very soon for the Peruvian community of Chichubamba."
"I wanted to thank you for your efforts with sustainable and responsible travel, and for giving us an outlet to encourage people to follow responsible travel opportunities" - Chosen as one of "20 favourite responsible travel sites"
"A great source of information I have always used"
"Many thanks for taking care of the indigenous Khow and Kalash communities. I do hope that the reverent ECOCLUB under your leadership will continue its support to protect the cultural heritage and natural environment of the people in the Hindu Kush and to developing it into potential tourism products in future."
Shams Uddin, CAMAT Chitral, Pakistan, January 2009
"No doubt the publicity we received through Ecoclub (for the ESTC 2008 conference) was an important factor in making it such a well-attended event. Thank you very much for your generous support"
"www.ecoclub.com The International [eco]Tourism Club site is worth a look. They have a small selection of ecologically friendly hotels and holidays, but their strength is in their listings and the information aimed at professionals, including a magazine, job listings, a forum and education section. You need to join to get the best out of the site"
Deborah Gray, Author, "The Green Website Guide for better living", Southbank Publishing, London, October 2008
"We are very happy to be part of Ecoclub, it has been very useful for us, not just with the award but also in finding staff. We are also looking now for business partners in other countries and so I will be using your bulletin board again soon! In the meantime thanks to you and your members for making our project possible."
Debby Watkins, Director, Carpe Diem Travel, January 2008
"Ecoclub has inspired me to create more than just a bed and breakfast for tourists in upstate New York. With the guidelines that I have learned through your organization we have created a Bed and Breakfast that works with our lifestyle, has an emphasis on ecology and is interwoven with the local culture. The result is a more meaningful experience for me and my son, for each guest and for the local community. Our little homebased business has a much higher purpose. We are hoping that our efforts help to preserve not only our 5 acre farm but this very vulnerable County."
Mary Koch, Owner, Thyme in the Country, November 2007
"For many ecotourism devotees, “luxury is the opposite of eco,” said Antonis Petropoulos, director of the Athens-based Ecoclub, an international network of affordable lodges that focus on nature. In Spain, for instance, Ecoclub’s sole (Ecolodge) member is Mas Lluerna Eco Farm in Catalonia, where visitors live on an organic farm and surrounding wetlands and cook on solar-powered ovens."
New York Times, "Trying to be green, with very little water", 19 August 2007, Article by Joanna Kakissis.
"Our guest left today after extending from 6 booked nights to 11 - and then 15 nights! (record) - Ecoclub clients are the best! She came to Sri Lanka because of Ecoclub and Tree Tops"
Lars Sorensen, Proprietor, Tree Tops Jungle Lodge, Sri Lanka, July 2007
"Ecoclub (www.ecoclub.com), based in Greece, links to the Web sites of eco-lodges, hotels and resorts in more than 80 countries. It also offers useful eco-travel news and advice."
Washington Post, "How to Find a Hotel That's Truly Fit for The Eco-Friendly", 8 June 2007
"We could not be successful in our public relations without the contribution you make to us on such an ongoing basis. So, thank you again for your efforts in our conference announcements and other operational notices."
Katie Maschman, Director of Membership & Communications, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), March 2007
"A big "Thank you" for the support of Bintang Bolong Lodge through www.ecoclub.com. We had (and still have) a very successful season, which considerably exceeded our expectations. This is mainly due to the promotion and the increasing awareness level in the internet. www.EcoClub.com made a very big contribution to our success. Thanks again"
Sebastian Reinelt, Proprietor, Bintang Bolong Lodge, The Gambia, February 2007
"I am continually fascinated by the level of ecotourism information on your site and find it a great resource to keep tabs on the global ecotourism movement."
Ian Wasson, Greenbox, November 2006
"What a blessing ECOCLUB has been for us this year. We have received so many inquiries thanks to your website and it's only the first month of our open season!"
Nicole Patel, Shaam-e-Sarhad, October 2006
"Take real trips, meet real people, make real friends...The Ecolodges listed at ecoclub.com set out to help guests do just that. Each Ecolodge listed follows tough environmental and community support guidelines."
Kate Crawford, Ciao! Travel with Attitude, October 2006
"I am an admirer of the important work that you have been doing with ECOCLUB. You are providing a great service to ecotourists and ecolodge fans, and thus also contributing to sustainable development and the conservation of the world's natural and cultural heritage. My sincere congratulations!!"
Arq. Héctor Ceballos Lascurain, Director General, PICE, September, 2006
"The partnership with ECOCLUB has significantly enhanced the Adventures in Travel Expo particularly from a visitor-attraction perspective, contributing at an international level by its recognition as a leader in the movement for better tourism and for environmental, social and economic justice. ECOCLUB involvement has allowed the Expo to reach a greater global audience..."
Adventures in Travel Expo - Sydney, 13 September 2006
"The best part of making the adobes was seeing how the ECOCLUB Award moneys have immediately given paid work to our local community"
Andres Hammerman & Michelle Kirby, Black Sheep Inn, 31 August, 2006
"ECOCLUB is doing very well and generating more bookings for us. Thank you! This is the best month we ever had in our history"
Lars Sorensen, Tree Tops Jungle Lodge, August, 2006
"A vacationer looking to spend time and money in an environmentally conscious manner might run across names such as ... Ecoclub"
Dan Oko, CNN.com, July 7, 2006
"Thank you so much for all your help with our advert for a field biologist we have been overwhelmed by the response" - Marti Everett, Head Keeper, Amigos de las Aves, Costa Rica", March 2006
"ECOCLUB - monthly publication is free online to members and is a very useful resource"
GCE in Travel & Tourism , Syllabus & Tutors Handbooks, Oxford, Cambridge & RSA Examinations, 2005, p.132
"www.ecoclub.com a network providing a wealth of information about all aspects of ecotourism"
"The Good Web site Guide 2006, The completely revised, best-selling guide", by Graham Edmonds, HarperCollinsPublishers, London 2005: p.137 & p.480.
"It is my pleasure to support your efforts. I've been a fan of ECOCLUB for quite a while as I've had many operators and lodge owners make mention of your marketing successes on their behalf"
Keith W. Sproule, Ecotourism Advisor, TIMD, Supreme Commission for Tourism, Saudi Arabia, November 2005
"I just want to let you know I have booked a stay at 3 Rivers in Dominica. We don't go until February. The booking process was very easy and Jem was very helpful. This will be the third ECOCLUB lodge we will have stayed at. The first two, Spring House Farm in NC and Sonrise Resort in Jamaica were wonderful so I know 3 Rivers will be, too. Thank you for your great work!
Karen Jordan, long-time ECOCLUB Member, Columbia, TN, USA, October 2005
"I have been a Member of ECOCLUB for a year now and find it be a very good trade association for people working in the sustainable tourism industry. Your efforts to share information on what is going on around the world in this quickly changing field are very much appreciated."
Carol Patterson,Kalahari Management Inc, June 2005
Greece-based ECOCLUB.com's general aim is to work steering the tourism industry in a more ecological, democratic and equitable direction, focusing on support that is receptive to ecological tourism principles, rather than antagonising those that are not receptive to these ideas and concepts. The network attempts to fit all of its actions into a framework for bettering tourism, in which the industry tries to minimize its own environmental impact, supports environmental conservation and local projects, increases environmental and cultural knowledge, involves local people as equal partners, and is available to less-affluent hosts and guests. The network's platform combines elements of e-government, e-learning, environmental governance, participatory democracy and international cooperation."
Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Guide to best Practices in Tourism & Destination Management, May 2005
"Thank you for all the efforts you make. We are proud to be part of ECOCLUB."
Kurt Schmack, La Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, Costa Rica, May 2005
"The final award was the Responsible Tourism Site Award, sponsored by Worldspan and this year won by ECOCLUB SA. The judges said the winner stood out for its straightforward approach, engendering sense of community and display of ecological intent."
TravelMole.com, UK, April 2005
"Congratulations again for your beautiful, most interesting, easy to navigate filled with useful information website."
Vassilis Kouroutos, Executive Director, MEDASSET, Greece, November 2004
"Thanks to ECOCLUB, and your featuring my profile, I have been asked to join a team looking at ecotourism in Panama. With this, I have become a USAID registered consultant, and am available to communities in countries that USAID has ecotourism projects, without having to charge the communities for my help."
Douglas B. Trent, Focus Tours & Focus Conservation Fund, April 2004
" Without initiatives like ECOCLUB life was more difficult for most lodges since most of them are remote whereby daily access to the outside world is a comfort many people take for granted !"
Jacques van Egeraat, Amazonat Jungle Lodge, Brasil, February 2004
"Based in Greece, this web site spotlights eco-lodges and activists around the globe. Features, news services, and real-time chats are first-rate.
Transitions Abroad, 2003
"I have pleasure in sharing with you our success in Ranweli Holiday Village, being selected as a Highly Commended Project (Runners up) in the Environmental Experience Category of the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2003. I take this opportunity to thank you for your assistance without which our success would not have been possible."
"Congratulations for this excellent work you do through ECOCLUB. It is based on solid views and ideas!"
"The ECOCLUB is a very interesting international community, basically dealing with Ecotourism. It is an information network of this sector, which is not just academic but also very practical and experimentative."
Professor Ulhas Rane, Architect & Tourism Planner, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, May 2003
"ECOCLUB is one of my favourite sites, period"
"We are very glad to be members of such important, exclusive and supporting club. Eco Hotel Uxlabil-Atitlán have been growing through the long way with all your support and interest"
Francisco Sandoval, Ecohotel Uxlabil-Atitlan, March 2003
"...helped circulate information that was more accessible to the interested stakeholders and public, than the official websites"
Pam Wight, Consultant, Rapporteur to the World Ecotourism Summit, December 2002
HONORARY LIFETIME MEMBERS OF ECOCLUB
In December 2006 we honoured with honorary lifetime memberships, 6 personalities who have significantly advanced the philosophy and practice of Ecotourism through their work. These are: (in alphabetical order)
Hector Ceballos-Lascuráin (Mexico): Leading Eco Architect and ‘inventor’ of the term Ecotourism in 1983. Héctor Ceballos-Lascuráin also provided the definition of Ecotourism officially adopted by IUCN (The World Conservation Union) in 1996. Hector has worked both in the public & private sectors as architect and consultant.
Louis D’Amore (United States): Founder and President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT). A pioneer in social & environmental ethic within the tourism industry since the mid-70s., he founded IIPT in 1986, with the aim of turning Tourism into the world’s first "Global Peace Industry"
Megan Epler Wood (United States): Founder and former President of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), the world’s oldest ecotourism association, played the major role in making Ecotourism an organised force. A leading consultant, spokesperson, lecturer¸ and trainer for governments, NGOs, and the private sector around the world.
Ron Mader (Mexico/United States): Internet pioneer in Ecotourism as the founder of Planeta.com. Based in Oaxaca, Ron is a much needed voice of conscience in Ecotourism. He is also an influential tourism journalist and guidebook writer and a role model for
Trevor Sofield (Australia): A Homo Universalis of Sustainable Tourism, professor, senior diplomat, editor, leading consultant, entrepreneur, Trevor has done it all and excelled at all. He is currently Team Leader for the Mekong Tourism Development Program, Cambodia and Vietnam and a Professor at the University of Tasmania.
Pamela A. Wight (Canada): played a leading role in the organisation and management of the United Nations International Year of Ecotourism and was also responsible for drafting the world’s first (Quebec) Declaration on Ecotourism as a Rapporteur. A former advisor to the Canadian government and a leading tourism consultant for numerous ecotourism projects worldwide.
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