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Focusing on practitioners, activists and academics who have practiced and/or written about ecological & socially just tourism & living.

Joe StaianoJoe Staiano - April 2014
Ecotour Operator
"Vet, vet and vet again. Tour companies need to vet any and all organizations they work with or support with tourist dollars. Tourists need to vet tour companies they use. Ask tough questions. Ask for references!"
Laura EllLaura Ell - March 2014
Ecotourism Consultant
"It is a challenge for many communities to successfully operate ecotourism without any outside support. It is also disheartening when a project fails because outside support mechanisms leave sooner than they should, often due to limited resources or idealism that communities needs ownership asap. Each community requires a customized approach if is to be successful ....a cookie-cutter approach just won't do!"  
Miles DavisMiles Davis - February 2014
Ecotourism Consultant
"....the most pertinent reason as to why international development agencies do not take tourism so seriously, or rather, why very little funds are allocated to it, is that international development is increasingly being used as an investment tool by donor countries' governments and is implemented in exchange for favourable deals....which is not workable if the intervention can only be conducted on a small scale."
Vasilis TsipidisVasilis Tsipidis - January 2014
Administrative Officer, TRAFFIC International
"Tourism planning cannot be left to the industry to decide, it is sad even to consider such a move. "
Dr Jim DuffJim Duff - December 2013
Founder, International Porter Protection Group
"Walking separately and often kept apart, trekkers would have no idea of where their porters are sleeping, how they are dressed, what food they eat and, most importantly, just how ill they might be when paid off if unable to carry further." 
Sudipta Kiran SarkarSudipta Kiran Sarkar - November 2013
PhD research candidate, School of Hotel and Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
"I think there needs to be a paradigm shift from the dominant view of tourism as primarily a business or economic force to a view of tourism as a social force that can bring radical transformation of things"
Julian RossJulian Ross - October 2013
Chairman, The Old Crown Co-operative, United Kingdom
"In my view, the ‘emotional’, ‘romantic’, ‘idealistic’ aspects are crucial. However, if they are not combined with pragmatic economic/commercial viability, they remain just that. If they are married to economic viability, the project can become so powerful that it is almost unstoppable."
JoLoyce Hunter-KaiaJoLoyce Hunter-Kaia - September 2013
B&B Owner-Manager, Hawaii
"...people today seem to want instant answers, I find that when I get in the car to go call them, they have already booked elsewhere...I do have a business page on Facebook but even though I get lots of "likes" I do not think I have gotten a reservation through that. Trip Advisor has been both good and bad. Unhappy people are quick to post a bad review, quite often unfair..."
Ben BoxBen Box - August 2013
Editor, South American Handbook
"It is fair to say that travel book publishers are having a tough time at the moment and in some quarters people are raising the spectre of 'the death of the guidebook'. I think it is far too soon to predict that..."
Louis ThompsonLouis Thompson - June 2013
Eco-designer, Founder & CEO, Nomadic Resorts, Sri Lanka
"We should not be housing the increasing numbers of environmental refugees in what are essentially boy scout tents when we could make portable homes from recycled materials that could be moved from one disaster area to the next"
Dr. Xavier FontXavier Font - May 2013
Director, Phd Programme, ICRETH, Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
"For years we have talked about when ecolabelling reaches the economies of scale to make a difference, but it has not. The business models for current certification programmes do not add up, because the costs of continuously being assessed outweigh the benefits of membership - therefore requiring very low prices or subsidies" 
Massimo MeraMassimo Mera - December 2012
Founder, Kingfisher Ecolodge, Laos 
"...we can clearly see the economic benefits that tourism has brought to the local community thus reducing activities like poaching and logging plus giving a prospect for some community members to create micro businesses..."
Mark WatsonMark Watson - August 2012
Executive Director, Tourism Concern
"Tourism must be founded upon a respect for fundamental human rights, sustainability, equity and social justice"
Gail HenryGail Henry - March 2012
Sustainable Tourism Product Specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organization
"I think we are long past the days of colonialism and many tourism-related entities are owned and well-managed by locals."
Dr Lynn MinnaertLynn Minnaert - February 2012
Lecturer, University of Surrey, United Kingdom
"Social tourism, if it is done well, is certainly socially progressive...On the other hand, the term 'social tourism' is sometimes used too liberally, to justify initiatives that are mainly concerned with the profits and employment levels in the tourism industry" 
Freya Higgins-DesbiollesFreya Higgins-Desbiolles - January 2012
Senior Lecturer, University of South Australia, Australia
"It is vital that we take the example of Ecology and realise that strength lies in diversity and not in the "one size fits all" model we seem to now adhere to. Workers cooperatives and alternative models are a part of the diverse options we need to create better and more sustainable futures." 
C. Michael HallC. Michael Hall - 12/2011
Professor, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
"Trouble is so many institutions from the World Tourism Organization down have adopted neoliberal positions and policies without even adequate considering what their implications might be at various levels, including knowledge generation and diffusion."
Lidija MavraLidija Mavra - 11/2011
Co-founder, Sock Mob Events/Unseen Tours, United Kingdom
...our tour model is quite radical / non-hierarchical, the [homeless] guides take most of the money, as opposed to the coordinators/directors taking a salary, and our tours reveal some fairly controversial elements of city life that could go against the grain...
Agha Iqrar HaroonAgha Iqrar Haroon - 10/2011
Honorary Head, The Region Initiative (TRI), Pakistan
"Tourism was never allowed to play its role in this region" 
Aviva PearsonAviva Pearson - 09/2011
Chairwoman, The Tourism Society, UK
"unfortunately, for a majority of destinations, environmental, human rights and other social considerations are an afterthought. They may even have it on paper, but they do not put those policies into practice." 
raulbianchi_sRaoul Bianchi - 07/2011
Principal Lecturer in Tourism & Leisure, Royal Docks Business School, University of East London, UK
"The 2008 financial crisis and ensuing sovereign debt crisis, which has engulfed leading tourism economies such as Spain, Portugal and of course Greece, demonstrates both the precariousness of an economic model built on the shifting sands of speculative real estate and tourism industries, as well as the degree to which different economies have become enmeshed within increasingly integrated circuits of capital worldwide."
Andre DukhiaAndre Dukhia - 06/2011
Tourism Development Specialist Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario, Canada
"Community ownership, control and democratic decision making are extremely important in my view. On the other hand the private sector is equipped with the knowledge, resources and network to market the communities".
Tara GujadhurTara Gujadhur - 02/2011
Founder, Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, Laos
"I'd like to see a broader approach to tourism development in Laos that can involve anything from handicraft development, more sophisticated cultural interpretation, environmental initiatives in urban areas, to more creative restaurants and accommodation enterprises".
Chris RoseChris Rose - 01/2011
Environmental Campaigner & Consultant
"...sometimes 'green NGOs' endorse corporate behaviour which should be opposed but generally I don't think that's the major problem. I think a bigger problem is poor campaign design and management which means most NGO campaigns are unlikely to succeed, and governments failing to regulate to protect public goods and the public interest"
Judy KarwackiJudy Karwacki - 01/2011
Tourism Entrepreneur, Founder Small Planet Consulting
"Given that aid funded projects are conceived of and implemented by western entities, the pro-market point of view generally is inherent in them. My point of view is that the projects must be market responsive"
Kevin CarsonKevin Carson - 11/2010
Research Associate, Center for a Stateless Society, Author of "Studies in Mutualist Political Economy"
"I think we'll see the emergence of many thousands of relocalized manufacturing economies that will weather the coming collapse of the old mass production economies and centralized states, much like the rural villas became the building blocks of a new society after the fall of the western Roman Empire."
 
Brian BenderBrian Bender - 11/2010
Author, "Farming Around the Country: An Organic Odyssey"
"I've never been interested in politics. The whole government looks like a Dr. Seuss invention to me: way more parts than necessary to achieve such a lackluster product. "
Miriam RossMiriam Ross - 10/2010
Press Officer, Survival International
"Survival is calling for tourists to boycott Botswana due to the Botswana government's persistent failure to respect the rights of the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve."
Richard GreemanRichard Greeman - 08/2010
Academic, writer and political activist. Author of "Beware of Vegetarian Sharks".
"Those of us who are privileged to travel in the world should use these opportunities to make and maintain person to person connections with people and organizations in host countries in order to spread information and create links of solidarity."
Steve NoakesSteve Noakes - 01/2010
Executive Director, Pacific Asia Tourism- Adjunct Professor in Sustainable Tourism at Griffith University, Australia
"I would suggest that we have as many national governments as possible fully realise the power (and do something about it) of sustainable tourism to contribute to peace, harmony, respect and tolerance between people and for their own national economic, environmental and social/cultural objectives."
Victor AnaniasVictor Ananias - 07/2009
Secretary-General, ECEAT & Chairman Bugday Association, Turkey
"All strong - successful social movements have been developed from civil, strongly motivated, visionary peoples intentions, activities and devotion. When money and funding starts to be the dominating-motivating prior tool - there starts the problem."
Manolis PsarrosManolis Psarros - 06/2009
Head, Sustainable Tourism Development Department, Greek Sustainable Tourism Organization, ELAGRO, Greece
"Greek tourism should move from central administration models to
local or regional decentralised administration systems & policies"
Pascal LanguillonPascal Languillon - 05/2009
Director, French Ecotourism Association
"The French government has been very disappointing ...
To put it simply, there are very few specific government policies on tourism and the environment "
Michael Cramer, MEP, European Green PartyMichael Cramer - 04/2009
MEP, European Green Party, Germany
"Ecotourism would be ideal for job generation under
a Green New Deal."
Mary Mulvey,Mary Mulvey - 04/2009
CEO, Greenbox, Ireland
"The region, which was once overshadowed by conflict, is now one of the most peaceful places in Ireland and eleven years on from the Belfast Agreement the destination is in an ideal position to welcome tourists to visit "
Brian Tokar InterviewBrian Tokar - 03/2009
Director, Institute for Social Ecology
"The fundamental problem with tourism today is that it transforms communities and important natural areas toward serving the desires and perceived needs of more affluent people who come to visit from other parts of the world "

 

Older ECOCLUB Interviews

  • 01/2009: Mr. Yannis Vardakastanis, Proprietor, Ionian Eco Villagers & Earth, Sea & Sky, Greece

  • 11/2008: Mr. Brian Mullis, Co-founder & President, Sustainable Travel International, United States

  • 09/2008: Dr. Graham Miller, Senior Lecturer, Surrey University, United Kingdom

  • 09/2008: Dr. Martha Honey, Co-Director, Center on Ecotourism & Sustainable Development, United States

  • 07/2008: Mr. Angus Begg, Photojournalist & Broadcaster, South Africa

  • 07/2008: Dr. Vic Nair, President, APacCHRIE, Malaysia

  • 05/2008: Prof. Kelly Bricker, Director, The International Ecotourism Society, United States

  • 05/2008: Mr. Babu Varghese, Director, Tourindia, Kerala, India

  • 03/2008: Mr. Shams Uddin, Manager, Chitral Association for Mountain Area Tourism, Pakistan

  • 03/2008: Prof. Habis Samawi, Jordan University, Jordan

  • 01/2008: Mr Aivar Ruukel, Chairman, Estonian Ecotourism Society, Estonia

  • 01/2008: Mr. Mart Reimann, Proprietor, Reimann Retked, Estonia

  • 11/2007: Mr. Gopinath Parayil, Founder, The Blue Yonder, Kerala, India

  • 11/2007: Dr. Rachel Dodds, Assistant Professor, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

  • 09/2007: Ms. Nikki Rose, Principal, Cooking in Crete, Greece

  • 09/2007: Mr. Costas Christ, Judging Chairman, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, USA

  • 08/2007: Prof. Harold Goodwin, International Centre for Responsible Tourism, Leeds, UK

  • 08/2007: Ms. Stella Bell, Business Development Manager, Climate Care, UK

  • 06/2007: Ms. Carol Patterson, Principal, Kalahari Management, Canada

  • 05/2007: Mr. David Sollitt, The International Ecotourism Society, USA

  • 04/2007: Mr. Albert Teo, Director, Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Malaysia

  • 03/2007: Ms. Jane Crouch, Responsible Travel Manager, Intrepid Travel, AU

  • 01/2007: Prof. Harris Coccossis, Ministry of Tourism Development, Greece

  • 11/2006: Prof. Michael Romanos, University of Cincinatti, USA

  • 10/2006: Arq. Héctor Ceballos-Lascuráin, Mexico

  • 09/2006: Ms. Miriam Ross, Survival International, UK

  • 08/2006: Mr. Eugenio Yunis, United Nations World Tourism Organisation

  • 07/2006: Mr. Peter Raines MBE, Coral Cay Conservation, UK

  • 06/2006: Mr. Douglas Hainsworth, SNV, Vietnam

  • 05/2006: Prof. Jim Macbeth, Murdoch University, Australia

  • 04/2006: Ariane Janér, Brazil Sustainable Tourism Program

  • 02/2006: Prof. Trevor Sofield, University of Queensland, Australia

  • 01/2006: Potjana Suansri & Peter Richards, REST, Thailand

  • 12/2005: Agha Iqrar Haroon, President, Ecotourism Society Pakistan

  • 09/2005: Mr. Elliot Helman, San Francisco Green Hotel & Hospitality Initiative

  • 08/2005: Mr. Bodhi Garrett, North Andaman Tsunami Relief, Thailand

  • 07/2005: Mr. Jan Telensky, Environmental Industrialist, Czech Republic

  • 05/2005: Mr. Burkhard Herbote, WorldTourismDirectory.com, Germany

  • 04/2005: Prof. Sarah Graham Mann, Sustainable Tourism Awards 2005, USA

  • 03/2005: Mr. Sami Grover, Editor, Channel View Publications, UK

  • 02/2005: Mr. Bill Tuffin, The Boat Landing Guesthouse, Laos

  • 01/2005: Mr. Louis D'Amore, Founder & President, IIPT

  • 12/2004: Andres Hammerman & Michelle Kirby, Black Sheep Inn, Ecuador

  • 11/2004: Mr. Vassilis Kouroutos, MEDASSET

  • 10/2004: Prof. Ralf Buckley,  Int. Cent. for Ecotourism Res, Griffith U, Australia

  • 09/2004: Prof. Kreg Lindberg, Oregon State University, USA

  • 08/2004: Mr. Todd Barber, Reef Ball Foundation, USA

  • 05/2004: Mr. Sotiris Kitrilakis, Zante Feast, Greece

  • 04/2004: Mr. Xavier Font, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

  • 03/2004: Mr. Ben Box, Editor, Footprint South American Guide, UK

  • 02/2004: Ms. Cathy Parsons, Green Globe 21, Australia

  • 01/2004: Mr. Andrew Dean Nystrom, Guidebook writer, USA

  • 12/2003: 15 Ecolodge Owners report on 2003

  • 11/2003: Ms. Megan Epler Wood, Director, Epler Wood International, USA

  • 10/2003: Ms. Eleni Svoronou, WWF Greece

  • 09/2003: Sir Patrick Fairweather, Director, The Butrint Foundation, UK-Albania

  • 08/2003: Mr. Frans Stroebel, Director, Peace Parks Foundation

  • 07/2003: Mr. Zoltán Kun, Director, Pan Parks Foundation

  • 05/2003: Prof. Richard Welford, Env. Mgmt Centre, University of Hong Kong

  • 04/2003: Mr. Edward Cameron, EU Commission Env. Governance Initiative

  • 03/2003: Glenn & Trish Warner, Proprietors, Bathurst Inlet Lodge, Canada

  • 02/2003: Prof. Aimilia Drougas, Director, Arion & Delphis, Greece

  • 01/2003: Mr. Jeremy Garrett, Director, NaTour Communications, USA

  • 10/2002: Mr. Chandra De Silva, Director, Ecotourism Society of Sri Lanka

  • 08/2002: Ms. Pam A. Wight, Principal, Pam Wight & Associates, Canada

  • 07/2002: Mr. Vinzenz A. Schmack, Proprietor, La Laguna del Lagarto, Costa Rica

  • 06/2002: Mr. Artemios Hatziathanassiou, CRES, Greece

  • 05/2002: Dr. Stefanos Fotiou, EKBY, Greece

  • 02/2002: Mr. Ron Mader, Editor, Planeta.com, Mexico