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The ninth annual Chocolate Festival of Belize and Toledo will take place on 22nd, 23rd and 24th May 2015. The event kicks off with the Gala event, Wine and Chocolate on the Friday night from 6pm to 11pm. The event is being held for the second year at Garbutt's gorgeous marina on Joe Taylor Creek. Surrounded by both the lagoon and the ocean this night brings you nothing but good times, good friends, live music from the Caribbean Roots Band all the way from Corozal, an array of delectable hors d'oeuvres including deep fried lion fish and shrimp and, of course, how could we forget, Chocolate from Belizean chocolatiers! The Taste of Toledo Street Fair is held on Front Street in Punta Gorda town, from the Uno gas station all the way down to the Punta Gorda library. The pedestrian-only street fair features cultural displays and areas showcasing Toledo's five main...
Youth guide training at Ta Pae Yoi School (Phang Nga Province, Thailand) The palms were swaying and the water of the inner Andaman sea was churning under a strong wind as 33 students from Kiet Pra Cha school in Tapaeyoi village assembled in the cool morning air for a day-long “Young Guides of Koh PhraTong” training.  Students’ ages covered a wide range, and English skills and knowledge of the island’s ecology were similarly disparate, but all students brought with them an interest in their island home, bolstered by that playful, bubbly energy inherent in all Thai kids.  The subject of the training covered the fundamental points of being a local guides.  In attendance were most of the school’s students and teachers, several community members, P’ Tui and P’ Bee  from Andaman Discoveries.  The session kicked off with a short talk by P’ Noon who, in addition to being a superb guide, is well versed in the natural history of PhraTong.  P’ Noon is a pillar...
Mediterranean Immersion Workshop in Crete, Greece, June 15-21, 2015 Mediterranean Immersion Workshop in Crete, Greece June 15 – 21, 2015 Continuing Education for Food, Nutrition & Health Professionals Focus: Mediterranean Lifestyle for Optimal Health   A 7-Day focused immersion into the Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle designed to provide an overview of the culture, nature and cuisine of Crete. Emphasis is on cuisine in helping to maintain optimal health; food as medicine and developing strategies to implement the Mediterranean lifestyle when returning home.   Join us for an informative and exciting workshop on the magnificent isle of Crete, the center of the Mediterranean Diet. Our base is in a region where olive oil and wine has been produced for over four thousand years. This historic region is bustling with small-scale agricultural production in communities striving to sustain cherished traditions. We’ll visit resident specialists at their “field offices.” Classes include private guided tours of archaeological sites, natural parks/botanical hikes, organic farms, markets,...
Laos: First Book in TAEC Ethnography Series Released The English translation of The Tai Daeng of Hua Phan Province, Lao People's Democratic Republic is now available at TAEC and our on-line shop. Translated from Thai into English by Linda S. McIntosh, this first book in the TAEC Ethnography Series gives historical background and documents the contemporary lives of the Tai Daeng in Laos. Sumitr Pitiphat, professor of Anthropology at Thammasat University of Bangkok, Thailand wrote the original book and has studied the Tai peoples of Laos, northern Vietnam, and southwest China. The book explores traditions and changes including this group's traditional belief system and their conversion to Buddhism and the external factors that have led to changes in their handwoven textiles. Translation of this book into English brings information about the Tai Daeng in Laos to a larger audience. We hope it will build greater understanding of the rapid change facing ethnic groups here," notes TAEC Co-Director Tara Gujadhur....
Belize: Advanced Skills Training for Toledo Guides A one-year project began in June 2014 as a collaborative programme between COMPACT (Community Management of Protected Areas for Conservation) and the Toledo Tour Guide Association. The project is snappily titled "Building the Capacity of Local Tour Guides for Responsible Tourism in Punta Gorda, a Coastal Community of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site." It aims to strengthen the capacity of the Toledo Tour Guide Association to promote responsible tourism practices among its members who utilize the marine resources for their livelihoods. This project builds on the success of previous projects funded with the main objective of providing an environment for the development of sustainable, environmentally-aware tourism in Punta Gorda and building tourism products in which community members can be employed in tourism as an alternative to traditional fishing. The project is based on the thematic area of sustainable livelihoods. The project will empower local tour guides who...
Neither militarization nor legalization can end poaching This year there has been a steady stream of self-congratulatory announcements of successes from the bloody "war on poaching" undertaken by security services led by merciful mercenaries, drone fleets etc. But conservation should not be inhumane or trample on human rights. Nor should it be used as a geopolitical pretext to put troops on the ground where there are not enough drugs or religious fanatics. As long as there is demand for ivory and rhino horn and as long as possession of such is legal there is no chance of stopping this trade. Some therefore propose to focus on demand. Tackling demand can involve education and peer pressure but it is very likely that the affluent and powerful buyers of such "works of art" are not so sensitive. Perhaps a global campaign to pressure key and powerful governments to make holding ivory (all ivory, not just "illegal") and rhino horn pieces...
Our second Thai villa, Green Gecko, reflects traditional Thai architectural design, and equally enjoys a very private and peaceful setting in the Thai countryside. This Thai pool villa is centered around its own very private pool. Holidaymakers enjoying a family holiday in Thailand can relax to the utmost here, as daily breakfast, lunch and dinner are included - an excellent way to get to know Thai food. Many of the ingredients are grown organically on the grounds, from rice to fresh herbs and fruit and a wide variety of vegetables.   Like our sister property, Green Gecko harvests rainwater, has a recycling programme, and is involved in reforestation of old rice paddies.   The villa sleeps up to four guests on a full board basis.     ...

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Sustainability Communications for Destinations TrainingAid and Respondeco are hosting a free online training session "Keep It Real for Destinations: 7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Telling Your Destination's Sustainability Stories" on December 8th, 2014 (4pm GMT), sharing practical examples of why effective sustainability communications can benefit your destination, and how to avoid common sustainability communication mistakes. The session will be led by Dr. Davina Stanford, Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and a responsible tourist behavior and destination management expert.   This session is for anyone who's involved in promoting, marketing or managing tourism destinations, and we invite everyone - whether you can watch the live session or not - to share your questions about destination marketing and sustainability communications. Please post your questions by commenting here, or by posting them on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus with the hashtag #TourismTL.   We'll be monitoring the questions before and during the event, and will try...
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Exploring the rich tribal cultures and nature of India's Chhattisgarh The newly carved state of Chhattisgarh lies in the heart of the India and is still charting its destiny. Many pleasant surprises await the visitor, in a land where mysteries unfold at every step, where history awaits to be discovered at every turn and where nature pours forth its bounty as the journey progresses. Its remoteness made Chhattisgarh one of the least known parts of the India that, incidentally, still remains relatively unexplored.   In this land you can do countless things but we have chosen the best five for you!   1. Tribal life The state prides itself on a tribal culture that dates back several millennia and the music, culture and craft of the tribal communities that can still be experienced across the state. There are as many as 42 tribes in Chhattisgarh and make up around a third of the population. The highest tribal concentration is in the...

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Australian Ecotourism Development Opportunity An exciting opportunity exists to create an ecotourism product on Miriuwung Gajerrong (MG) Aboriginal traditional lands close to Kununurra in the far north of Western Australia.   Tourism Western Australia (Tourism WA) is seeking interest from suitably qualified and experienced tourism operators with the capacity to develop exciting new visitor experiences in an essentially untouched area of the Kimberley. All interested parties are invited to discuss proposals with Tourism WA by firstly filling out the ‘Investor Response’ at the back of the attached brochure.   Kununurra offers a range of accommodation types for its more than 84,300 annual visitors and is a great launching point for extraordinary Kimberley experiences. A short scenic flight can deliver visitors to the awesome Lake Argyle and on to the World Heritage listed Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungles), and the eastern gateway to the Gibb River Road is only 70km to the northeast of the Town....
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