Antonis is the Founder and Editor of Ecoclub.

On Overbooking

170428-b-overbooking
The recent passenger-removal-due-to-overbooking incident from a flight operated by a major airline shed light on a common (50,000 annual cases in the US alone) but relatively unknown, dubious commercial practice, and also revealed or confirmed some interesting facts: - the power of direct-democratic, citizens journalism, in the form of ma...
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Ears have Walls, Walls have Ears

balloongirl
In early versions of Sid Meier's classic strategy game 'Civilisation', the discovery of gunpowder made Walls obsolete. It was far more gradual in reality, but Walls did eventually become obsolete as defensive structures and those that escaped destruction to allow for city expansion during the industrial revolution were later reborn as tourism attra...
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Trump Victory, what could it mean for Tourism, Ecotourism and other Green sectors?

Predicting the impact of Donald Trump's win is even more tricky than was predicting the outcome of this extremely tight contest. It depends on whether the new administration really attempts to implement any of Trump's more controversial, and sometimes highly offensive to ethnic groups, campaign promises, which would result in major changes in US po...
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Rosmarinus Officinalis

Beautiful short film by Andreas Siadimas celebrating local environmental knowledge and genuine hospitality in Crete, Greece.
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Responsible Tourism Week Hangout with our Editor & Members

It was great discussing responsible travel prospects in Greece, Estonia, Malaysia and the United States in a live hangout hosted by Ron Mader and with the participation of Ecoclub Members Natali Dologlou, Aivar Ruukel, Sudipta Kiran Sarkar and Chris Milnes. The event was part of Planeta.com Responsible Tourism Week 2016    
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Neither militarization nor legalization can end poaching

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...
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Copyright

© Copyright (C) 2014 ECOCLUB S.A. All Rights Reserved

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Circuses without Bread

Circuses without Bread
Today another mega-event circus is about to open in Brazil at a USD 11bn cost (mostly at the benefit of monopolies and oligarchs) but there are clear signs that the organisers have forgot about the bread bit of the old appeasement equation ("panem et circenses" in Latin): Rio airport workers are on strike, there are numerous planned marches while 200,000 troops are mobilising across Brazil to prevent(?) rioting. Preparations have also involved the displacement (forced or induced eviction) of many thousands of Brazil's homeless. A good article documenting the injustice and inequality reproduced by the preparations for this mega-event in Brazil is at http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/10/race-class-and-the-world-cup-in-brazil/   There are also big worries about the Qatar World Cup, and a campaign to re-run "the vote" due to serious worker rights abuses. A people's sport has been slowly hi-jacked by a powerful and allegedly corrupt international monopoly and turned into a commercial, consumerist spectacle. Some telling numbers:...
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Zoos and scientific green/magic imagemaking

Zoos, that historically originate in the private entertainment of rulers and gradually moved on to the 'edutainment' of the general public are now trying to convince us that they are undertaking serious research and conservation work, perhaps as a reaction to increasing environmental and public awareness that the days of all animal abuse and incarceration facilities (including circuses, dolphinaria) are numbered. The green-(magic) imagemaking effort sometimes includes producing articles by prestigious researchers in prestigious journals, such as this onehttp://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0080311 which claims that up to a quarter of species 'kept' in zoos are officially-considered endangered. (This by itself is one more way in which a designation of a species as endangered may be counter-productive under the currently prevailing socio-economic system (capitalism) as the designation increases its monetary value.). If zoos really wanted to clean up their act, they would gradually transform themselves into research & conservation institutions, abolish public animal enclosures, return...
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Some thoughts on the question of Community Ownership in Tourism.

Determining what an ideal situation or solution (or ultimate goal) could be in every real-world problematic situation is not a utopian exercise but, on the contrary, it is a useful rule of thumb: to evaluate how far we are from achieving the goal, how likely we are to achieve it and if we are currently moving closer or further away. For a meaningful discussion of alternatives, we have to choose a broad political and philosophical framework. On this occasion we will examine the concept of community-owned tourism (COT) and try to tackle four key questions: (a) what constitutes a "local community" (b) according to which criteria an individual can be considered a member of a local community (c) which types of organisation are compatible with 'collective or community ownership' and (d) who should decide and who decides in practice about the previous three clarifications, in each case, or in general. The...
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World Tourism Day, Tourism & Water, All at Sea

World Tourism Day, Tourism & Water, All at Sea
The UNWTO this year has picked "Tourism and Water" as the theme of the World Tourism Day. Should they/we be celebrating? While access to clean water and sanitation is not a given for over a billion people in the global south, northern multinationals, use vast amounts of water (private swimming pools, golf courses) often in semi-arid and arid areas, to pamper their affluent guests in luxury resorts / enclaves for the rich that displace vulnerable communities and destroy coastal ecosystems. General annual "parental-advisory" type calls on holiday-makers to voluntarily "minimize" or, worse, "offset" their water use are hypocritical and simply do not work. Can private water offset projects, even technologically-novel ones such as those producing water from air humidity, replace a government's responsibility to provide water and sanitation to all inhabitants in a general, permanent and not sporadic manner (i.e. one village has water due to the benevolence of private benefactors, 10...
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