Ecoclub Member Blogs

Ecotourism Destinations

2nd European Ecotourism Conference was held in Romania last week. It had a main focus on ecotourism destinations in European context. Declaration was formed, find it here: http://www.ecotourism.ee/blog/news/ So what to you think about 5 pillars of "ecotourism destinations" within European reality? What is relevant? What is not? Do we miss something important in the concept of ecotourism destinations?  
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New Manager at 3 Rivers & Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge, Dominica

3 Rivers & Rosalie Forest Eco Lodge are excited and delighted to welcome our new general manager, Miss Corisa St. Marie. Miss St.Marie is Dominican born, and brings with her a wealth of experience and expertise which will ensure the continued success of Dominica’s Leading pioneer Eco Lodge. In celebration of our new arrival, we will be having some exciting promotions and offers, as well as lots of new events and activities for both Dominican and our international visitors. Check our website regularly for more details. www.3riversdominica.com and www.rosalieforest.com   Dominica's No.1 eco lodge is now planning expansion to help us lead Dominica into a greener future. If you are looking for a mid to long eco investment, and want to become part of our family, feel free to contact us.
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Natura 2000 Areas in Greece

Natura 2000 Areas in Greece
Throughout Europe the 'Natura 2000' network of protected areas, created with the aim of conserving natural habitats, flora and fauna and in particular wild birds, is considered a blessing: Natura 2000 areas constitute an institutional, legal and funding framework which helps local communities and local governments attain a high standard of living through environmental and cultural conservation using democratic methods and without depending on the intentions and plans of central governments. Two other useful methodologies/tools are the White Paper on European Governance (2001) and Local Agenda 21, which when combined with a well-functioning Natura 2000 area which has a managing body and a management plan they can bring sustainability and success to local communities. The White Paper on European Governance proposes the following key principles: Openness, Participation, Accountability, Effectiveness and Coherence. Local Agenda 21, a horizontal management system, which is followed by 90% of western European municipalities, offers information, communication and...
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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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Interactive Village Guide Training in Ban Tale Nok, Thailand

Interactive Village Guide Training in Ban Tale Nok, Thailand
Ban Tale Nok village, one of the longest running villages to work with Andaman Discoveries, recently received an interactive guide training to renew and revamp their skills. There was a mix between old guides and students that are interested in developing guide skills to help the community based tourism group in their village. The guides were given tips on how to better interact and convey information to the guests staying in their village so that everybody has a meaningful and hands on experience. They practiced this by running through situations and sample tours, giving feedback to each other in areas that could be strengthened. Andaman Discoveries staff and Intern Uzma Daraman were there to facilitate and help build the capacity of the village guides. With rejuvenated and newly trained guides, Ban Talae Nok continues to be a wonderful village to visit that will truly leave you with a sense of the...
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New Ethnic Minority Woodcarving Exhibition opens in Luang Prabang, Laos

New Ethnic Minority Woodcarving Exhibition opens in Luang Prabang, Laos
A new special exhibition is opening on September 20, 2013 at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC) in Laos. "Carving a Community" is the first exhibition in Luang Prabang to highlight an ethnic minority group from the south of Laos. Highlights of the exhibit include intricate weavings and basketry and the bold carvings adorning Katu communal meetinghouses. Carving a Community: The Katu People highlights the distinct cultural traits and crafts of the Katu residing in southern Laos and the central highlands of Vietnam. Intricate weavings and basketry and bold woodcarving created by the Katu people are highlights of the exhibit. Of special interest is the carved decoration of the Katu communal meetinghouse. Traditionally, the meetinghouse was the focal point of the village, where members of the community gather to carry out important rites, including buffalo sacrifice. Videos of this annual ritual and daily activities will allow visitors to witness the...
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European Ecotourism Conference - Poiana Brașov, Romania, 23-25 Oct 2013

I will be attending the upcoming 2nd European Ecotourism Conference (http://european-ecotourism.eu) in Romania, from October 23-25. Some of the European-based ECOCLUB members have attended the 1st EuroEco conference, which was held in 2010 in Estonia. I was also part of the 2010 conference, and particularly enjoyed the interactive and collaborative sessions (we had many "World Cafe" group discussions, which I found very engaging and productive). This year's program also features "World Cafe" sessions, as well as presentations by ecotourism practitioners from across the region (see full program: http://european-ecotourism.eu/pages/program). If you are based in Europe (and even if you're not, as long as you're interested in ecotourism in Europe), this will be a great place for learning and networking, as well as experiencing ecotourism in action in some of the unique rural destinations in Romania. >> If you plan of attending and have already registered, also check out the Facebook event page:...
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Say it, but without greenwashing please!

Have you felt cheated by a product that changed its name only for the purpose of “appearing green”? Or when you tried to book an environmentally friendly hotel the information wasn’t clear and you didn’t trust them? Well, companies have gone too far with greenwashing their brands by using “green campaigns” only to trick customers into believing fake sustainability practices that now customers have lost trust and are tired. But as a business owner who really cares about the environment, how can I effectively use it and gain customers’ trust back? respondeco.travel believes that by following our recommendations you will improve your sustainability communication and attract new and former customers. Since customers care about sustainability, showing it on your website not only adds value but also makes you look good while they decide to book a room. Be smart: tell them about your sustainability actions and how they benefit from them;...
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Say it, but without greenwashing please!

Say it, but without greenwashing please!
Have you felt cheated by a product that changed its name only for the purpose of “appearing green”? Or when you tried to book an environmentally friendly hotel the information wasn’t clear and you didn’t trust them?   Well, companies have gone too far with greenwashing their brands by using “green campaigns” only to trick customers into believing fake sustainability practices that now customers have lost trust and are tired. But as a business owner who really cares about the environment, how can I effectively use it and gain customers’ trust back?   respondeco.travel believes that by following our recommendations you would improve your sustainability communication and attract new and former customers. Since customers care about sustainability, showing it on your website not only adds value but also makes you look good while they decide to book a room.   Be smart: tell them about your sustainability actions and how they...
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Croan Cottages - Summer 2013 News

Croan Cottages - Summer 2013 News
It’s been a long time coming, but this summer has been superb so far here at Croan Cottages . With everyone from Weather astrologers to Postmen in Donegal predicting the good weather to continue, we are hoping for lots more sunshine! Earlier in the season, we spent weeks tending plants in the greenhouse until we could be sure that the last of the frosts had passed. That was followed by weekends hardening off and planting out a huge range of vegetables in the walled garden to keep us and our guests supplied right through till late Autumn. Now the work consists mostly of watering the plants to keep them alive (and a little weeding). The Potatoes are well up and have flowered, we’ve even harvested a few plants to give some early spuds. Probably the ugliest Tomato that we have ever grown – but it tasted wonderful! The variety is called...
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