Ecoclub Member Blogs

Tourism, Nationalism, Internationalism

Photo by Roberto Catarinicchia on Unsplash
Does tourism contribute to the rise of nationalism or quite the opposite? Over the years I have spoken with many tourism practitioners, academics and decision-makers and in the vast majority of cases have detected a strain of unadulterated nationalism in their views, even when these tend to be otherwise progressive and green. It could be that the daily preoccupation of these people with local culture, tradition, monuments and history contributes to the development of notions of national identity and particularity in their mind. It can hardly be disputed that National Tourism Ministries and National Tourism Boards, which exist in nearly every country (with the notable exception of the United States) have similarities with the propaganda offices of authoritarian regimes as they are always painting a rosy picture of the country/destination, inviting travel journalists and bloggers for hire, paying lobbyists and so on.On the other hand, community-based forms of tourism tend to...
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4904 Hits

Whales by land and by sea

Best place to see whales from the shore.
I associate whale watching with choppy waves, ocean spray on my camera, and seasick compatriots. But on the north shore of Canada’s Saint Laurence River near Tadoussac, Quebec, there is a deep channel near land where you can see even the biggest of whales without donning a lifejacket.“It is the best place in the world to see whales from shore,” extols Patrice Corbeil, GREMM Executive Director (Group for Research and Education for Marine Mammals), adding with a smile that there are secret places where people bring a bottle of wine to sip while watching whales swim by.Intrigued by this this relaxed approach to adventure I decide to try whale watching from shore.I head north to Parks Canada Cap-de-Bon-Désir Interpretation and Observation Centre. A small building holds a room-size model of the different size whales found in the area. Two beluga whales look like salt-and-pepper shakers next to a torpedo-sized blue whale....
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1740 Hits

Austrian-Greek Sustainable Tourism Cooperation Project Concludes, Disseminates Recommendations

The Project Team
An ambitious 14-month European Union-funded grant project under the rather long title “Technical Assistance action to support tourism planning and policy for the promotion of sustainable tourism development in Greece Reference No.: SRSS/S2016/013” was completed in September and last Friday 15/9 ECOCLUB.com was invited to attend the final “Dissemination Workshop” in downtown Athens.The project was supported by the EU Structural Reform Programme (SRSS), led by an Austrian consortium composed of the Federal Procurement Agency (BBG) and the Agency for Economic Cooperation and Development (AED) and involved the cooperation of the Greek Ministry of Economy, Development & Tourism (MEDT) while “twin” experts from Austria/EU and the Greek side were allocated on each topic. The leading domestic and foreign tourism experts also involved ECOCLUB.com Members Mr Robert Travers who was responsible for the Diving (sea) parks segment.The two key aims of this ambitious and multifaceted project, which started in July 2016, was to...
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1639 Hits

Oil pollution, mega-projects and the Athens coastline

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An environmental disaster of yet unknown proportions is unfolding in the Gulf of Athens, known as the Saronic Gulf, following the peculiarly rapid sinking under calm seas, of an ageing, small oil tanker carrying 2,200 tons of fuel oil and 370 metric tons of marine gas oil, near the island of Salamis, on the early hours of October 11th, 2017. Decades of haphazard, boom and bust industrial development and lack of planning has turned a great part of the northern Saronic Gulf into a strange and conflicting mix of heavy industries, refineries shipyards, summer houses, restaurants, beaches, marinas, archaeological sites, and sea-farms. In the past decade, during a huge financial and social crisis, there is an effort supported by powerful private developers to relaunch the area as the Athens Riviera, a new destination with mega-projects including the construction of a coastal casino-leisure-business complex in the sprawling site of Athens Hellinikon, a...
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1439 Hits

CREST's "Local Traditions" Photo Contest

CREST's
CREST's "Local Traditions" Photo Contest: August 10 - 24, 2017Enter to share with the CREST community - and have a chance to win a FREE luxury, one-night stay in Chicago!At the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), we believe that when you go on vacation, you don't have to leave your values at home. Part of traveling responsibly means engagin...
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1318 Hits

New Jamaica Community Tourism Toolkit launched

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Kingston (Jamaica), Wednesday, 02 August 2017: Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says economic and social development in rural Jamaica has been boosted by the Community-based Tourism programme of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF). Speaking at the Symposium to close o...
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1442 Hits

Climatexit, Ego vs. Eco, but every cloud has a silver lining

Call it Climatexit? Perhaps, but there is no need to despair at President Trump's 'final decision' to 'withdraw' from the Paris Treaty. For a democracy, it may be scary if one is really able (there are doubts) to take such a decision without having to get approval from Congress. But looking at the bright side, this dev...
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1704 Hits

From zoos to environmental education & ecotourism centres

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 Bashing villains (soft, anonymous, targets not, say, a powerful hotel developer!), real and perceived (all-inclusives, orphanages, slum tourism, voluntourism) is becoming a bit of a tradition these days. A UK-based responsible OTA, a minor player compared to mainstream OTA giants yet a big one on the adjectival tourism scene, has abruptly ann...
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1980 Hits

On Overbooking

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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 mas...
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1817 Hits

Nikki Rose Interview in Food Tank, Conservation is our best recipe.

Interview in Food Tank hot off the press: "Conservation is our best recipe. No matter how many wonderful products we have wherever we live, to benefit from them in our daily lives and for generations to come we need to protect and celebrate our providers and stewards first." -Nikki Rosehttps://foodtank.com/news/2017/04/crete-cook-cultivates-sustain...
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1801 Hits