Thailands' STMS Ecolabel Now Recognised by GSTC

10 May 2018 – The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that Thailand’s Sustainable Tourism Management Standard, published by Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), has achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status.

DASTA’s Thailand’s Sustainable Tourism Management Standard has been created for managing tourism and aims at helping all types and sizes of tourism-related organizations to manage tourism systematically and sustainably. It is expected to enable those related organizations to achieve a performance that is higher than the basic level required by law. These standards, therefore, can be challenging for organizations that want to improve the efficiency of their operation, leading to 'Sustainable Tourism'.

Tourism Alert & Action Forum - "Salvador Statement on Just Tourism", March 18th 2018

Following on from the meeting of the Tourism Advocacy and Action Forum (TAAF) in 2014 in Istanbul, Turkey, a group of activists and representatives of organization working on tourism issues met at Salvador, Brazil in March, 2018 in a side event to the World Social Forum (WSF). The WSF ran under the theme “To resist is to create, to resist is to transform!” and the TAAF took inspiration on resistance and transformations in tourism.

Amending our name to the Tourism Alert and Action Forum, our group of activists and representatives: reaffirmed our commitment to the principles of the Istanbul Statement and considered the experiences of communities suffering the negative impacts of tourism policies and projects that are included within the imposition of models of hegemonic development. We also recognized that tourism works together with the execution of mining, oil, energy, forestry, marine resources extraction, bioprospecting, privatization of lands, water, goods, public services and cuts or violates human rights extensively.

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

Berlin, Germany (6 March 2018) - The tourism sector’s role and responsibility in contributing to sustainable development on a global scale was the central message delivered at the opening of the 2018 edition of the ITB Berlin travel trade show by Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Speaking in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, tourism ministers from around the world and the leaders of the tourism sector, Mr Pololikashvili stressed how tourism not only needs to consolidate current growth rate but “to grow better”.

In 2017, international tourist numbers grew a record 7% to reach 1.3 billion. UNWTO’s message underlines the need to turn these figures into benefits for all people and all communities. “Leaving no one behind” is the benchmark for true sustainability, which must also decouple growth from resource use and place climate change response at the heart of the tourism sector’s agenda.

“Tourism’s sustained growth brings immense opportunities for economic welfare and development”, said the UNWTO Secretary-General, while warning at the same time that it also brings in many challenges. “Adapting to the challenges of safety and security, constant market changes, digitalization and the limits of our natural resources should be priorities in our common action”, he added.

Speaking at the opening was the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller, the President of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) Dr. Michael Frenzel, the Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Manuela Schwesig and Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin.

“Tourism is an example of the opportunities of globalisation. Tourism brings people closer together and creates the foundation for growth” said Chancellor Angela Merkel. “We are committed to the Agenda 2030. We are committed to sustainable tourism.” she added stressing the role of tourism in the sustainability agenda.

The UNWTO Secretary-General stressed education and job creation, innovation and technology, safety and security; and sustainability and climate change as the priorities for the sector to consolidate its contribution to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda, against the backdrop of its expansion in all world regions and the socio-economic impact this entails.

To address these issues, Mr. Pololikashvili concluded that “public/private cooperation as well as public/public coordination must be strengthened, in order to translate tourism growth into more investment, more jobs and better livelihoods”.

Useful links:

Speech by UNWTO Secretary General delivered during opening ceremony

Press conference in Yaounde, Cameroon. March 7, 2017. Credit: Réseau des acteurs du Développement Durable (RADD).

On 8 March, International Women’s Day, hundreds of organizations and individuals demand an end to the violence against women living in and around large-scale oil palm plantations expansion.
A petition has been initiated by women in West and Central African countries where industrial oil palm plantations are expanding rapidly. In Cameroon, the petition is presented to institutions promoting oil palm plantations, such as the European Union, United Nations, as well as the embassies of Belgium and France, home countries of several of the oil palm companies active on the continent.

Over the past few years, African countries have been targeted as the new frontier for expansion of industrial oil palm plantations. Estimates are that governments handed over more than 4 million hectares of land in oil palm concessions. This has resulted in negative impacts on local communities. Conversion of community land to industrial oil palm plantations also has created specific and differentiated impacts on women. One of the most terrible impacts resulting from plantations expansion is violence against women. Often, women suffer sexual violence and abuse, the suffering made worse by the fact that these forms of violence are routinely silenced and thus, made invisible.

Given this situation, Women from different countries came together to launch the Petition on 8 March, International Women’s Day, as a way to draw attention to this suffering as a result of the expansion of large-scale industrial oil palm plantations. In the petition, women denounce that “industrial plantations bring sexual abuse, rape, harassment, persecution and destruction of their livelihood”.

The petition also exposes that when forests are destroyed to make way for plantations, the diversity of food, medicine and material that forests provide, is also destroyed. This destruction eradicates an important part of the economic and cultural values that women depend on and that characterize their traditional land use practices. Furthermore, rivers are polluted by chemicals used in large-scale plantations, and diseases and other health problems multiply.

The petition notes that children suffer from the consequences: “Livelihoods are drastically affected and women are forced to work as labourers in plantations where their wages are too low for them to be able to pay school fees, compromising their children’s future. Children end up resorting to theft and are regularly thrown in jail. Without decent jobs, even young children are drawn into taking drugs”, the petition says. Alcohol consumption among minors also often increases significantly around industrial plantations.

The petition, signed by hundreds of organizations and individuals from all continents, demands that oil palm companies stop the violence against women and give back community land and forests, which were illegitimately taken through government concessions.

Tourism Marketing for Small Businesses

New title from Goodfellow Publishers: Tourism Marketing for Small Businesses by Steven Pike.

February 2018; ISBN: 9781911396352 Paperback; 242 pgs; Price: GBP £34.99 €45.00 USD $55.00

This unique text focuses on the application of global marketing principles specifically for small tourism businesses around the world and links academic theory with real world practice illustrated via international case studies.
Written in an engaging style and structured to follow a 12-13 week semester course Tourism Marketing for Small Businesses enables understanding of formulating, implementing and monitoring a marketing strategy. 

Small tourism businesses form the majority of the employment opportunities within the tourism industry. However, many texts seem to overlook this significant sector of the industry and focus instead on the larger multinational companies. This unique text focuses on the application of global marketing principles specifically for small tourism businesses around the world and links academic theory with real world practice illustrated via international case studies.

Written in an engaging style and structured to follow a 12-13 week semester course Tourism Marketing for Small Businesses enables understanding of formulating, implementing and monitoring a marketing strategy. Each chapter will contain summary review questions and a mini case with discussion question. Accompanying the text are lecturer resources in the form of PowerPoint slides for each chapter, with links to relevant URLs and YouTube clips.

A vital text for all tourism and marketing students as well as tourism industry practitioners who have marketing responsibilities.

20% Discount for ECOCLUB Members - Contact us for details

Order direct from 



The World’s First Bin that is Specifically Designed for the Disposal of Waste Chewing Gum & is also Made With Your Waste Chewing Gum!

Are you sick of seeing little white splodges covering our pavements, schools, colleges, universities, shopping centres, railway stations, airports and theme parks? Do you hate getting chewing gum stuck on your brand spanking new trainers, or favourite jeans? Well did you know that chewing gum could now be recycled? Clear your path for the Gumdrop Bin, which will free you from this sticky situation. No longer will you fear for your fingertips lives as they run under any desk or table, no longer will you be scrubbing away at your clothes to remove that sticky residue. The Gumdrop Bin will be your knight in shining pink armour as it tackles gum litter head on by encouraging chewers to adopt an innovative way to recycle.

The Gumdrop houses a closed loop recycling process designed to both educate and inspire the public into giving gum a second life. The Gumdrop is a bright pink bubble shaped bin designed specifically for the disposal of waste chewing gum. Chewers simply drop their gum into the Gumdrop, that once full are sent back to Gumdrop Ltd where they are recycled into new Gumdrop bins and many other products, from wellington boots to Frisbees and mobile phone covers. Once full, one Gumdrop can be recycled to manufacture three new Gumdrop bins, which in turn can then be redistributed and the cycle starts again.

The Gumdrops have already attracted some fantastic partnerships from the likes of Virgin Trains, Legoland, BAA, Amey and many more. They have proved to reduce chewing gum litter by an average of up to 46% in the first 12 weeks of use. This new closed loop recycling process is becoming a long term solution for chewing gum litter. The future’s green with a drop of pink.

By working together we can clean up Britain inch by inch, will you give gum a second life?

For more information on Gumdrop please visit  or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Washington D.C. (February 2018): Nature-based tourism (NBT), if managed sustainably, is a powerful tool countries can leverage to grow and diversify their economies while protecting their biodiversity, and contributing to many sustainable development goals (SDG), including SDGs 12 (sustainable consumption & production patterns) and 15 (sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems). Local communities, private sector enterprises, and governments can also benefit from investments in tourism through increased market opportunities and linkages to tourism services such as agriculture production, hospitality, restaurants, transportation and health services.

Nairobi, Kenya (1 March 2018): Big cats like lions and tigers cannot survive unless they have plenty of wild animals to eat. Those wild animals cannot survive in sufficiently large numbers unless their habitats remain intact. Humans have been encroaching on these habitats, while poverty, greed and ignorance have been driving the illegal trade in wildlife. So big cats, like many other species of wild animals, are under threat as never before.

“UN World Wildlife Day 2018 will feature a star-studded cast – cheetah, clouded leopard, jaguar, leopard, lion, puma, snow leopard, tiger,” says CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon. “These most majestic predators on our planet are facing many and varied threats, primarily caused by human activities, be it habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict or climate change.”

Vientiane - Lao-PDR (February 28, 2017): A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Foundations of Success (FOS) finds that an ecotourism strategy based on “direct payments,” where local people are compensated for the amount of wildlife seen by tourists, has resulted in a reduction in illegal hunting and an increase in wildlife sightings.

In the study, the scientists tested a new model in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR)’s Nam-Et-Phou Louey (NEPL) National Protected Area (NPA) that used a direct payment approach to encourage villagers to reduce illegal hunting and trade, which is driving wildlife decline.  The model included a contractual payment to villages that was directly tied to the numbers of wildlife seen by eco-tourists as well as a reduction in payments for occurrences of hunting violations.  The approach was designed to reduce illegal hunting pressure, increase wildlife sightings, and ultimately wildlife numbers, while generating ongoing economic incentives for conservation.

Brussels (21 February 2018): Cooperation is one of the pillar of successful communal living, with the convention that those who break the social norms are punished. Researchers have traced evolutionary evidence for this urge for justice in six-year-old children and chimpanzees, with both showing an interest in being present when justice is meted out.

Past research has studied empathy amongst humans and animals, demonstrating how humans and some animal species display distress when witnessing others subjected to harm. These empathetic behaviours are said to safeguard social norms, while facilitating cooperation.