ISSN 1108-8931


Year 5-Issue 54, Nov. 2003


Members' News
More awards & publicity for
 our Ecolodge Members

Megan Epler Wood

Ecotourism D.I.Y.
Malawi & the Adriatic Coast

New Publications
Two Community Tourism 
Reports& Download links

Eco Crossword
This time: Astronomy
plus, we had a winner!

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  with a pinch of salt. 

"Hotel XYZ is the Costa Rican version of the ancient Palace of Knossos, on the Mediterranean Island of Crete. Massive ochre-finished columns, colourful handpainted frescos, custom furniture and handmade textiles, make for a royal vacation experience."


For this issue I had the great honour to interview Ms. Megan Epler Wood, the founder and immediate past president of The International Ecotourism Society, and as such the pivotal person in the development and organised representation of Ecotourism during the last decade. Ms Wood’s detailed replies reveal a lot both about the history and the future of Ecotourism especially in relation to the sector’s attempts to deal successfully, but honourably, with the big and the mighty in order to assist the small and the weak. For better or worse Ecotourism is nowadays much more than an enlightened recreational activity, and so it increasingly attracts the attention of various parties, unfortunately not all motivated by the same progressive ideas or ideals. Ecotourism needs more than ever able leaders, of her stature, who can navigate through choppy seas, without missing the port, sinking the boat, or worse, selling the boat.



Any views expressed in this newspaper belong to their respective
authors and are not necessarily those of
ECOCLUB S.A. Although we try to check all facts, we accept no liability for
inaccuracies - which means you should not take any travel or other decisions
based only on what you read here... Use of this newspaper is covered by the Terms & Conditions of the Website and by your uncommon sense and good humour.
Copyright © 1999-2003 ECOCLUB
S.A. All rights reserved.

Letters to the 

Reality check I enjoy reading the ECOCLUB Editorials but have my reservations regarding the guidelines for real Ecolodges in your October issue, especially point 4. Regarding involving local people in decision-making you should remember that the people in remote areas, can hardly read and write and if at all they have just completed elementary school. I still remember when I bought the 110 hectares of rainforest I asked people what to do and they told me to cut the wood down and sell it and to plant pineapples. When I decided differently and built the lodge, they called me el loco aleman (the crazy German) what tourists will ever come in this god-foresaken area. An Ecolodge is a business enterprise. If I build the Lodge on my own Property and guide the tourists through my own private rain forest, I do not see a reason why local people should become equal partners. This might be different if the lodge is built on community property or next to a National Park. To have local people participate in decision making, in profit sharing and ownership participation seems to me unrealistic and has a certain romantic connotation. The locals in remote areas have no money to invest, are not willing to wait long years to get a return on their investment and are not prepared to participate in possible losses. All they are looking for is to get a job and their salary paid at the end of the month. 
- Vinzenz Schmack, 
Proprietor, La Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, Costa Rica, 

Live Event held 

We hosted a live discussion on the Environmental Impacts of Transportation, at our Live Chat Centre (, on November 5. The participants were: Ron Mader, host of, Marcus Endicott, host of the green-travel list - greentravel@ , John Shores, owner of The Shores System, Andres Hammerman & Michelle Kirby, of Black Sheep Inn, Ecuador, Sergio Moraes, California, Richard Tuck, of Comarca Turs, Nicaragua, and Antonis B. Petropoulos, Director of ECOCLUB S.A. The consensus was that more should be done to create and showcase alternative means of reaching ecotourism destinations. 
More details at

Ecotourism University Database 

During the past month, we have updated and expanded our University Database, at . Readers are welcome to suggest more courses Shop

The Shop has a selection of Christmas Cards supporting UNICEF’s work around the world and promoting the Cultural Olympiad 2004 message. Thanks to a US$ 7 million contribution of the Greek Cultural Olympiad 2001-2004, UNICEF will immunize 1.4 million children worldwide. Leading up to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the Cultural Olympiad carries the message: “For a Culture of Civilizations” and aims to promote peace, solidarity and social cohesion. The pack contains 10 cards (11x15.5 cm), 5 designs x2 and white envelopes. The card is without text. Our Eco Price: Euros 11.75. 



Copyright © 1999-2003 ECOCLUB S.A. All Rights Reserved.