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Director’s Cut: NUMBERS vs. HUMANS
“Numbers Prosper, Humans Suffer” so went a famous saying by a 1960s politician, when he was
still in opposition, of course. In a world that still justifies socially & environmentally ruthless
economic & developmental policies, including tourism, in terms of numbers, the above saying
seems incomprehensible, or at least old-fashioned. The old excuses for development may have been
slightly revamped, but greed and vanity, sometimes masquerading as philanthropy, are still the
driving forces. Many in the environmentalist movement also make the error of justifying their views
in terms of numbers, by ‘what is good for business’, reducing their principles to a minimum and themselves to a medium of
corporate social responsibility. But this is the result of going mainstream too fast, of becoming part of the pop-culture, of
environmentalism-lite. Dear friends, the world should not change its ways because temperature may rise 0.5 degrees, but
because life on this planet is miserable and unjust for most. The genuine ecotourism movement, as a sub-section of the
ecological movement (and not a tourism niche) should resist the pressure of going mainstream & conservative, of becoming
infatuated with numbers, of becoming one more industry, of trying to appeal to deeper pockets, of begging benefactors, of being
hi-jacked by those who want to reach the parts they could not reach, of creating exclusive enclaves for the affluent. Our prime
consideration must remain ordinary people, their rights, their wrongs, their environment, their health, their freedom, their
happiness. Ecotourism should emancipate their body, will and reason, to paraphrase Proudhon. We must constantly reach out to
the community, defying risk, as our missing friend Sompawn did. With this in mind, we invite all our Members to participate
and vote in the 2007 Ecotourism Awards, through which we hope to fund three modest projects that implement
real change. For more details, please see:
Antonis B. Petropoulos
ecoproducts @ ecoprices™
ISSN 1108-8931
Year 7, Issue 90
Sponsored by: Hana Maui Botanical Gardens (,
Maris Hotels Traditional Apartments (, 
Vythiri Resort  (, Beyond Touring (, 
Siam Safari (, Canyon Travel (
In this issue:
Interview: Albert Teo page 2
Feature: Web 2.0 in the Tourism Industry p.5
Viewpoint: Urban Ecotourism, a Contradiction? p. 8
Eco Insider: Certification The case of Nature’s Best p. 10
Eco Library: Lodging Design & Facilities Management -  p.11
Eco Guide: Water Recycling for small hotels p.14
Member News p.16
Eco Faces & Eco Meetings p.17
Interview on page 2
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