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Director’s Cut: Global Warming To Ecotourism
successful Global Ecotourism Conference in Oslo! Ecotourism now seems like a fresh graduate ready to save / take on /
take part in the world, a world full of problems & opportunities. This fresh graduate must now choose whether (and how)
s/he wants to change ‘society’ or to enter the ‘marketplace’. There are advantages and disadvantages in both choices but
ideally Ecotourism should maintain its freshness, independence and principles so as to be able to make a difference, rather
than simply being different. That said, Ecotourism is a broad and pluralistic movement and there are many paths to success.
No one has a patent or exclusive right on Ecotourism, so the choice is yours. After all, in this humanistic movement, the
focus is as much on the individual as it is on the environment. >> The Internet is truly great (and eco!), and yes there is
Skype, but good-old face to face meetings and hand shakes with good people are equally important in building and enhancing friendships. The
greatest pleasure therefore was to meet so many friends and members including Eugenio Yunis (UNEP), Jane Crouch (Intrepid Travel,
Australia), Ariane Janer (EcoBrasil), Peter Richards (REST, Thailand), Aivar Ruukel (Ecotourism Estonia), Gopinath Parayil (The Blue
Yonder, India), Steven Schipani (Mekong Tourism Dev. Project, Laos), Anuruddha Bandara (Eco Team Sri Lanka), Todd Comen (Institute for
Integrated Rural Tourism, USA), Johan Nyqvist (Nature’s Best, Sweden), Pascal Languillon (Ecotourisme France) and Marcia Palanque.
Leading Ecotourism decision-makers, academics & practitioners that I had the honour to meet included David Sollitt, the new Director of
TIES and gracious co-host of the GEC, an interview with whom you can read on the next page, Stefanos Fotiou of UNEP, GEC co-host, who
eloquently and pleasantly broke down complex issues into basics, Professor Martha Honey, immediate past president of TIES (now at CESD),
Professor Kelly Bricker (Chair of TIES board of Directors), Professor Paul Eagles (U. of Waterloo), Mandip Singh Soin (Ibex Expeditions),
Zoltan Kun (Pan Parks), Alex Khajavi (Nature Air), heads of national ecotourism associations, and many more who may forgive me for not
mentioning them. In Oslo, it was apparent that what usually goes by the pompous name of ‘Stakeholders’ is in the case of Ecotourism a bunch
of affable, positive, individuals. Certainly, we can do even better in the next global conference, which will take place in 5 years. For example,
it can take place in more ecological & economical surroundings so that it can be more inclusive, in terms of organisers & participants and
more meaningful as a democratic forum that decides on important matters and declarations by direct vote. As technology improves, the
conference can also be mirrored / complemented by a concurrent on-line conference. Of course, as Voltaire said, better is the enemy of good.
So let’s have a just as good conference! >> Back in Athens, last week, I was lucky to grab a ticket for Al Gore’s speech (Athens being the
cradle of Democracy it was a free ticket but you had to queue in the sun!) and admire “the man who used to be the next president of the United
States”, tirelessly going on for 90 minutes covering large swaths of global warnings and at least a couple of kilometres walking on stage (thus
offsetting his emissions) expertly delivering a PowerPoint presentation and political jokes / blows to former & future foes. Our domestic
equivalents sitting in the first row were visibly impressed by the ‘exotic’ oratory techniques. Some started guessing that the speaker was
preparing his political comeback, this time with DiCaprian aura, while a couple shouted/wished ‘run for president’. Most left convinced (or at
least hypnotised) that global warming is indeed taking place, with our PM declaring that all elementary pupils will from now on be taught
from Mr Gore’s Book and DVD. Still, after the show, Athens also being the birthplace of cynic philosophy, a few wondered if they could fool
the green Armageddon simply by composting lemon peels in their balcony, opting for pious Priuses, overpriced eco-friendly products &
politicians. >> Antonis B. Petropoulos  More Director’s Cut-|
ISSN 1108-8931
Year 7, Issue 91
Hana Maui Botanical Gardens (, Maris Hotels Traditional Apartments (, 
Vythiri Resort (, Beyond Touring (, 
Siam Safari (, Canyon Travel (,
La Selva Jungle Lodge ( ), Eco Holidays Malta (
“My term will hopefully be seen as one based on
increased outreach and collaboration”
In this issue:
David Sollitt, p.2 
Carol Patterson, p. 5
Defining & Uniting The Global Ecotourism
Movement, p.7
Eco Paedeia:
Achieving the Millennium Development Goals
through Tourism – p. 10
Eco World: p. 13
Eco Meetings: p. 15
“Governments need to lead with policies &
incentives to green our business practices &
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