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Director’s Cut: Towards a free, transparent, democratic eco rating system
The usual, valid, criticisms against ecolabels are that they are expensive, opaque, that there is a conflict of interest, and that they
are little more than marketing tools. We have been thinking and discussing these real problems with our Members and friends
over the past 8 years, as ECOCLUB has matured and evolved. As Member numbers grow, we now feel obliged to start working
towards an alternative & meaningful rating system. We are therefore introducing a pilot rating scheme that will be free of charge
to our Members, as transparent as possible, with minimum conflict of interest, which will hopefully be much more than a
marketing tool to our Members. It will certainly be far from perfect, especially in its early stages, but in the dynamic &
democratic spirit of the Internet, it will aspire to constantly improve, to be open, participatory, interactive, constantly evolving.
Greenwashing must stop.
So should the attempted marginalisation of the broad Ecotourism movement by an unholy alliance
who would like to reduce it to ‘a market segment’. Ecotourism as ECOCLUB defines it, is an Ecological, Humanist and
Epicurean philosophy and practice, so beyond minimising environmental impact, our rating system will incorporate respect to
human rights, employee rights and social responsibility. We believe in and focus on
individuals, self-employed, and small
tourism businesses, and would like to assist them in realising their power
(in numbers) to change tourism, to understand and
assume their responsibilities to society & the environment. Our rating system will acknowledge this preference, and we will
remain indifferent to powerful tourism interests
– those preferred by ‘supermarket’
ecolabels for financial reasons. Our
independent effort will (try to) remain free of the political expediencies, corruption, bureaucratic indifference and inflexibility of
many state and parastatal ecolabels.
And it will be ‘carbon-neutral’ too – no plastic, no flashy brochures and gimmicks– all
electronic. No unnecessary travel by eco-certifiers either,
we will let ecotourists do the travelling and the inspecting. You will
Antonis B. Petropoulos - More Director’s Cut
North American Ecotourism Conference 2007
The International Ecotourism Society would like to cordially invite you to attend the
2007 North American Ecotourism Conference in Madison, Wisconsin . September
Looking to advance in your career, to build your professional capacity, to increase
your professional tool belt, or to connect with industry experts? Don't miss the
opportunity to gain practical tools, meet personally with industry experts, and
connect with suppliers in your field! 
Check out the conference website:
ISSN 1108-8931
Year 8, Issue 92
Hana Maui Botanical Gardens (, Maris Hotels Traditional Apartments (, 
Vythiri Resort (, Beyond Touring (, Siam Safari (, 
Canyon Travel (, La Selva Jungle Lodge ( ), 
Eco Holidays Malta (, Abha Palace ( )
Professor Harold Goodwin:
“Travel and tourism still lags behind some of the
other sectors in retailing where organic, fair trade
and eco-friendly products are much more evident
on the high street”
In this issue: Ecotourism Awards Winners: p. 2
Offsets & Tourism - Green action or greenwash?: p.10
Handling Tourism Events with Collaboration Agents: p.12
Developing Ecotourism in the Cameroon highlands: p.18
Tourism Education & Hotel Training in Bolivia:  p.20
Crete: Digging each other’s golf hole: p.22
Oaxaca: A feast for unity divides: p.24
Member News & Eco World Roundup: p.25
“Offsetting is not about planting trees, although
there are a lot of companies out there who would
try to convince you otherwise…”
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