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Director’s Cut: Hunting Tourism Revisited
In a past editorial, I had expressed surprise at a report that seemed to imply that a colleague at The International Ecotourism
Society had told a newspaper that TIES had no position on Hunting Tourism so as not to provoke a backlash. TIES has now
written to us to set the record straight:
“I’m writing on behalf of TIES regarding the “Director’s Cut” on hunting and ecotourism in the recent issue of ECOCLUB, in
which TIES is quoted. Although the article quotes a TIES Representative, we feel that this article and what's
quoted in the ECOCLUB newsletter does not provide an accurate explanation on why TIES has not issued any official statement
on whether hunting should be considered ecotourism.
TIES is a multi-stakeholder international association, and one of our primary goals is to educate tourists and tourism
professionals about the principles of ecotourism--responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and
improves the well-being of local people. While we do recognize the importance of the issues around hunting and fishing, and
that many in ecotourism community are looking for an answer to the question “can hunting be ecotourism,” we believe that the
appropriate role for TIES to play in this debate is to provide credible information, resources and platforms for discussion in a
fair and inclusive manner. And that’s what we have been actively seeing to do. Sustainable management of hunting practices,
particularly in the context of Indigenous ecotourism, was one of the topics highlighted at the Global Ecotourism Conference in
see in the and other articles, in Madison we also had productive discussions about the topic.
Historically, TIES has taken a stance not to call for blanket statements about issues such as certification and carbon offsetting, as
well as hunting, and has focused instead on highlighting local and regional realities, recognizing the need to be sensitive of
differences in various social, cultural and economic factors in different communities. Of course, nobody is advocating for
unsustainable killing as part of ecotourism, but TIES is conscious of the roles of Indigenous communities, for whom hunting
and fishing are integral part of sustainable lifestyles, as environmental stewards, as well as credible academic and professional
opinions about sustainable practices in hunting and fishing and their interface with ecotourism. By writing this message, we
wanted to inform you of our active engagement in the discussions around ecotourism and hunting, and to explain our intention
behind not making a public statement about whether hunting can be part of ecotourism. TIES will continue striving to serve the
ecotourism community worldwide as an unbiased source of knowledge and advocacy.
Ayako Ezaki - Director of Communications, The International Ecotourism Society, Washington D.C.
The clarification as to why there is currently no official TIES statement or position on Hunting Tourism is noted and most
appreciated. However, a non-position is also a position, and neutrality, especially if permanent, can also constitute a bias.
Taking the Global Greens Charter of 2001 view of Hunting as a base, which states “Support the right of indigenous peoples to
self-determination, land rights, and access to traditional hunting and fishing rights for their own subsistence, using humane
and ecologically sustainable techniques”, our publication believes that Opposition to Hunting Tourism can be a defining,
ideological issue for Ecotourism (Ecological Tourism). Ecotourists & Ecotourism practitioners worldwide can easily
understand the difference between a recreational hunting tour (affluent foreigners killing rare species for pleasure) and
subsistence hunting by indigenous communities using traditional weapons. It is hard to imagine how any Ecotourism proponent
could ever encourage the few indigenous communities still managing to survive on subsistence hunting, to associate themselves
with foreign hunting interests, conduct hunting tours and expedite the demise of their life-style (or worse, their life!).
Tourism may
still be legal in many - but not all - destinations, and a part of Nature Tourism, Rural Tourism, Adventure
Tourism, Community Tourism or Responsible Tourism, but it may never be a part of Ecotourism - Ecological Tourism. 
ISSN 1108-8931
Year 8, Issue 95
AIVAR RUUKEL: Travelling to your
neighbours, meeting these people, talking to them
makes you understand them better and minimizes
your fear that they can be dangerous”
(p.6 )
In this issue:
Hunting Tourism Revisited – p.1
Annual Reports from our Ecolodge Members  – p.2
ECOCLUB Interviews – p.6
Eco Journeys: The secret beauty of Estonian nature – p.12
Climate Change & Mediterranean Tourism – p.14
Member News Roundup – p.18
MART REIMANN: The main challenge for
Tourism in Estonia is marketing and making our
country a better known tourism destination
(p. 9)
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