During the month of March, Martha, Fergus and Neel, as well as board member Kelly Bricker, participated at the International Year of Ecotourism Review colloquium at West Virginia University. Martha also spoke at workshops at the University of South Florida, one on a Monteverde, Costa Rica research project and the other on tourism in Florida. She and Fergus also participated at the “Tiger in the Forest – Sustainable Tourism in Southeast Asia” conference held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Board member Albert Teo was also present. Over the last decade, the number of ecotourism societies, most covering single countries, has grown enormously. Many are members of TIES, but there are others with whom we have little or no contact. We would like to carry, as a regular feature in the TIES Newsletter, updates on the activities of other ecotourism societies. We hope to build stronger alliances among all these societies, including exchanging information, hosting joint meetings, and collaborating around key issues.
The historical concept of “societies” is that they are groups of individuals who come together voluntarily to pursue common goals in a specific area. Ecotourism societies are an appropriate expression of the term. They typically include members from the tourism industry, NGOs, communities, academic institutions, government, and interested citizens who organize to help promote ecotourism and its commitment it providing tangible benefits for local communities and for conservation of natural and protected areas. Workshop attendees frequently recognized the value of these ecotourism societies by selecting them to be the lead national organizations for ongoing training, marketing, and lobbying purposes.
Recent activities by several national ecotourism societies demonstrate their role as leaders in driving efforts towards the broader lens of sustainability in national tourism products. Rupert Isaacson, a Londoner of Southern African parentage, first began travelling to Africa as a little boy, and grew up on a diet of stories of Africa; the bush, politics, family history, myths and – most compelling – stories about the elusive Bushmen, or KhoiSan, of the Kalahari. After many years of travelling down there, Isaacson made contact with the Bushmen and began reporting, for the London Daily Telegraph, on their attempts to regain and protect lost and threatened ancestral hunting grounds in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. View More: E Settlement Agents Perth