ecoDestinations: Travel the World and Help Protect Amazing Destinations

Sara Thopson - Apr 27, 2009
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Launched in February 2009, ecoDestinations is The International Ecotourism Society’s (TIES) new approach to promoting ecotourism as an effective tool for bio-cultural conservation and sustainable community development.

With the vision of creating “a world in which all tourism is ecotourism,” ecoDestinations is a travel auction with a vision, connecting travelers with inspiring ecotourism initiatives from around the world.

At the core of this new project is TIES’ belief that when executed mindfully, and with the minimum impact, travel can inspire cultural awareness, tolerance, and commitment to environmental responsibility, and encourage people to live more joyful, meaningful lives. TIES encourages conscious travelers to travel more, and gain extraordinary experiences that will inspire them – and people around them – to help save the natural and cultural heritage of our beautiful planet.

Each month, TIES features a new destination, highlighting a handful of the most stellar examples of ecotourism businesses and initiatives, through TIES website and online charity auction. Supporting TIES’ efforts to educate consumers and industry, ecoDestinations also serves as an interactive online platform providing up-to-date information on ecotourism development, destination management, environmental issues and community needs.

Opportunities for Travelers:

ecoDestinations provides unique opportunities for travelers to browse through exclusive selections of sustainable travel packages, and purchase exemplary ecotourism trips, with the peace of mind that the money is being invested in a travel experience that positively impacts the destination and its people.

Each month, TIES also offers neatly packaged (with minimum carbon footprint!) information about the featured destination, put together by TIES expert team in collaboration with local partners. By being active members of TIES online ecoDestinations community, travelers can learn about the latest best practice examples, new ecotourism initiatives, and ways to be the change and help protect extraordinary travel experiences for generations to come.

Opportunities for Destinations:

An innovative interactive online community platform, ecoDestinations provides the featured destination with the prime opportunity to showcase ecotourism initiatives, and to support and strengthen the networks of individuals and organizations dedicated to ecotourism within the destination. The featured destination will be, for an entire month, in the global spotlight through TIES highly visible website and newsletters.

TIES takes a systematic approach to selecting featured destinations, and remains open to new possibilities and approaches for the selection of future destinations. TIES members and partners are encouraged to play an active role in promoting their destinations through ecoDestinations. In the coming months, TIES plans to feature the following destinations: Western US, Brazil, India, Mexico and Japan.

Opportunities for Businesses:

Participating ecolodges and sustainable tourism operators benefit from one continuous month of promotion from the universally trusted source on ecotourism, and increased visibility through the cMarket site, a charitable auction community with over 87,000 active bidders.

Providing a unique marketing platform, ecoDestinations is a perfect way for businesses committed to the principles of ecotourism to showcase their initiatives raising the bar of what it means to be stewards ensuring a sustainable future of the tourism industry.  

Opportunities for Local Community Initiatives:

"5% for COMMUNITIES" - As part of TIES’ commitment to supporting visionary grass-roots efforts and investing in a sustainable future, each month TIES contributes 5% of the funds raised through ecoDestinations to one organization selected from the featured destination.

February 2009 (Costa Rica): Yorkin Community, supporting rural community tourism

March 2009 (UK): Mosaic, sharing the benefits of national parks with minority groups

ecoDestinations support fundraising efforts to sustain TIES programs. Uniting communities, conservation and sustainable travel, TIES promotes responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.

TIES’ ambitions through ecoDestinations are:

  • Inspiring everyone to make the travel choice that makes a difference every time.
  • Uniting communities, conservation, and extraordinary travel experiences.
  • Promoting ecotourism as a force to positively transform the way the world travels.

By The International Ecotourism Society

(Ecotourism businesses, as well as DMO’s, tourism offices and CBV’s interested in participating in ecoDestinations are encouraged to contact TIES at: ecoDestinations@ecotourism.org.)

http://www.ecotourism.org

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