This wishlist is based on conversations
with friends and colleagues about what they want to see, particularly
in the realm of conscious travel, ecotourism and responsible
tourism. How do we build a broad constituency? How do we widen
and broaden our actions? Read on. This wishlist (wunschliste
auf Deutsch) that seeks to integrate, well, everything:
Biodiversity Conservation - Cleaner
Transportation - Effective Education
- Engagement - Greener
Events - Job Creation - Transparency
in Banks and Foundations - Improved Media
Coverage - Independent Journalists -
Indigenous Peoples - Parallel
Web Conferencing - Ethical Marketing
- Water Conservation
CONSERVATION -- Biodiversity
conservation is crucial. Let's review how environmental conservation
works in the field and promote the areas in which tourism can
be of assistance and not a hindrance.
-- Successful tourism requires meaningful collaboration
among all the players,
aka stakeholders, starting with locals and visitors. More
PEOPLES -- Travelers are connecting with indigenous communities
and vice-versa. Welcome to the world of indigenous
tourism. The Web creates an opportunity for indigenous guides
and tourism services to get the word out about their tours,
their crafts and the protocols expected of visitors. Most travelers
are willing to obide local protocol, but visitor education needs
to begin before arrival. Interactions most likely will continue
post visit as well.
alleviation starts with job creation! We need to support
meaningful and good-paying employment.
-- Students need practical skills. The tourism sector needs
educated professionals. Communities should be able to partner
with educational centers in a proactive manner. We would love
to see higher education programs that 1) provide distance learning,
2) highlight the work of current students and faculty in an
-- One of the key issues is the conservation of water.
We also need to review how local communities are or are not
served in terms of access to water. It is not fair when visitors
have access to water and locals do not.
CLEANER TRANSPORTATION -- While we are not keen on individual
carbon offsetting tickets, we would like to see airlines and
other modes of transportation make improvements. The environmental
impact of transportation needs to be reviewed at the regional
and national levels.
IN DEVELOPMENT BANKS AND FOUNDATIONS -- We'd like more user-friendly
information on bank and donor websites. A good starting point
is asking banks to create a single reference page on their own
websites that could be linked from our index.
Many internationally funded conservation and ecotourism programs
have failed, leaving individuals and communities cynical of
ecotourism and 'sustainable development.' What works?
COVERAGE -- If there is a chance the ecotourism
word will survive, it will be if ecotourism
is treated seriously in the mainstream media. Lackluster coverage
-- from Christian Science Monitor's sensationalistic 'When
Ecotourism Kills' to mixed
messages from the New York Times -- show that media simply
does not care. What's needed? Editors who respect ethics and
sustainability concerns. What about creating a new position
at papers and magazines -- the sustainability editor? The Media,
Environment and Tourism Industry Conference (2001) generated
several proposals for collaborative work. The chief recommendation
-- more engaging dialogues that include frank conversation among
conservationists, tourism officials AND media.
INDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS -- If we wish to develop such noble
concepts such as 'responsible travel,' we need to implement
Trade in Travel Writing and Photography. Top-notch journalists
could expand the coverage of such pertinent issues as community-based
tourism and park management strategies if there were more reliable
funding. Portals that feature sustainable development issues
should begin paying retainers to journalists in the field for
content collection. Or journalists could work as 'scouts' --
finding services that can be linked into a value
chain. It would be helpful to see more grants for independent
travel and research and a lucrative publishing market.
CONFERENCING -- Traditional conferences need to include
forums on the Web. Please, no more closed door meetings
that do not include an opportunity for a virtual dialogue among
interested parties before, during and after the event.
Interested constituencies without the money or time to attend
the event in person should have the opportunity to participate.
EVENTS -- We would like to see events which are more eco-friendly
and people-friendly. How about developing minimum standards
for local and international events?
-- Travelers need better information about where to go and this
info needs to be in their language
or language(s). Individual operators and communities often
do not know how to communicate with potential clients. We recommend
that tourism boards pay professional editors to review and redo
brochures and websites. More suggestions were made in our Ethical
-- We need better listening skills. There are a lot of great
ideas but we need to learn how to be quiet to hear others talk
about their own wishlist.
OPPORTUNITES TO MEET -- We want more opportunities