CREST’s annual meta-analysis, The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics, will share key studies on COVID-19 and climate change and the lessons that may be applied from the former to meet the challenges of the latter. CREST’s World Tourism Day Webinar will share the report’s key findings and will bring together experts to discuss consumer, business, and destination trends in the context of recovery.
Distinguished speakers will explore the unprecedented opportunity to mitigate two existential threats, climate change and COVID-19, with one coordinated approach, truly making the world a safer, more equitable, and more resilient place for all.
The latest report, The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2020, a special edition on lessons from COVID-19 for tourism in a changing climate, comes at an unprecedented time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has highlighted the immense need and value of tourism, while fundamentally changing the way destinations, businesses, and travelers will plan, manage, and experience tourism. At the same time, climate change remains an existential threat that has real consequences for destinations and communities everywhere.
The report includes a special focus on the two major crises facing our world today: climate change and COVID-19. Sharing cutting-edge research and examples, the report describes how travelers, tourism businesses, and destinations are implementing workable, sustainable solutions to support our planet and its people. The report also provides an overview of what consumers, businesses, and destinations are experiencing during COVID-19 and offers sustainable solutions that can help the tourism industry on a road to responsible recovery.
“Crisis often breeds innovation, and destination communities and businesses must now take the time to reconsider the path forward,” said Gregory Miller, Executive Director of CREST. “As we look to the future of tourism, the same rigor and dedication that is needed to adapt to the pandemic must also be applied to neutralize the threat of climate change.”
Trends & Statistics 2020 updates CREST’s previous industry studies, released every year since 2013. This year’s report was prepared in collaboration with more than 30 leading organizations, researchers, and institutions, including the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
NEW YORK, NY, – Lindblad Expeditions, a global leader in responsible tourism, has become the first self-disinfecting fleet in the cruise industry. In keeping with their legacy of sustainability and protecting the places they explore, they have announced that they are now implementing Premium Purity fleetwide, a unique cleaning system which creates a cleaner, healthier ship while drastically reducing the impact on the environment.
The new system, ACT CleanCoat™, is a photocatalytic process that works when illuminated, breaking down unwanted microbes such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and airborne allergens. It can be applied to all surfaces which become self-disinfecting after application. Created by ACT.Global A/S, a Copenhagen-based company, the antibacterial spray is transparent, odorless, and activated by light, and protects a room like an invisible insulation – plus purifies and deodorizes the air for up to one year. Video
Chemical free, the product uses the ACT ECA water system created by electrolysis of salt and water, to clean the rooms which is completely harmless to guests, staff and the environment.
“As the oldest and most experienced expedition travel company in the world, we go to some of the most pristine places on the planet. We are very conscious of the waste we produce, and how the cleanliness of our ship and protection of our guests onboard is vital to a healthy environment,” said Bruce Tschampel, Vice President, Hotel Operations for Lindblad Expeditions.
“Premium Purity is unlike anything we have seen out there. Our ships are truly pristine and healthy, and we already have measurable results to prove it from our initial pilot program on one ship. We reduced guest reported illness by 50%; eliminated over 1,000 plastic bottles of cleaning products; and dramatically reduced water usage by 1.1 million gallons per year. The crew is raving about how much healthier the ship is and how effective it is to use this solution,” he continued.
The fleetwide rollout is another step in Lindblad’s commitment toward defining travel industry standards for sustainability and environmentally responsible operations. In 2019 they become a carbon neutral company, offsetting 100% of emissions from their ships, all land-based operations, employee travel, offices in New York and Seattle, and other contributors. They successfully eliminated guest-facing single-use plastics fleetwide in 2018 and have operated a sustainable seafood program aboard the fleet for many years. Other related sustainability initiatives include building new ships that reduce emissions while increasing efficiency; mandating supply chain solutions to eliminate plastic; sourcing and serving local, organic produce; and making crew uniforms from recycled plastic.
WASHINGTON – The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) announced that more than 15,000 hotels have signed up for its new initiative – “Hospitality for Hope” – which identifies hotel properties that have offered to provide temporary housing for emergency and healthcare workers as the COVID-19 public health crisis grows. While the program will primarily focus on housing for the healthcare community, some hotels could potentially be used as “Alternative Care Sites” such as an emergency hospital or place for those quarantined to stay if needed.
AHLA’s “Hospitality for Hope Initiative” was created to boost collaboration between the hotel industry and local, state and federal governments to help employees, communities across the country, and the industry during this unprecedented health crisis. In the short time since the initiative was announced, participation has grown from nearly 6,000 hotels to more than 15,000 properties. Already, this initiative has identified a total combined
2.3 million rooms located in close proximity to established healthcare facilities.
To help match and streamline the process for willing hotel properties to connect with federal, state, and local governments, AHLA and its state association partners are working to create a national “Hospitality for Hope” database to assist the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, local emergency management and public health agencies. AHLA has also provided a number of resources for members, which can be found here.
“It has been so impressive to see hotel after hotel join this important initiative as a way of giving back to the communities in which they operate,” Chip Rogers, AHLA president and CEO said. “As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support our communities by caring for the first responders who are on the frontlines of this public health crisis. Hotels have always been an active member of our local communities, and this time is no different. We are proud to work to facilitate partnerships with federal, state and local governments to support the health community during this critical time.”
Local, state and federal government officials will be able to search willing properties based on geographic location. (Click here for a state by state breakdown of the number of hotels signed up).
Already, examples of hotels partnering with local and state officials offering housing to doctors, nurses, homeless families and quarantined individual are being reported across the country including in:
“The number of hotels wanting to be part of the program is growing by the hour,” Michael Jacobson, CEO and president of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association said. “Our hotels are answering the call to action, and they want to be helpful to the city and the state.”
“‘Hospitality for Hope’ is just one of the many ways that our hotels are helping those in need in our communities during this time of crisis,” said Kim Sabow, President and CEO of the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association. “We look forward to working with all interested parties, including local and state officials, and the federal government to find innovative solutions to make it through this critical time together.”
Hotels interested in joining AHLA’s “Hospitality for Hope” initiative can volunteer HERE.
Given the unprecedented public health and economic crisis, hotels and the industry as a whole are coming together to support the community and their furloughed employees.
In expanding “Hospitality for Hope Initiative”, the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation, AHLA’s charitable giving arm, rolled out free resources last week to help industry employees continue their education during this difficult time including free hospitality management online courses, professional development scholarships for AHLA certifications and continuing education online programs.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is a national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry which contributes nearly $660 billion to U.S. GDP. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. The industry supports 8.3 million jobs,—more than 1 in every 25 American jobs. Learn more at www.ahla.com.
Many travel suppliers – from tour companies to airlines to hotel companies and travel agents – are responding to the coronavirus to best assist travelers. Many tour companies for example, are waiving cancellation fees or allowing rebooking to a different destination or a future departure; many airlines are waiving cancellation and change fees. Among the different strategies to continue to travel are to look to outdoors adventures – national and state parks, dude ranches, cottages on the beach, bike tours, camping (koa.com)/glamping (glampinghub.com), hiking, rafting.Travel counselors can help you choose destinations, styles of travel and organize the logistics.
NEW YORK(March 6, 2020) Leading luxury and experiential travel network Virtuoso® has been closely monitoring the impact of coronavirus, collaborating and consulting with its travel agency members across the world as well as its preferred partners. Since COVID-19 first surfaced late last year in Wuhan, China, the virus has become a global epidemic and a disruption to the travel industry as well as the global economy. To date, people have tested positive for the virus in 73 countries, including the United States; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new Travel Health Notices to China, Italy, Iran and South Korea; and travel plans for many are in disarray.
For those who have a vacation
booked in the coming days, weeks or months, it’s valid to feel some
trepidation. Fears of contracting the virus, or even being quarantined, are
valid. Virtuoso agency owner Josh Bush agrees and says the biggest concern his
clients express is not getting sick, it’s getting stuck.
Ultimately, choosing to go forward with your travel plans is a personal call. But how do you sort through the information to make the right decision? These really are the moments when having a travel advisor is key. Seamless trip planning and travel perks aside, an advisor is a traveler’s number-one advocate. Through years, if not decades, of personal relationships, advisors have access to real-time information and can arm their clients with the facts needed to make confident decisions, provide informed answers to any “What would you do?” concerns, and handle the logistics that sometimes can’t be avoided, from last-minute flight changes to spring break contingency plans.
Virtuoso took the opportunity to
consult with some of its 22,000 affiliated travel advisors worldwide to get
their insights into what travelers should know as they assess their options.
“Right now, we’re letting
travelers know we’re here to support them in making the best decision for their
family and giving them the facts to help make that decision,” says Virtuoso
agency owner Cristina Buaas.
Here’s what Virtuoso advisors are
doing: They are not panicking. They’re staying positive, because
this too shall pass. They’re carrying on with their own travel plans –
responsibly, of course, by heeding CDC warnings and being extra diligent about
hygiene (wash those hands!). Most importantly, they are dealing with the
COVID-19 outbreak by taking care of their clients. Here is what they want you
Protect your travel
investment as you would any other – by seeking professional advice.
“It’s important to give my clients all of the facts about
their trip, their destination, and the policies of their travel supplier,” says
Virtuoso agency executive Amanda Klimak. “I then help them make a decision
about travel based on the facts. I also recommend they speak to their personal
physician to discuss the risks based on their medical history. Then I let them
know I’m here to help, no matter what they decide.”
A travel advisor knows if or when airlines, hotels, cruise lines and tour operators have waived change and cancellation fees (many have): “The entire travel industry is in uncharted territory now due to coronavirus,” says Virtuoso agency executive Mary Kleen. “As travel advisors, our current role is to listen to travelers’ concerns and provide the most up-to-date options so they can make informed decisions at a minimal cost.”
It’s still OK to travel.
While advisors have seen an
increase in postponed or cancelled trips to Italy and Asia, travel has not come
to a screeching halt. Travelers are choosing closer-to-home locations,
Caribbean, Costa Rica, and Mexico. “I do have some clients switching from Northern Italy
to Spain, but other than that, if it’s not on the Department of State list,
they’re going,” says Virtuoso agency executive Tania Swasbrook.
Buaas recently suggested the
wait-and-see approach for a traveler planning to take her children to Greece this summer. The situation is evolving rapidly – if
you’re traveling to Europe in June and your tour, cruise, or hotel has a 30-day
cancellation policy, for example, you don’t have to make a decision until May.
“Our advisors have spent 60
percent of their time in the past week fielding questions about COVID-19,” says
Bush. “Very few of those conversations result in cancellations, and that’s
because the situation is so fluid and not definite. We are advising travelers
to wait and see, especially if there is little or no financial risk to do so.”
Plan now, travel later.
“Traveling is meant to be fun and educational,” says
Wallace. “If you’re going to be worried and anxious about your trip, find
something that you’ll be comfortable with and enjoy. If that means you sit out
travel in the short term, that’s fine. But while you’re waiting, look forward
to the recovery, because it will come, and you’ll need to be ready to jump on
that trip you’ve been drooling over.”
To avoid losing out on future travel opportunities, Wallace
reminds her clients to start planning now. “Book 2021-2022 trips now, because
everyone else is and you will have trouble finding space. Many travel companies
have relaxed deposits, cancellation penalties and cancel for any reason waivers
to encourage those willing to start thinking about the next window of
Travel insurance is always
a good idea.
While “cancel for any reason”
(CFAR) travel insurance policies may partially cover trip cancellations and
adjustments related to the coronavirus outbreak, there are some restrictions,
and the policy has to be purchased within 21 days of making an initial trip
deposit. (Ask your travel advisor to check with your travel insurance provider
to confirm.) If you want to book a trip for later this summer, advisors
recommend that CFAR policy. But for those who already have the trip on the
books and are outside of the policy’s 21-day window, it’s not too late to at
least add some travel insurance: “For those who are still planning on
traveling, make sure you have travel insurance that will cover medical expenses
should you become ill while traveling,” Klimak advises.
Practice good travel
Wash your hands! As soon as you get through security at
the airport, make a beeline to the restroom to scrub, Swasbrook advises. Cash
frequently changes hands, so she also recommends using credit cards that you
can wipe down with a sanitizing cloth. While at it, wipe down airplane surfaces
and wash your hands before and after using the restroom on the
As a rule, Wallace recommends taking veranda accommodations
on any cruise and requesting hotel rooms with a balcony or outside terrace so
that you have access to fresh air.
Buaas refers travelers to the CDC and U.S. Department of State websites for the latest information, and Klimak
tells her travelers to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which shares your contact information with the nearest
U.S. embassy and sends travel alert notifications. The STEP app is worth
downloading prior to traveling – and while you’re at it, you can swipe that
phone with an antibacterial wipe.
Virtuoso® is a leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,100 travel agency locations with more than 22,000 elite travel advisors in over 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon preferred relationships with more than 2,000 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. $30 billion in annual travel sales make Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.
This is huge for New York State’s tourism and recreational
opportunities: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s is proposing a $300 million plan
to reimagine the Erie Canal by creating recreational activities on the Canal to
boost tourism and recreational
fishing, mitigate flooding, enhance irrigation and restore wetlands.
“When the Erie Canal was created in the
19th century it set the state and the nation on a path to
prosperity, and this year we will repurpose the canal to fit our state’s
21st century needs,” Governor
Cuomo said. “This bold and visionary plan to transform
this historic waterway will build on the success of the Empire State Trail (750
miles of connected bikeways), grow tourism across Upstate New York,
improve resilience of today’s Canal communities and ensure the
economic sustainability of the waterway into the future.”
“The canals have played a crucial role in New York’s history and
growth, and with the implementation of these new exciting projects, the canals
will remain a vital force and make a positive contribution to the economic
well-being and quality of life in the 225 communities they travel through,”
said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.
A first phase of funding starting this year – through the New
York Power Authority Board which oversees the Canal Corporation as a subsidiary
– includes a $100 million economic development fund to invest
in communities along the Canal and a separate $65 million investment
in solutions that will help prevent ice jams and related flooding in the
The remaining $135 million of the plan’s funding will subsequently be allocated
to research recommended by the Reimagine Task Force, as well
as to solutionsrelated to flood mitigation,
invasive species prevention and ecosystem restoration.
New Economic Development Fund for Canal Communities
In the first phase of the program, a $100 million economic
development fund will support projects that adaptively reuse canal
infrastructure to enhance water recreation, tie the Canal’s new
recreational improvements to the Governor’s Empire State Trail,
celebrate historic canal structures, and develop unique canalside
attractions and activities. Roughly $25 million of that will be allocated
immediately to a set of initial projects:
Connecting Communities: The “Brockport Loop” project in Monroe County will
connect SUNY College at Brockport to the Empire State
Trailand the village of Brockport through
the transformation of a canal guard-gate into a
pedestrian bridge and overlook, with a supporting grant of $2 million
from the Ralph Wilson Foundation.
Celebrating “Iconic Infrastructure”:Interactive, hydro-powered illumination of Canal “movable
dams” – initially in
Amsterdam and Canajoharie in the
Mohawk River valley – will celebrate the Canal’s
heritage and its history as an engineering marvel.
Expanding Water Recreation: A new whitewater destination, at the north end of Cayuga Lake near Seneca
Falls, will rely on existing water control infrastructure to construct an
active water sports course adjacent to the Montezuma National
Wildlife Refuge, to increase eco-tourism and sport visitors to the region.
Adapting Industrial Property for New
Uses: Winner of the Reimagine the Canals competition,
a canalside pocket neighborhood, will be developed by Madison
County in Central New York at a former industrial
property in Canastota along the Old Erie Canal –
demonstrating a new model for 21st century canalside living.
Developing Destination Accommodations: The
historic Guy Park Manor, on the Mohawk River in
Amsterdam, will be reborn as a hospitality destination and a
pedestrian bridge constructed
across the already-existing Canal lock will provide
access to additional overnight accommodation along the Empire
State Trail on the opposite side of the river.
World-Class Fishing and Restored Wetlands
To create world-class fishing in Western New York, the new
plan recommends managing water releases from the Canal to enhance fish
habitat, improve angling opportunities, and extend the fall fishing season in
Lake Ontario tributaries. It also includes funding to expand public
fishing access along key streams in Orleans, Monroe and Niagara
Counties. In addition, it identifies a program to divert Canal water to restore and
re-nourish wetlands in Central New York that were compromised a
century ago by the Canal’s construction. This will allow areas in
close proximity to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, a migratory
stopover for more than 1 million birds each
year, to be significantly enhanced to further
attract naturalists, locals, and visitors from throughout the region and
Ideas in this plan originated from the Reimagine the
Canals Task Force recommendations, launched by
Governor Cuomo in May of 2019 to pursue a
comprehensive investigation of how the 195-year-old Erie Canal
could be reimagined for the 21st century. The Reimagine
the Canals Task Force Report was just released.
The Task Force engaged with municipal leaders, stakeholders, local
business owners, scientists and other experts, along with community
members, to identify opportunities and solutions that support a
new vision for future investments in the waterway. Many of the ideas that the
Task Force explored came from the completed Reimagine the Canals competition, held
last year by the New York Power Authority and New York State Canal
Corporation. SUNY’s Rockefeller Institute of Government, on behalf of
the Task Force, conducted a series of outreach sessions during the summer
in five canal communities – Lockport, Brockport, Schenectady, Utica and
Syracuse – to solicit new ideas from the public at large. Ideas were also
solicited on a Reimagine the Canals website, offering more
distant canal users an opportunity to provide their views to the Task Force.
The “Reimagine” initiative builds on successful
efforts by Governor Cuomo to invest in the canal corridor, including
the state’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative and successful Taste NY program, which have stoked new industries,
businesses and housing in canal communities. Harnessing the Canal’s full
potential to attract more tourism and recreation is a key focus of the
Initiative. Governor Cuomo and state agency and authority staff
will collaborate with Empire Line communities and continue to consult with
Task Force members and other stakeholders to ensure the success
of projects as they move forward.
There are 1.6 million trips taken annually on the Erie Canal Trailway,
the former towpath used by mules and horses to pull barges in the canals’ early
days. The Trailway is part of Governor Cuomo’s Empire State Trail,
which at 750 miles will be the largest state multi-use trail network when
completed in late 2020. Governor DeWitt Clinton began work on the original
Erie Canal on July 4, 1817.
In addition to investing $300 million in the Canal System, there are
also plans to create two new state parks in the
Hudson Valley, add 4,000 acres of land to parks and introduce a $3 billion
“Restore Mother Nature” bond act.
Meanwhile, registration has opened for the
22nd Annual Cycle the Erie, eight-day 400-mile, fully supported biking/camping
trip, from Buffalo to Albany, operated by Parks & Trails NY, taking place
July 12-19, 2020. For information on
Cycle the Erie Canal, call Parks & Trails New York, 518-434-1583, email [email protected] or visit www.ptny.org/cycle-the-erie-canal.
Williston, VT –By 2030, 1.8 billion people – about 20 percent of the global population – are predicted to be tourists traveling the world. As the demand for global travel increases, consumers are faced with numerous decisions on how to make their trips more sustainable, including where to go, what to pack and how to get there. Country Walkers, a leading provider of walking adventures and a leader in responsible tourism for decades, offers travelers the opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable world through preserving indigenous cultures, supporting local economies, conserving wildlife and protecting the environment.
“At Country Walkers, we are committed to a healthier planet
and to giving back to the destinations we explore,” said Timo Shaw, President of Country Walkers. “Sustainability is one of our core values, from staying in locally
owned and operated hotels whenever possible and seeking out environmentally and
socially responsible accommodations, to our ardent support of the Slow Food
movement in order to preserve culinary traditions and support biodiversity. As
a result, those who travel with us contribute to a more sustainable world as
To further support special conservation and charitable
projects in communities and habitats worldwide, Country Walkers created The
Travelers Fund, which makes a donation on behalf of every traveler who
books a specific tour. More than half of Country Walkers’ tours are associated
with an initiative, including:
Mountain Rescue at Club Alpino Italiano (Country Walkers tour: Italy: The Amalfi Coast & Capri). Safety comes first
on the Amalfi Coast with a donation to the local mountain rescue team, which
primarily relies on volunteers and donations to obtain and maintain equipment
for rapid emergency response for visitors and locals.
Wildlife Conservation in the Rocky
Mountains (Country Walkers tours: Montana: Glacier National Park and Wyoming: Grand Teton & Yellowstone[KG1] ). The Yellowstone to Yukon
Conservation Initiative seeks to re-connect segments of land that have been
separated by development, allowing animals to safely move from region to region
on wildlife-friendly highway overpasses. Contributions are used towards
constructing one of these wildlife structures.
Therapeutic Travel for Cancer Survivors
in Quebec (Country Walkers tour: Quebec: Quebec City & the Saguenay Fjord). Country Walkers supports the Fondation Sur La Pointe des Pieds
(“On the Tip of the Toes”), which provides young people ages 14 to 29 living
with cancer with an opportunity to regain their sense of well-being through
therapeutic adventure expeditions.
Assisting Pilgrims on Camino de
Santiago (Country Walkers tour: Spain: Classic Camino de Santiago). The
Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago
coordinates a vast national network of hostels, volunteers, parishes, churches
and shelters in an effort to keep more than 200,000 pilgrims safe, healthy and
informed as they walk the Camino de Santiago.
Clean Water in Zambia (Country Walkers tour: Zambia Safari: Exclusive Camps & Bush Walks). In Africa, currently 345 million people live without access to
clean drinking water. Together with local partners in Zambia at Charity Begins
Home, Country Walkers supports the “Commit to Clean Water” Fund, an initiative
that seeks to transform rural communities by drilling wells into deep aquifers
and pumping potable water to the surface.
Maintaining the Long Trail in
Vermont (Country Walkers tour: Vermont: Fall Foliage). A highlight of the tour is walking
along one of the most spectacular portions of the legendary 270-mile Long
Trail, the nation’s first long-distance hiking trail. Country Walkers supports
the Green Mountain Club, the stewards of this “footpath through the
wilderness,” who also promote conservation of and education about Vermont’s
mountains and rural land.
Advocacy for Small Businesses in
Palermo (Country Walkers tour: Italy: Sicily). Country Walkers supports the nonprofit
Addiopizzo movement, a grassroots coalition of over 850 shopkeepers aimed at
squashing corruption in Sicily and educating locals about ethical business
Conserving a Historic Chapel in
Monterosso (Country Walkers tour: Italy: Portofino & Cinque Terre[KG2] ). In 2013, severe landslides destroyed the grounds of the
historic Convento dei Cappuccini chapel and monastery. “Let’s Rebuild
Monterosso’s Paradise” raises funds for the restoration, a cost far beyond the
modest means of the town or diocese.
Cornwall Coastal Preservation (Country Walkers tour: England: The Cornwall Coast). The South West
Coast Path Association advocates for improvements to more than 630 miles of
this historic coastal trail system. As maintenance is costly, donations from
Country Walkers on behalf of guests help maintain these paths that are
heavily utilized on the tour.
Farming for the Future (Country Walkers tours: Portugal: Sintra, Óbidos & the Coast and Portugal: Porto to Lisbon). The Herdade do
Freio do Meio farm applies principles of sustainability within the context
of the Portuguese montado, a traditional pastoral agricultural system in which
reducing reliance on fossil fuels and marketing regionally to provide fresh
foods and minimize transport costs are key policies. The farm processes and
sells many products on site, providing training and employment for locals.
Campobello Whale Rescue Team (Country Walkers tour: New Brunswick: Bay of Fundy & Campobello Island). Created by Mackie Green, the same captain who offers a whale
watching excursion and boat transfers on the Country Walkers tour, the team is
trained to dive and rescue whales trapped in fish netting. Donations support
equipment and training.
Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty (Country Walkers tour: England: The Cotswolds). Stretching over
790 square miles, the Cotswolds is the largest recognized Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty in England due to its breathtaking scenery and rolling hills.
Country Walkers supports efforts to keep the area well-preserved on behalf of
every Cotswolds guest.
For more than 40 years, Country Walkers has provided active, experiential, and stunning travel experiences on five continents. Based in Williston, Vt., the company’s specialized adventures and insider access bring the beating heart of a destination to life with well-crafted itineraries for Guided Walking and Self-Guided Walking. All walking trips highlight local cuisine, authentic accommodations, and immersive cultural experiences. Country Walkers is recognized as one of the leading providers of Walking Adventures worldwide, having garnered countless awards including National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime” and Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards.
(New Orleans, LA) — Gondwana Ecotours is introducing a
new 10-day camping safari in Tanzania. Guests will visit four national parks
(Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti), get to know the Maasai
Tribe, photograph amazing landscapes, spot the Big Five (lion, leopard,
rhino, buffalo, and elephant), and explore dense jungles. This trip
is full of culture and opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography.
There will be a maximum of 18 guests on the tours, scheduled for July
13-22, 2020 and August 8-17, 2020 starting at $2,995 USD per person not
including international flights
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime safari with
extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities,” said Gondwana Ecotours
Founder, Jared Sternberg. “We also pay Carbon Offsetting for each
guest and donate to the Maasai Community Development Initiative on their
One of the major highlights of this safari is visiting the Maasai, one of
Africa’s most famous and historic tribes. Travelers will sing and dance with
members of the tribe and tour a traditional hut. Another
unforgettable moment is exploring the Ngorongoro Crater at sunrise before
the crowds arrive. It is home to many lions and some of the last black rhinos
in the world.
“We will enjoy picturesque picnic lunches in the parks near hippo pools,
giraffes, baobab trees and beautiful lakes,” said Sternberg.
“This safari is full of amazing wildlife and culture, and offers an
opportunity to witness one of the most spectacular mass migrations on the
What’s Included in the Tanzania Camping Safari Ecotour:
All accommodations and equipment (4 nights at hotel, 5
All meals except for arrival and departure days
All National Park entrance fees in Tanzania (Arusha,
Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti)
Unique activities with the Maasai tribe (dancing, singing,
home tour and cultural exchange)
Guaranteed window-seat in a private Toyota Land Cruiser with
a local guide/driver
Carbon Offsetting for each guest and donations to the Maasai
Community Development Initiative
Chef-prepared meals and clean drinking water throughout the
All activities and excursions, including safaris and guided
There has been much discussion of late of the negative
impacts of over-tourism on communities and the environment. But the travel
industry, which offers a lifeline to communities trying to preserve their
heritage and environment by providing an economic foundation, is working
aggressively to reduce these adverse effects. In addition to introducing
sustainable practices in lodging and touring (getting rid of single-use
plastic, promoting farm-to-table dining and local services, reducing impacts on
water and energy supplies) and transportation (introducing technology to reduce
carbon emissions, increase efficiencies), there are other things that travelers
can do to travel responsibly:
Investigate your destinations before
you travel to see if there is a problem with overtourism.
Consider not visiting a destination
suffering from overtourism during the height of its tourism season. Instead,
try to travel in shoulder or off seasons when there are fewer visitors.
Or, travel to less popular destinations
in Europe that offer many similar experiences and attractions to a bucket list
destination. Resist the temptation to go only to the places you see on
Instagram – destinations plagued by selfie-takers, who only remain for a few
moments to get a photo, are suffering from the negative impacts of congestion
but none of the positive impacts of stayover tourism.
Consider traveling with a responsible
tour operator. Tour operators like Intrepid Travel and G Adventures have
instituted measures to avoid contributing to overtourism, like organizing early
entry when visiting popular attractions, taking travelers to less-visited sites
within historic cities, and offering alternative hikes and treks that avoid
crowded pathways and lead to less-visited sections of ancient sites.
Be responsible about the photos you
take. Get permission to take photos of individuals and respect the physical
environment when taking photos – do not go off trail/into restricted areas to
take photos. Showing restraint in taking photos will allow you to really
experience the destination and be respectful of those around you.
If available, use apps or other devices that can track and help to disperse crowds.
Travel on small cruises that are less overwhelming to a destination.
If using Airbnb or another home sharing site, check beforehand to see if they are legal and what the regulations are in that particular destination. Same for Uber, Lyft and other sharing economy car services – are they legal, and if so, are there rules that you should follow?
Try to use accommodations, transport and restaurants that are certified as socially and environmentally responsible and/or are locally owned. Go on the company’s website to check for this and look for certifications or messaging about sustainability.
Use your dollars toward good. Tourists
need to be mindful of creating a positive footprint on destinations, rather
than a neutral one. Spend on locally owned restaurants, locally made
handicrafts, locally owned hotels and donate to social and environmental
Based in Washington, DC, the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) is dedicated to increasing the positive global impact of tourism. A unique nonprofit organization recognized for its unbiased, academically rigorous, practical research, CREST is also known for its “on the ground” fieldwork applying these findings and analyses. Originally, CREST’s work focused on the role of ecotourism projects in empowering communities and conserving fragile ecosystems through responsible tourism. Over time, it has evolved to examine how all tourism can be more responsibility planned, developed, and managed. CREST has become a leading expert on the full range of tourism models, from small-scale community-based and indigenous tourism to large coastal resort and cruise tourism. Furthermore, its work has also expanded to encompass country-wide responsible tourism master planning and public sector collaboration. In this era of climate change, responsible travel is no longer an option, it is an imperative. Given this reality, CREST remains committed to its original vision of transforming the way the world travels.
A new bill in Congress will, if passed, enable communities
across America to connect their trails, sidewalks and bikeways to the places
that people want to go – by bike or walking – within and between communities.
But our U.S. Representatives need to hear from us to make it happen.
The Connecting America’s Active Transportation System Act,
co-sponsored by Reps. Jared Huffman (Calif.-2), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.-3) and
Chris Pappas (N.H.-1), will provide $500 million in direct funding annually to
help communities and regions across the country build connected
active-transportation systems to ensure people can get where they want to go
safely by foot, bike or wheelchair.
This proposal, coupled with increases in funding for
Transportation Alternatives and the Recreational Trails Program, would
provide critical resources for communities to build safe, convenient and
accessible places for people to walk, bike and roll.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s top policy priority is to
create this game-changing opportunity to build a trail and active
transportation system to serve the nation.
“Our research has found that wise investments in connecting
trails, sidewalks, bikeways and other active transportation systems are
creating returns of more than $34 billion in health,
environmental and economic benefits around the country,” said Kevin Mills,
Rails-to-Trails Vice President of Policy. “And that return could even be quadrupled as
more communities have the opportunity to connect their active transportation
“People across the country want to be able to safely walk
and bike where they need to go. The Connecting America’s Active Transportation
System Act is a major leap forward because it would reshape federal
transportation law to recognize that communities nationwide need safe,
connected trail and active-transportation networks.
“Urge your representative to sign on to the Connecting
America’s Active Transportation System Act.”
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – When it comes to a vacation
in Costa Rica, the experts advise that “you gotta know the territory.” But how
can you if you’ve never been there?
Follow the tips of Western River Expeditions, soon to enter its 59th season of
award-winning adventure travel. Here are a few of many questions this company
suggests you ponder before booking a Western River Expeditions’ 9-Day Costa Rica Vacation Package.
When is the best time to visit Costa
Rica? This is the question that everyone asks and the
answer is, “It depends!” Mid-December to April can often be drier, but due to
this, and the fact that it’s a popular time to get away to warm destinations,
the crowds can be greater. During May through the first half of December, daily
rainfall is more common. It’s a period the locals refer to as “the green
season.” During this period, you might experience different wildlife and fewer
crowds. Generally, the rain doesn’t last all day and guests find periods of
lovely sunshine each day as well.
But here’s a little secret! In some years, visitors reap the rewards of Costa
Rica’s “Little Summer” (Veranillo de San Juan or Little Summer of Saint John)
in July. Because of a little-known weather phenomenon that in-the-know wildlife
lovers are keen to, July is one of the best times to visit Costa Rica. The
secret is a drier break after the rains of May and June that yield flowering
trees and fruits, which attract a lot of wildlife.
Do you appreciate crowds or are you looking for
something more secluded? The time of travel will affect
the crowd levels in popular destinations such as Arenal and Manuel Antonio, but
Western River Expeditions has built in to its Costa Rica itinerary a few days
of blissful seclusion. In the heart of the jungle sits the Pacuare Lodge, a
remote rainforest paradise. Guests raft in with a small group and, once at the
lodge, participants find themselves surrounded mostly by dense jungle and the
sounds of the nearby river. A hike along centuries-old trails to the top of the
Talamanca Mountains brings a visit with the Cabécar Indians, the largest
indigenous group in Costa Rica. This is only one of the eight lodge-based
activities to choose from. Extending a stay at the lodge (optional) gives
visitors even more time to participate in the various experiences offered.
When is the best time to go rafting in Costa
Rica? The Pacuare River (rated among the top 10
rivers in the world by National Geographic) offers 38 Class II-IV
rapids over 16 river miles with the caveat that the excitement varies by how
high and fast the river is flowing. During the dry season of January to
April whitewater rafting in Costa Rica is
more sanguine than during the misting and green months of May through December.
That said, there can always be unpredictable rainfall any time of year that
raises the water levels – and the excitement levels.
Is birding a passion? From a
bird watching tour at the Pacaure Lodge, to the Mistico Hanging Bridges tour
which boasts over 200 species of birds, to the Manuel Antonio National Park
which is home to more than 180 different species visitors will find plenty of
rare picture taking opportunities.
Interested in surfing? Experienced
surfers appreciate the bigger waves of September and October on the Pacific
Coast. Adrenaline-seeking travelers wanting to take optional surfing lessons
while in Manuel Antonio (highly recommended), might appreciate the somewhat
tamer surf during the remainder of the year.
Do you love authentic wildlife viewing? You’ll
likely find wildlife in Costa Rica no matter when you choose to visit. One of
the top destinations on the Western River 9-Day Costa Rica itinerary is the
Manuel Antonio National Park. Home to a variety of mammal species, it is a
thrill to be personally greeted by multiple curious Mono Titi monkeys on a day
“Our guests experience Costa Rica by the activities they choose, such as river
rafting, zip lining over the rainforest canopy and a 3km walk over 15 bridges
suspended from the ground to the treetops. But guests are also taken to the
base of the Arenal Volcano where they can soak in therapeutic cascading hot
springs, through the sights and sounds of primitive rainforests and jungles as
well as to Manuel Antonio National Park (named one of the world’s 12 most
beautiful national parks by Forbes). This park is home to 109
species of mammals and 184 species of birds. Here on the Pacific Ocean are the
sandy beaches and gentle surf that fulfill the requirements of a great
vacation,” said company CMO Brandon Lake.
The basic rate is from $3,705 per person, double inclusive of transfers,
hotels, activities, 11 meals and most activities. Western River Expeditions’
core Costa Rica program can be arranged for just two people or for up to 25 and
can be customized by lengthening or shortening the trip and by adding or
deleting activities. Year-round departures on a space-available basis can be
tailored to travelers’ schedules.
The tour utilizes four distinguished properties selected
for panache, location and comfort. In the gateway city of San Jose is Hotel
Grano de Oro. At Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort guests enjoy a swim-up bar,
local and international gourmet cuisine and they are positioned to explore the
geology of Arenal Volcano and nearby hot springs. While on the Pacuare River
guests enjoy Pacuare Lodge (National Geographic Traveler World’s
Best Ecolodge). Tulemar Bungalows (a Travel + Leisure World’s
Best award winner) in Manuel Antonio National Park offers and ocean and
To request a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020 catalog and for questions,
availability and reservations, call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local:
801.942.6669), or visit the award-winning website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered
in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia,
Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers
on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any
other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the
largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho
rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado
River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure
Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic
Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the
“Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards
Program for sixteen consecutive years.