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Backroads
www.backroads.com
This eco-friendly tour operator organizes sustainable biking, walking, and multisport tours worldwide. The company supports a variety of conservation and ecotourism organizations.

The Connected Traveler: Sustainable Tourism
www.connectedtraveler.com/sustainable.html
Learn how to determine good from bad ecotourism. Includes a code of ethics for travelers, and links to numerous sustainable-tourism sites.

Costa Rica: Certification in Sustainable Tourism program
www.turismo-sostenible.co.cr
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute's developing certification program has evaluated dozens of lodges, inns, and hotels that you can search by province, certification level, and hotel type.

EarthFoot
www.earthfoot.org
Lists small scale, locally produced, low-impact, customizable ecotours and culture trips. Worldwide destinations. You can search trips by region and by activity.

Earthwatch Institute
www.earthwatch.org
Join short-term volunteer trips to help scientists with field work projects that range from archaeology and world health to zoology and ecology, including tourism impacts.

EarthWise Journeys
www.teleport.com/~earthwyz
Information on environmentally and culturally friendly trips to destinations worldwide selected by the site team. Features ecotours and cultural trips for experiencing indigenous cultures and traditions.

Far and Near
www.far-and-near.com
Budget travel information, personal travel stories, reviews, and more from this online magazine that supports endangered cultures and sustainable development.

GoNomad
www.gonomad.com
Gives information on alternative tourism projects and trips worldwide in both urban and non-urban destinations. Provides a small searchable directory of alternative tour operators, lodgings, learning and volunteer programs. Includes “how to” miniguides for the independent traveler.

Green Hotel Initiative, Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies
www.ceres.org/our_work/ghi.htm
Offers a Best Practice survey to help travelers assess a hotel's performance and guest-request cards that ask for environmentally responsible hotel service.

Green Hotels
www.greenhotels.com/grntrav.htm
Provides environmental travel tips for individual and business travelers.

Green Tourism
www.greentourism.ca
This extensive Toronto-based website presents “urban green tourism,” which protects metropolitan resources and cultural diversity. Provides general and Toronto-specific information, including publications, press releases, websites, and television shows.

International Porter Protection Group
www.ippg.net
Guidelines for travelers when employing porters.

Leave-No-Trace
www.geocities.com/Yosemite/Falls/9200/leave_no_trace.html
Helps you visit outdoor recreation destinations without harming them. The nonprofit program works to build awareness, appreciation, and respect for public recreation areas.

Namibia Community Based Tourism Association
www.nacobta.com.na/en/Index.htm
Lists Namibian community tourism enterprises, including campsites, traditional villages, museums, tours, and local crafts.

National Geographic Expeditions
www.nationalgeographic.com/ngexpeditions
High-end educational tours, many of which use operators pledged to sustainable practices. Proceeds benefit National Geographic research programs.

National Geographic Traveler—Tourism Forum
www.nationalgeographic.com/traveler/forums/tourism.html
An online forum for travelers’ opinions about pros and cons in tourism development. Permits feedback from tourists to travel businesses and destination authorities.

Pacific Asia Travel Association
www.pata.org/frame3.cfm?pageid=55
Traveler's codes for visiting indigenous cultures and for sustainable tourism.

Partners in Responsible Tourism
www.pirt.org/travelcode.html
This San Francisco-based network provides guidelines for traveling responsibly.

Responsible Travel
www.responsibletravel.com
Justin Francis and Harold Goodwin provide a small, well-organized database of responsible ecotours and accommodation worldwide that they have evaluated and approved. Posts tips for responsible travelers and guidelines for tourism professionals.

Scotland Green Tourism
www.greentourism.org.uk/visitors.html
Discover the cultural heritage of small Scottish towns by patronizing sustainable-tourism establishments. Selections by area, accommodation type, and town.

Tearfund: Tourism Campaign
www.tearfund.org/acting/page.asp?id=6667
This U.K. Christian nonprofit hosts the Right to Know campaign, helping travelers to make informed holiday choices. Volunteer travel programs, too.

Tread Lightly!
www.treadlightly.org
Through educational materials, editorial coverage, and manufacturer-supported promotions, this nonprofit organization encourages motorized outdoor recreation that is environmentally responsible.

World Wildlife Fund: Tourism Program
www.wwf.org.uk/researcher/programmethemes/Tourism/index.asp
General information and guidelines for traveling responsibly.

Conservation International: Ecotravel Center
www.ecotour.org
The nonprofit conservation group lists links for ecotourism trips to the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

Costa Rica ecolodges
www.keytocostarica.com
Beatrice Blake lists sustainability ratings for ecolodges in her guidebook, New Key to Costa Rica, plus additional information.

Ecoclub
www.ecoclub.com
An Athens-based ecotourism club that offers direct worldwide booking online, eco-products, eco-events, and free consultations by member experts.

Ecotravel.com
www.ecotravel.com
Sample itineraries, how to choose an outfitter, and a directory of tour operators around the world.

Manaca
www.manaca.com
This U.S.-based company offers ecotouring trips to destinations worldwide, working only with tourism businesses inspected on site for environmental and cultural sensitivity.

Hawaii Ecotourism Association
www.hawaiiecotourism.org/goals.htm
Lists activities and attractions that promote Hawaii’s culture and environment.

The International Ecotourism Society
www.ecotourism.org/travelchoice/index.htm
An information program called “Your Travel Choice Makes a Difference” helps consumers make educated responsible travel decisions. The site also provides a database of ecotourism operators and ecolodges.

The Nature Conservancy
www.nature.org/aboutus/travel/travel/
The conservation group provides ecotourism trips, as well as lodging for independent travelers. Both international and U.S. nature destinations.

Oceanic Society
www.oceanic-society.org
This conservation research organization offers natural history expeditions throughout the world, including whale-watching tours and hands-on field trips for students and teachers.

Orangutan Foundation International
www.orangutan.org/tours/index.php
Offers several 5-day orangutan tours and 11-day study tours annually in Kalimantan, Borneo, as well as a six-week field volunteer program (www.orangutan.org.uk).

Pacific Whale Foundation
www.pacificwhale.org
This research and advocacy organization offers ecotours with proceeds channeled toward saving the oceans.

Planeta.com
www.planeta.com/ecotravel/resources/resources.html
Ron Mader’s Web site on ecotourism in Latin America provides practical travel information for the region.

Worldsurface.com: Sustainable Tourism
www.worldsurface.com/browse/static.asp?staticpageid=1084
Contains news resources and a database of over 400 ecotour operators around the world. Traveling members file destination reports from the road. Find language schools and volunteer opportunities. Great for college students.

Global Exchange
www.globalexchange.org/tours/forms.html
This nonprofit organizes socially responsible and educational study seminars; fact-finding, solidarity, and activist delegations; and customized tours for business, and professional organizations. Not for hedonists.

HandMade in America
www.wnccrafts.org
Promotes crafts and heritage trails in western North Carolina. The website notes craft heritage and garden tours for independent travelers in the area.

Indigenous World Tours
www.indigenousworldtours.com
Provides authentic educational encounters with indigenous peoples of the Americas and Hawaii in concert with the Canadian indigenous organization Plenty Canada.

National Trust for Historic Preservation—Hotels
www.nationaltrust.org/historic_hotels/index.asp
You can reserve rooms in historic U.S. hotels here. Links to other National Trust tours, historic sites, and a heritage traveler bookstore.

Native Tourism
www.nativetourism.org/
This well-organized site allows you to find Native American tour attractions and services throughout the U.S. by state or by tribe. Includes the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial, tourism businesses, newsletters, travel tips, and scenic byways.

Nativeweb
www.nativeweb.org/resources/travel_tourism
This educational organization lists some three dozen links to indigenous tour operators worldwide.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
www.greenercars.com/indexplus.html
Offers a user’s guide to green transportation. For a small subscription fee you can consult an online catalogue of environmental cars and trucks.

NorthEast Sustainable Energy Association
www.nesea.org/transportation/greentransportation.html
This U.S. organization provides information on eco-friendly cars and trucks, plus guidelines on reducing pollution from transportation.

What is Sustainable

It’s informative. Travelers not only learn about the destination, they learn how to help sustain its character while deepening their own travel experiences. Residents learn that the ordinary and familiar may be of interest and value to outsiders.

It supports integrity of place. Destination-savvy travelers seek out businesses that emphasize the character of the locale in terms of architecture, cuisine, heritage, aesthetics, and ecology. Tourism revenues in turn raise local perceived value of those assets.

It benefits residents. Travel businesses do their best to employ and train local people, buy local supplies, and use local services.

It conserves resources. Environmentally aware travelers favor businesses that minimize pollution, waste, energy consumption, water usage, landscaping chemicals, and unnecessary nighttime lighting.

It respects local culture and tradition. Foreign visitors learn about and observe local etiquette, including using at least a few courtesy words in the local language. Residents learn how to deal with foreign expectations that may differ from their own.

It does not abuse its product. Stakeholders anticipate development pressures and apply limits and management techniques to prevent the “loved to death” syndrome. Businesses cooperate to sustain natural habitats, heritage sites, scenic appeal, and local culture.

It strives for quality, not quantity. Communities measure tourism success not by sheer numbers of visitors, but by length of stay, money spent, and quality of experience.

It means great trips. Satisfied, excited visitors bring new knowledge home and send friends off to experience the same thing—which provides continuing business for the destination.


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