Show: Sustainable Today

Episode: 1009_EcoTourism Show

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Episode Description:

An overview of the Ecotourism phenomena and what it means for developing countries, and the travel industry in general. Below is a synopsis of the show's contents.

NEWS: Oregon’s Property Assessed Clean Energy program allows homeowners to acquire financing through a government bond to install energy saving improvements such as insulation or solar panels. The homeowner repay’s the government through an increased assessment on their property taxes. It allows homeowners to save on energy while paying for the improvements. Owners see net gains even with increased taxes. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae however have refused to back mortgages with such arrangements calling them “risky” and “inadvisable.” California is suing the agencies. Congress is considering a law requiring Freddy and Fannie to co-operate with PACE... Google purchases power from an Iowa wind farm and will sell it on the spot market. The move is part of Google’s effort reduce its carbon footprint and has invested in solar, wind and geothermal start-ups... EPA estimates 5.5 tons or methane gas are produced by ruminant livestock such as cattle and sheep. To reduce these emissions British researchers have reported that feeding the animals on curry spices reduce by 40% the amount of methane produced. The spices act as antibiotics, killing methane producing bacteria in the rumen.

INTERVIEW: Ayako Ezaki, the communications director for the International Ecotourism Society is our studio guest. Ayako defines ecotourism as responsible travel to natural areas that improves the well being of the local people. The key component being an emphasis on the local community and the education the traveler can gain from the experience. Reducing your impact by choosing eco friendly accommodation or making wise transportation choices etc are noted. Sensitivity to the culture and appropriate behavior are also part of ecotourism principles. It is important not to leave your sustainably conscious mind behind when you travel. Ayako explains the evolution of ecotourism from a wilderness adventure trek to a widespread influence on all aspects of tourism from destinations to transportation. This includes sustainable practices by major hotels.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: Sustainable Travel International provides education and training for the traveler and certification for service providers. CEO Brian Mullis tells us how Sustainable Travel accomplishes its mission helping businesses, consumers and destinations protect the unique attributes of their place, environmentally, culturally and economically. Program development for tour operators include, sustainability and philanthropy.

INTERVIEW Part 2: Our conversation with Ayako Ezaki continues with a discussion of community based tourism. For example dealing with issues such as illegal hunting as an alternative to managing tourism which is more environmentally positive. Ecotourism builds pride in the local community and culture. The concept of “Voluntourism, ” volunteering to help with a local project while visiting, is explored. Opportunities to help with building a well, orphanages, or teaching exist in many developing countries. “Greenwashing” within the tourism industry is also examined with practical ways to detecting and avoiding false or misleading claims. Whatever type of travel you embark on, ecotourism provides as way to be as “green” as possible.

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: The Allison Inn and Spa is an example of an eco-friendly destination. LEED Gold certified, from energy conservation and light footprint to food and facilities, this hotel is as green as it can be, right down to the grass (or lack thereof). KC Eisenberg talks with the designers and managers while touring this new destination resort in Newberg, Oregon.

CALL TO ACTION: Ecotourism can be practiced at home by being sensitive and aware of your impact in your own community and acting accordingly as a host or as a visitor to other peoples homes and neighborhoods.... Ecotourism is an educational tool that you can use to learn from other’s experiences... Do your research and inform yourself before you travel... Investigate tour operators and destinations when making choices. TIES has an “innovation” award program for people to compete with new ideas and concepts.

Episode Short Description: N/A

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 1009_EcoTourism Show edit.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:58:30

File Size of SD Episode Video: 2,885,596,540 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Saturday, December 25, 2010 - 19:12

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