The Adventure Collection, a group of 11 U.S. and Canadian tour operators involved in host country projects such as support for AIDS orphanages in Kenya (Micato Safaris) and for the Galapagos Conservation fund which as raised over $2 million from guest donations conservation programs in the Galapagos (Lindblad Expeditions). Sponsored by TIES’ sister organization, the Center on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (CESD), the conference was co-sponsored by TIES and Conservation International, as well as by a number of ecotourism companies, and the Ford Foundation. More Details : Valuations QLD
The conference was organized by a small advisory committee with the support of CESD and TIES staff. Duncan Beardsley, former director of Stanford’s Travel/Study Programs and TIES Board member Andrew Fairley of Turtle Island Resorts co-chaired the event. The virtually flawless execution of the conference was thanks to months of hard work by CESD staff Tracy Pizzo at Stanford and Zoë Chafe in Washington, and during the final month, by Noah Wasserman of CI’s Ecotourism Program.
Those include publishing a book about Travelers’ Philanthropy (using some of the conference presentations), online discussions (being organized by Peter Gibbes of Sea-Change in UK), producing a pamphlet and a “tool (Continued on page 8) Traveler Philanthropy Conference: A Big Success Uniting Conservation, Communities and Sustainable Travel Page 6 Ecotourism is typically described as a small niche market. But several emerging consumer trends indicate that ecotourism may have a broader appeal, not only to its close cousin, the soft adventure tourism market, but also to such alien species as the markets for cruise ships and all-inclusive resorts.
Peter Yesavich, a market researcher who has tracked the travel sector for over two decades, identifies three powerful recent consumer trends – “cheap is chic,” “customization,” and “togethering” – that he argues have begun to change how people choose travel experiences. Most travelers today are not in a financial position to pay late 1990’s prices and so, according to Yesavich, they are taking advantage of the relatively low prices offered by very competitive budget airlines, cruise lines, and all-inclusive resorts.