Eco-touring with a mission

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of September 11-17, 1997
Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Eco-touring with a mission
Family beach-bumming in Hawaii
Writing to win a lake resort
Christmas ski trips in Colorado

Eco-touring with a mission
Question: I just returned home from months in school studying renewable energy sources (solar, wind, micro-hydro). I would like to travel and use my knowledge in construction and renewable energy to help ecotourism resorts.

I would be able to help them get rid of dirty diesel generators and replace them with ones that would help preserve the resorts' pristine locations. I am rather new to ecotourism; would you be able to point me to a source or listing of eco-tourism resorts around the world that I could contact about renewable-energy sources?

Michael Ujcich
Cleveland, OH
[email protected]

Adventure Adviser: This sounds like a question for The Ecotourism Society (802-447-2121). This organization, based in Bennington, Vermont, was founded in 1990 with a mission "to foster a true sense of synergy between outdoor travel entrepreneurs, researchers, and conservationists."

In the society's words, it "has worked to assist the many committed professionals around the world who are working to make ecotourism a genuine tool for conservation and sustainable development." Quite a mission statement.

ETS also publishes a quarterly newsletter that you may find useful in your quest for an environmentally friendly employer.

Though I don't have a comprehensive list of all eco-resorts worldwide, I do know that Jean Michel Cousteau's Fiji Island Resort falls under the environmentally sensitive category. Cousteau has worked hard to seamlessly incorporate his resort into its lush surroundings.

Cousteau himself leads programs on reef ecology and the resort is dedicated to investing a portion of the property's profits in projects that benefit locals. For example, Cousteau Fiji pays for a Fijian medical student's training in the United States, and the resort is also funding a nearby village's freshwater delivery system from the mountains. For details on Cousteau’s resort call 805-899-8899.

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