Recommended Links

Category: Ecotourism and sustainable tourism

Project: Detour Destinations

Language: English

Country/Region: Central America, South America, Tanzania

Summary: DetourDestinations.com provides travelers with an online marketplace where they can research and book vacations using locally-based tour operators dedicated to environmentally and socially responsible tourism. Detour does not operate any of the businesses, trips, or tours listed on its site, but all listings have been screened and verified based on "first-hand knowledge of their professionalism, quality, and social and environmental responsibility." The searchable database features links to tourism providers in Central America, South America, and Tanzania, as well as information about sustainable travel, an adventure travel blog, a gift registry, and access to last-minute travel deals.

Project: Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria

Organizations: Rainforest Alliance, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Foundation, United Nations World Tourism Organization

Languages: English, Spanish, French, German

Country/Region: Global

Summary: As part of the tourism industry's response to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals, the Partnership for Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria aims to increase awareness about sustainable tourism practices and principles. The Partnership's Web site features information about its Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, a set of baseline criteria organized around the four pillars of sustainable tourism: effective sustainability planning; maximizing social and economic benefits to the local community; reduction of negative impacts to cultural heritage; and reduction of negative impacts to environmental heritage. The Web site also provides information about the Partnership's more than 30 members, details about its certification criteria, general information about sustainable tourism, and opportunities for interested businesses, communities, and individuals to become involved in the Partnership.

Project: AdventureUs.com

Language: English

Country/Region: Global

Summary: AdventureUs.com is an online network for adventure travelers to share "adventure journals" about trips they've taken, including maps, photos, and video. Travelers can plan their next trip by searching for travel providers by company type (tour operator, travel agent, etc.), geographic destination (global), and activity (biking, scuba, heritage sites, etc.). Both travelers and travel providers can create their own online profiles and post information about their trips and/or companies at no cost.

Project: Eco-Index of Sustainable Tourism

Organization: Rainforest Alliance

Language: English, Spanish

Country/Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Summary: The Eco-Index Sustainable Tourism Web site helps travelers choose destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean that are not only exotic, but also benefit the communities, plants, and animals they will be visiting. It is an easy to use, searchable list of tourism businesses that have been deemed environmentally and socially-responsible by reputable environmental organizations or ecotourism certifiers.

Project: Directorio de buenas prácticas, certificación y códigos de conducta para turismo sostenible

Organization: Rainforest Alliance

Language: Spanish

Country/Region: Global

Summary: The "Directorio de buenas prácticas, certificación y códigos de conducta para turismo sostenible" (Good Practices, Certification and Conduct Code Directory for Sustainable Tourism) forms part of the "Proyecto de Implementación de Buenas Prácticas y Apoyo a la Certificación para Pequeñas y Medianas Empresas Turísticas" (Good Practices Implementation and Support to Certification for Small and Medium Tourist Enterprises Project). This a very complete and easy guide, that helps the user to find the necessary information to develop a sustainable tourism operation. It is divided into three main aspects: environmental, socio-cultural, and economical, each of them with subtitles that offer useful and updated information about the selected subject that is available online. It has a glossary, a brief description with interactive links on the most important events since the Rio Declaration in 1992, and a list of international organizations related to sustainable tourism with links to their Web sites.

Project: Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council

Organization: Rainforest Alliance

Language: English

Country/Region: Mexico, Central and South America

Summary: The STSC is a proposed global accreditation body for sustainable tourism and ecotourism certification programs. This site contains downloadable PDF versions of the feasibility study, organizational blueprint, and implementation plan for an international accreditation body for sustainable tourism and ecotourism certifiers. A number of the available reports are in Spanish and Portuguese.

Project: SenderoNatural

Organization: Fundación para la Conservación de los Recursos Naturales y Ambiente de Guatemala (FCG)

Language: Spanish, with some information available in English

Country/Region: Guatemala

Summary: Senderonatural.com provides tourists with information about some of the main ecological destinations and cultural and tourist attractions in Guatemala, including ecotourism and conservation projects, private natural reserves, and protected areas. Photos and information on services, transportations, and general comments are provided for each destination.

Organization: Planeta.com

Language: English

Country/Region: Global

Summary: Since 1994, the Planeta.com Web site has developed an online communications hub (publishing and conferencing), connecting environmental and tourism concerns. The site serves as an information clearinghouse and catalyst, where experts can contribute articles and participate in virtual forums. Original features and links feature the work of communities and individuals who are pursuing holistic development strategies, particularly ecotourism.