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Interpretive Program Development

Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:35 am
by planeta
TOPIC: Interpretive Program Development
1. Guide training programs
2. Management of visitors in sensitive ecosystems
3. Development of programs in cooperation with local communities
4. Discussion of sensitive cross cultural interactions

MODERATOR: Jeremy Garrett

SETTINGS: Active participants can reply to this topic

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Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum (Nov 1-18, 2005)

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:14 am
by VGerber
Hello, I am Verena Gerber, owner of Hotel Eco Paraiso in Celestun, Yucatan, Mexico.
Working for us is Alex Dzib a indigenous bilingual naturalist guide with a bachelors degree in ornithology and very knowledgeable not only in ornithology, but in local natural history. He conducts the 12 ecological tours that we offer to explore the unique Special Biosphere Reserve of Celestun. In our experience our guests are not willing to pay more for his expertise. We all know that a good guide makes the difference in any tour, much more so in enhancing the experience and information of an ecological excursion. Does anybody know how to market and portray to the guest a good guide so that they are willing to pay more?

Another matter are the interpretative trails. We at Eco Paraiso have spent a lot of time and money to get the proper information about the vast biodiversity that is present in the reserve. There is a lot of information out there, but mostly very technical, scientific and boring. It has been a big challenge to present our guests information that they care for and have a relation to. Again, in our experience, local knowledge of medical uses and anecdotes has been very useful. Any ideas to this topic?


Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 5:01 pm
by VGerber
Thank you Rod. We will try to have a parabolic microphone and record "our" sounds. We have a lot of bird songs which are common to ornithologist, but not to the general public - some explanation is needed.
Could you please explain to me waht GIS map means? Sorry, I am not familiar with this term.

GIS Mapping

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005 8:21 pm
by redbilb
Hi Verena. If you are familiar with a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit then GIS (Geographic Information System) is the other half of the puzzle. The GPS collects the location and spatial information with satellite technology. The log of all the areas travelled and points of interest are stored in the GPS and the data is downloaded into the GIS computer system. GIS is really a mapping program that has information tied to any given point on the map in a series of layers which you can choose.

For example: When I was in Guyana, I ran my GPS unit the entire inland flight to the destination in the savannah. From that point on, every hike, canoe trip that I took I logged the route on the GPS. Every significant wildlife observation was also logged as a point. When I was finished the trip, I loaded all this data onto a map that documents every mode of transportation I used and all points of interst as well.

I could email you an example if you are interested.

GIS example

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:19 am
by VGerber
Hola Rod, yes, I would love an example via mail Thank you for all the trouble and your time.

Week #2 Synopsis

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:33 am
by natour
In Week #2 of the Interpretive Program Development topic, we saw some more specifics on various interpretive tools and tricks of the trade. Remember, there are just a few more days left to participate!

George Duffy felt that geo-caching holds much potential as an interpretive tool and destination magnet, with many hikers using a GPS unit for aid in orientation. He maintained that a good guide is one of the most crowd-pleasing features of any travel experience, but that guides are generally poorly paid and underappreciated until after the fact. He posed that maybe we need to start nature guide critics like restaurant critics or movie critics to create demand for good guides.

Jeremy Garrett questioned whether consumers or outbound tour operators will pay more for guiding services, and wondered who offers the best guide training programs.

Theresa Southam spoke of guides who are servicing wealthy individuals by building personalized experiences for them, their familes and their companies. This type of service is well-paid and engaging since it is different every time. The North American Association for Environmental Education provides good guide training.

George Duffy confirmed that good guides can simply demand and get more money from clients, or shop their services around. He felt it was reasonable to expect that people will pay more for great guides, citing expensive tours hosted by some perceived expert (e.g. local celebrity food critic who has gotten into guiding international tours). If an inbound operator positions itself as having the best guides, and delivers the goods, they could command more money from their outbound colleagues who buy their services, and vice versa

Interpreter training for communities

Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:16 am
by Mary Finn
I couldn