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planeta
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Post Forum Chatter

Post by planeta »

The Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum has concluded. Moderators are asked to post summaries of Week #3 and participants can post updates.

Steve Noakes
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Post by Steve Noakes »

From Steve Noakes

As part of my responsibilities as Moderator for this session here is a summary of comment received in the third week of the private public sector on-line Forum.

Key points that emerged from participants:


Nicole Haeusler
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Post by Nicole Haeusler »

COMMUNITIES AND SMEs - SUMMARY OF THE THIRD WEEK

Oliver Hillel stressed again on the fact that ecotourism is an interdisciplinary field which brings together many different sets of professionals which can easily cause confusion (for example if a biologist should develop a business plan and a business administrator a conservation strategy).

Coming back to the role of the consultants in such a process, Mary Finn believes that consultants should be simply and only facilitators in the community-based tourism planning process. All the final decisions have to be taken by the community only.
From her experience it is important that the consultants spend SEVERAL WEEKS in a community and should conduct consultation techniques like community, group and individual meetings. Unfortunately most of the development agencies are not interested to finance this type of investment.

Rick MacLeod Farley, a consultant who works with Aboriginal communities, pointed out again that ecotourism represents for indigenous communities an opportunity that can bring many economic, environmental, cultural, social and political benefits. The key to achieve these benefits is active involvement in and genuine control over these ecotourism initiatives within their traditional territory. Furthermore they must have the opportunity to be involved in the actual ownership of ecotourism enterprises and to have their representatives play an active, leadership role at all levels to plan and develop ecotourism.

Additionally Rick indicated that a successful indigenous ecotourism sector will greatly strengthen ecotourism as a global industry and mentioned as a best practice example the Cree Village Ecolodge (www.creevillage.com), the National Tourism Award Winner by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada in 2004. They reached this level of success by being patient, purposeful and persistent. The planning of the Ecolodge took place over an extended period of time (five years).

As a week point he has identified that the Canadian development agencies still have not changed their approach to Aboriginal ecotourism. There is still no increased willingness to involve Aboriginal leadership in setting policy or developing programs for the development agencies. Furthermore these agencies still not realize that the implementation of a community-based ecotourism project takes more time in order to reach a quality, which can compete at the international level.

After that a lively discussion started about the useful role of INTERNET MARKETING. Mary Finn has involved volunteers and backpackers helping to create WebPages for its projects but gave a strong warning that these young volunteers have to participate in an open, community-wide discussion in order to understand the community traditions, social issues and aims of the project.
But the communities themselves have been identified as a weak actor regarding Internet marketing. Most of them do not see the need or are not able

Richard Edwards
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Marketing- Week 3 Summary

Post by Richard Edwards »

Marketing- Week 3 Summary
The week began with Richard giving his opinion on two posts from the previous week on the high value of promoting small projects through an aggressive Search Engine Marketing campaign. There continues to be two directions in the thoughts posted on this subject. One is that the web is too competitive for it to make sense for a small project or company to devote too much time to promoting itself primarily through the web. The other is that the web can level the playing field and provide an opportunity for those with fewer resources to find their way to potential consumers in a relatively cost-effective way.

George discussed the strategy of targeting upscale consumers, beginning with the planning stages of a project, which has resulted in both higher gross sales and higher profits. He says,

planeta
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Kudos

Post by planeta »

KUDOS -- The Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum has received kudos from Carol Patterson in her popular ecotourism newsletter. Download the PDF online
http://www.kalahari-online.com/win06.pdf

planeta
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Update

Post by planeta »

Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum
>> http://www.planeta.com/ecotravel/tour/emerging.html

THIS WEEK -- I will be presenting highlights from the Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum at the Responsible Tourism Forum in Baltimore and showing how those interested can access the archives
http://forum.planeta.com/viewforum.php?f=52

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