Travel Lightly

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Martha Honey, co-director of the Center on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development, talks about her book Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? (paperback)and whether tourism can be environmentally and economically beneficial to undeveloped areas.

Full Disclosure: the author is a parent of one of the Brian Lehrer Show's producers.


Martha Honey

Comments [9]

Hugh Platt, Jr. from Denville, New Jersey

Newfoundland is a frontier in withdrawal, but easy to reach by public ferries from Nova Scotia and then along the southern coast.
The dozens of ports regularly called on by the ferries offer a warm welcome and great generosity.
The trekker may find the offerings rudimentary, but the vastness of the barrens at sunrise will provide a lifetime of remembered delight.
Bring your whale, bird, and geology handbooks, and leave your footprints which will soon wash away.

Oct. 21 2008 01:52 PM
Martha Honey from Washington, DC

Just quick responses to great comments above. Stanley Selengut and Maho Bay have done a great deal to teach about green technologies. Esperanza Verde in Nicaragua is a wonderful, holistic example of collaboration between some people from Durham, NC (including an architect friend of mine) and a local community. Not only is it 'green' but it also is providing good jobs to rural Nicaraguans. And, as mentioned, the community wisely didn't move 100% into ecotourism. They have other income generating activities, like organic coffee. On the 'stay home' question, I think the proper answer is to travel smart - fewer trips, longer stays, don't fly short distances, carefully select the companies you use, etc. But don't stop traveling -- it's vital for understanding our world and it's a primary source of income for most poor countries and many poor communities, including here in the US.

Oct. 21 2008 01:09 PM
Marc Fallon from Brooklyn

Long time listner, first time commentor,
My parents came to visit me while I was working in Nicaragua and we stayed at an eco lodge called Esparanza Verde, which impressed the three of us tremendously. An American had the concept and found Nicaraguan partners who were able to find a partner village who now farm the land, grow coffee and lead tours throughout their land, which has become a big source of cash for the village. As far as the design of the hotel, they seemed to think of everything from solar panels to heat water for showering to low water usage toilets (although they could have been pit latrines.) overall, we were very impressed and my parents enjoyed it.

Oct. 21 2008 11:50 AM
LM from Union Square

It was great to go and visit family and at the same time contribute to environmentally friendly tourism.

I highly recommend it.

Oct. 21 2008 11:49 AM
jethro from NY, ny

In St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, there is a resort known as Maho Bay. it is part of a complex of eco-resorts that a man Stanley Selengut has been developing in the island. He has lately been investing energies in developing his resorts to be Universally Accessible (ADA, etc.) The resorts are located in beautiful costal scenery and have pump showers, solar cell energy and composting among many other techniques. Check it out:

Oct. 21 2008 11:44 AM
Naomi from washington dc

Is respecting local cultures and watching tourist impact on their societies part of eco tourism?


Oct. 21 2008 11:43 AM
anon from Queens

Wouldn't it be most environmentally friendly to just stay home?

Oct. 21 2008 11:40 AM
E from NY

Rancho Margot of Monte Verde

Oct. 21 2008 11:39 AM
mike kong from new york

Hi Brian,

Am catching only parts of this show in between business phone calls, etc. Will have to read the transcript later. A lot of green marketing has been suspect and sticking eco in front of tours does not necessarily make an ecotour. I've been working in environmental tourism for nearly 25 years - on both the media side and provider side - and the changes are positive, sort of. I look forward to reading their books.

Meanwhile I wish to share with you our position on the matter which can be found at www.lotustours/sustainable.html

Thanks and regards
Mike Kong

PS - got your recent reminder notice. We are a sustaining member already.

Oct. 21 2008 10:55 AM

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