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Introduction to Amazonas Region Introduction to Andes Region Introduction to Caribbean Islands Region Introduction to Central & Cloud Forest Region Introduction to Los Llanos Region Introduction to Orinoco River - Delta Region Introduction to Gran Sabana Region

Multipurpose Sustainable Tourism Sites

Arctic Program: Linking Tourism and Conservation in the Arctic
Arctic Awards, certification systems, publications, updates, workshops, and news from this World Wildlife Fund project that collaborates with local Arctic businesses to implement WWF Codes of Conduct (in several languages).

Big Volcano
This Australian site provides a collection of ecotourism and sustainable tourism research papers, website links, codes of practice, and a bookstore.

Business Enterprises for Sustainable Travel (BEST)
An initiative of the Conference Board in cooperation with WTTC, BEST encourages sustainable practices travel companies. The site presents best practices and relevant publications; a mailing list updates the best-practices series on individual companies.

Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST)
A subsidiary of the Caribbean Hotel Association, with members from private, government, scientific, and conservation organizations. Helps Caribbean travel businesses manage environmental resources in a sustainable way. The site lists programs, publications, and assistance available through CAST. The Island Resource Foundation runs an online discussion group for CAST. Public archive.

Cooperative Research Centre: Sustainable Tourism
Funded by the Australian government, this useful site contains research reports, publications, and information on projects and policies regarding sustainable tourism in Australia.

Cultures on the Edge
A quarterly online magazine discusses issues of cultural diversity, including in its “Learn” section articles on impacts of tourism development.

Ecoportal Panamerica Ecotravel Center
The first and unique Ecoportal in Latinamerica for ecotourism trips to the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

Ecoportal Venezuela Ecotravel Center
The first and unique Ecoportal in Venezuela for ecotourism trips to the world’s biodiversity hotspots-more than 120 sections widest in Latinamerica.

ECOTRANS—European Network for Sustainable Development
This German-based site presents sustainable-tourism issues, certification progams, and lists of award-winning accommodations, tour operators, and others. Forum on seeking a common standard for European ecolabels.

Forum for networking and discussing sustainable ecotourism and adventure travel. Run by the UK-based nonprofit organization Conserve Africa International (CAI). Subscribers post information on forthcoming events, conferences, new publications, websites, training sources, job announcements, fundraising opportunities. Members-only archives.

Green Travel
Marcus Endicott’s directory of green-travel resources on the Internet organized by region and topic. It also provides one of the oldest online forums for discussion of sustainable tourism.

Hawaii Ecotourism Association
Dedicated to responsible tourism in Hawaii, this site provides information and a resource network for professionals.

International Centre for Responsible Tourism
Harold Goodwin's site has links to reports, working papers, training programs, conferences, international initiatives, tour operator initiatives, and pertinent destinations.

International Hotels Environment Initiative
This network of hotel companies demonstrates the business benefits of environmentally responsible decisions. The site provides environmental resources, guidelines, publications, and a hotel benchmarking tool.

International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT)
IIPT organizes conferences and initiatives for peace through tourism. The site gives links to past and future conference programs, which discuss social and environmental aspects of tourism.

Island Resources Foundation
Based in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, this research, education, and conservation organization provides publications, bibliographies, and papers on island tourism issues.

This international organization disseminates information from and about indigenous peoples. The site’s tourism section links to appropriate organizations and resources.
Ron Mader’s extensive, complex site centers on ecotourism in Latin America with news articles, book reviews, and scholarly reports, but it also contains much pertaining to sustainable tourism worldwide with Internet sources and various online forums and conferences. The large public mailing list updates 6-8 times a month. Online conferences include Ecotourism Certification and the International Year of Ecotourism.

Task Force on Tourism and Protected Areas
This program of the World Commission on Protected Areas presents management guidelines, best practice models, and tourism management theory.

Tearfund: Tourism Campaign
This U.K. Christian nonprofit coordinates a Right to Know campaign, helping travelers make informed choices when purchasing tour packages.

Tourism Concern
This UK-based group supplies news, articles, statistics, codes, and hyperlinks about tourism impacts on communities and the environment. You can buy a bibliography of materials through the site. Rich but roughly organized.

Travel Mole
A site for travel industry news with a section on sustainable travel. Free access, short registration form.

Tourism Watch
[In German] Established by the German Protestant Church, this nonprofit offers training programs and solidarity initiatives pertaining to Third World tourism. Quarterly magazines, seminars, research, and reports.

World Heritage Information Network
Information on the natural and cultural sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

World Parks Congress
The World Commission on Protected Areas (its formal name) provides information regarding the global forum held once in a decade, this time in Durban, South Africa, on 8-17 September 2003, including the agenda, past congresses, and news bulletins.

Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF): Tourism Program
This international conservation group facilitates responsible tourism programs worldwide. The site provides publications, news, reports (such as "Holiday Footprinting"), and tourism principles/certification links.

Sustainable-tourism Assistance—General How-to

Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf
Assistance in making golf courses eco-friendly, through case studies, a managed lands database, golf and environment research database, special projects, and events

Blue Flag
A certification program for environmentally clean beaches and marinas in Europe.

Certification in Sustainable Tourism program
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute presents a certification program for the lodging industry, with inquisitive online self-evaluations for lodgings. Also provides a directory of hotels, allowing visitors to search by certification level, province, and hotel type.

Green Globe 21
Green Globe 21, an initiative of WTTC, provides corporate and destination management systems, with certification, that promote sustainable tourism. The site’s ECoNETT tool provides extensive information on tourism and environmental issues.

Green Hotels Association
The organization promotes and supports the “greening” of the lodging industry. It has members from the U.S, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Managers of hotels from all types and categories can benefit from the association’s services by obtaining suggestions and ideas on how to reduce their impact on the environment.

Green Seal
An independent nonprofit organization promoting the manufacturing and sale of environmentally responsible consumer products. It has partnered with the American Hotel & Motel Association in the development of a lodging certification program and a publication called Greening Your Property.

Hotel Benchmarking Tool
Helps hotels improve environmental performance and reduce costs.

Institute for Policy Studies: Ecotourism Project
Its name notwithstanding, this program of the Washington, DC, think tank is developing guidelines for accrediting sustainable-tourism certifiers of all types. The site links to related reports.

National Geographic Conservation Trust
Application procedures for research and project grants that include conservation-related tourism.

Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)—Office of the Environment and Culture
Provides a code of sustainable tourism and certification information for its members.

Partners in Responsible Tourism
This San Francisco-based network of tourism professionals and organizations lists events, panel discussions, articles, symposiums, and other responsible-tourism information.

Rainforest Alliance
This conservation group based in New York is coordinating research on an international mechanism for accrediting certifiers. Together with an Ecuadorian environmental group, the Alliance also runs a certification program for tour boats in the Galapagos Islands.

Sustainable Architecture Building and Culture
A clearinghouse of sustainable building resources. Gives information on eco-friendly building materials, recycling, renewable energy and more. General information, not specific to the lodging industry.

Sustainable Sources
A clearinghouse of sustainable building resources provides a directory of professionals, a sourcebook to help industry professionals find employees for specialized positions, and lists of conferences, online discussions, articles, case studies, and related sites.

Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development
Helps tour operators respond to international policies and conduct tours that minimize negative impacts and optimize benefits.

Tourism Information Network
Compiled by Michelle Di Rocco, this directory, which lists links useful to tourism consultants, academics, and researchers, includes sites for aboriginal, responsible, and cultural tourism.

Tourism Research Links
RenÚ Waksberg’s site for tourism researchers, consultants, and managers lists several links to sustainable development websites and other sources of assistance.

U.S. Green Building Council
A clearinghouse of green building information featuring links to members, green building case studies, guidelines, a monthly newsletter, and more. General information, not specific to the lodging industry

Sustainable-tourism Assistance—Ecotourism How-to

Brazilian Biodiversity Fund
Ecotourism programs and projects in Brazil (in Portuguese).

Certification for Sustainable Tourism, Costa Rica
A certification program for tourism companies in Costa Rica. Available in English and Spanish.

Conservation International (CI)
This conservation nonprofit works in biodiversity hot spots worldwide, including community ecotourism projects and initiatives for fostering partnerships between hot-spot communities and travel businesses. For the criteria and the procedures of CI’s Ecotourism Excellence Award program, see

Conserve Africa: Ecotourism Development Program
This U.K. organization lists ecotourism workshops and seminars, and provides an interactive online discussion forum called "Green Tour."

A multilingual Athens-based website that posts news on ecotourism, events, and jobs; also provides a publications archive and experts that offer free consultations

Ecotourism Association of Australia
The site for Australia’s ecotourism industry group gives general information and links to its certification program for ecotour guides and its Nature and Ecotourism Accreditation Program.

The International Ecotourism Society
This U.S.-based group provides networking and operational guidelines for ecotourism operators and ecolodges, as well as information services to researchers and conservationists.

International Year of Ecotourism-2002 (IYE)
This United Nations site explains the IYE. Other useful sites on it include, which presents events, news, and other information. You can find reports presented at the World Ecotourism Summit (held in Quebec City, May 2002) and the resulting Quebec Declaration on Ecotourism, at

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
The ecotourism program of this U.S.-based conservation organization includes market research, guide training, enterprise development, and business partnerships. TNC works with communities both in the U.S. and abroad.

RARE Center for Tropical Conservation
The site gives details on RARE’s ecotourism and community development programs, including nature-guide training for local residents. Formerly concentrating on Meso-America, RARE is broadening its focus to natural World Heritage Sites in all tropical regions.

World Legacy Awards
Information and application forms for the awards presented by Conservation International and National Geographic Traveler magazine, including one for Nature Travel.

Sustainable-tourism Assistance—Culture and Heritage How-to

Alliance for Tribal Tourism Advocates
A U.S. association of individuals and organizations concerned about responsible tourism development in Indian communities. Created by tribal governments in the South Dakota area. Links to websites of U.S. tribes and various indigenous organizations.

International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
This nongovernmental organization for conservation of historic monuments and sites collects and disseminates information on conservation principles, techniques, and policies. Follow the link of a specific national committee for technical assistance services and ICOMOS publications available in your country. The ICOMOS Committee on Cultural Tourism presents general information and principles.

National Endowment for the Arts
NEA’s grant program for cultural tourism projects

National Trust for Historic Preservation
This U.S.-based nonprofit offers various services. Hotels occupying buildings more than 50 years old can apply for membership in the marketing program Historic Hotels of America, which publishes a directory and provides a central reservation service. The members-only forum offers a jobs board, a calendar of conferences, announcements about grants, awards, and other opportunities, and a database of preservation success stories. For information on other Trust programs—Main Street, Heritage Tourism, and Rural Heritage, refer to the Residents page.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Library, University of Maryland
The university lists preservation sites worldwide (under "links") organized geographically and alphabetically. Catalogs and databases offer articles, journals, books, architectural records, theaters, and performance halls.

Partners in Tourism: Culture and Commerce
Background information on this National Endowment for the Arts initiative, a U.S. alliance of Federal agencies and nonprofit cultural service organizations.

Slow Food
This Italian publisher is the founder of the international “Slow Food” movement to combat fast-food globalization by promoting traditional cuisines and ways of life. The site’s “Slow Food Editore” section specializes in tourism, food, and wine. In English, Italian, and French.

World Legacy Awards
Information and application forms for the awards presented by Conservation International and National Geographic Traveler magazine, including one for Heritage Tourism.

World Monuments Fund (WMF)
This private nonprofit organization preserves culturally and historically significant works of art and architecture worldwide. The site gives information on grant programs with potential for cultural-heritage tourism.

Academic Sites—Universities, Research Groups, etc.

Earth Print
Purchase from a large store of ecotourism magazines, books, and more, provided by the United Nations Environmental Program and others.

Scientific research trips supported by paying volunteers, with many educational and conservation projects geared toward sustainability issues, and a few specifically on tourism impacts.

The George Washington University, Washington, DC:
Dept. of Tourism and Hospitality Management
The site gives links to its undergraduate, graduate, and distance-learning programs, which cover sustainability issues and offer concentrations in ecotourism. There is also a link to the International Institute for Tourism Studies associated with the department.

Journal of Sustainable Tourism
Descriptions of this journal, topics covered, and ordering information.

Griffith University, Australia: International Center for Ecotourism Research
The center runs one of the world’s most in-depth research programs on ecotourism—its environmental and cultural impacts, economic policies, and green behavior guidelines. You’ll find progress reports, experts, and publications on the site, but not findings and report texts.

International Geographical Union (IGU)
The study group on the Geography of Tourism, Leisure, and Global Change comprises academic professionals worldwide. The site is a rich source for research, publications, and events; it offers a discussion mailing list. For useful online publications, and links to the Geography Online Journal, check

The Studienkreis fŘr Tourismus und Entwicklung (Institute for Tourism and Development)
Germany-based think tank dealing with research, development, and education in tourism, including an annual “dialogue” on particularly sensitive issues with top management and media. Available in German and English.

International Policy Organizations

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
The site for the multilateral agreement on biodiversity protection includes a program on Sustainable Use and Tourism. You can search for experts, meetings, and activities related to it. As part of CBD, the Germany-based Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE) runs an online forum discussing tourism guidelines related to the convention. Members-only archive.

International Porter Protection Group
Based in Nepal, this grassroots network advocates for better conditions for porters around the world. See the guidelines for recommendations on protecting porters.

International Union for Conservation of Nature
This global coalition of experts distributes extensive information on conservation-related matters around the world. Tourism specialists might find IUCN’s Sustainable Use group helpful, at

United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Tourism Caucus
The Caucus advises the CSD on tourism policy. Its site gives links to U.N. dialogues on tourism, concept papers, and a discussion mailing list. Open to the public, but mainly for members of pertinent organizations.

U.N. Environmental Program (UNEP) Sustainable Tourism Site
Well-organized information includes definitions of sustainable tourism and ecotourism, description of tourism impacts, and steps being taken internationally toward sustainable tourism development.

U.N. International Year of Ecotourism-2002 (IYE)
This United Nations site explains the IYE. Other useful sites on it include, which presents events, news, and other information. You can find reports presented at the World Ecotourism Summit (held in Quebec City, May 2002) and the resulting Quebec Declaration on Ecotourism, at

UNESCO World Heritage Center
Provides a list of UNESCO cultural and natural World Heritage Sites and describes services that the center offers to member states. Discusses management of protected areas and sustainable tourism in general.

World Tourism Organization (WTO)
This intergovernmental body works for promotion and development of tourism. The site provides recent tourism statistics and includes a sustainable tourism section with definitions, information on relevant events, and lists of WTO’s activities and publications.

World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
WTTC represents the travel industry. Members are mainly larger companies. The site includes information on sustainable tourism and various WTTC initiatives and services.

The World Bank Group: International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Part of the World Bank, IFC finances private-sector projects in the developing world, including those in sustainable tourism. Through the Global Environment Facility, IFC also funds some small ecotourism projects as part of the biodiversity protection initiative.

Academic sites - universities, research groups, institutes.

Tourism Research Links
RenÚ Waksberg’s site for tourism researchers, consultants, and managers lists links to tourism schools, journals, and research institutes.

University of Colorado, Boulder: Leeds School of Business, Sustainable Tourism
General information on faculty research projects, publications, and services to the industry.

University of Otago, New Zealand, Department of Tourism
Publication listings, ongoing research by students and professors, international collaborations, events, links, conferences, and affiliated organizations.

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