Indigenous Tourism & Ecotourism

Strategic Ecotourism Plan for Guerrero, Mexico

In Guerrero, CREST partnered with Sustenta, a Mexican company specializing in 'green' products and field projects, to produce a 10 year strategic plan for ecotourism in the state, in 2015. As Mexico's poorest state, the federal and state governments targeted ecotourism as one of the key drivers for growing the economy. Although violence, poverty, and lack of infrastructure have greatly limited tourism in Guerrero, the analysis found considerable potential.

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Tourism Development in Northern Cyprus

In 2015 CREST participated in a short-term World Bank consultancy on the island of Cyprus. The mission included site visits, meetings with government officials, and a 2-day workshop on tourism, the country's largest industry. The mission focused on the Turkish part of Cyprus, known as the Turkish Cypriot Community (TCc) and bringing the tourism and agricultural sectors up to EU standards prior to possible reunification with the Greek portion of the island.

Photo: Sergey Galyonkin via Flickr, used under Creative Commons License

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Market Analysis of Bird-Based Tourism: A Focus on the U.S. Market to Latin American and the Caribbean

CREST released a 2015 study, Market Analysis of Bird-Based Tourism: A Focus on the U.S. Market to Latin American and the Caribbean, which analyzes bird-based tourism market statistics and presents the economic value of bird tourism in four countries: Belize, Guatemala, The Bahamas, and Paraguay. This study was commissioned by the National Audubon Society and financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)'s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

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Rock-Hewn Churches Route Development in Tigrai, Ethiopia

CREST worked with the Tigrai Culture & Tourism Bureau (TCTB) and Mekelle University in 2015 to develop a high quality, English language, route guide and map for the spectacular Wukro-Gheralta Rock-Hewn Churches and other cultural attractions in Tigrai province, Ethiopia. This consultancy was part of a European Development Fund project that aims to promote Tigrai's rich cultural heritage to the international market, in order to help increase jobs and local livelihoods.

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Economic Impact of Bear Viewing and Bear Hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia

CREST's 2014 study, "The Economic Impact of Bear Viewing and Bear Hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia," finds that bear viewing tourism generates 12 times more in visitor spending than trophy bear hunting. This study is the first to compare the economic value of these two sectors and comes in the midst of public controversy over trophy bear hunting. First Nation peoples have called for a ban on hunting, while the government continues to issue licenses.

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The Contribution of Animal Welfare and Sustainable Tourism to Sustainable Development

In 2012, CREST and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), researched and produced The Contribution of Animal Welfare and Sustainable Tourism to Sustainable Development, a handbook of case studies drawn from an animal welfare conference in Costa Rica. The publication is a part of a greater toolkit for communities to integrate animal welfare strategically into sustainable development.

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The Importance of Ecotourism as a Conservation and Development Tool in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

This 70-page 2011 study, based on field interviews and research, demonstrates the positive economic contributions of ecotourism in the Osa Peninsula, as well as its potential, if better organized, to generate even more social, economic and environmental benefits for local communities.

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Forest fragmentation, connectivity and defaunation in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, from 1985-2008: contrasting effects of ecotourism and palm plantations.

This 2011 scholarly publication, produced in part by the past CREST researchers and staff at Stanford University, looks at land dynamics in one of Costa Rica's principle parks to generate income in the context of tourism development and palm plantations. The study is by Eben N. Broadbent a,b,*, Angelica M. Almeyda a,c, Rodolfo, Dirzo b, William H. Durham c,d, 5 Laura Driscoll c,d, Patrick Gallagher c, Rosalyn Salters d, Jared Schultz d,e, Angelica Colmenares.

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Social and Environmental Effects of Ecotourism in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: The Lapa Rios Case

The scholarly Journal of Ecotourism published "Social and Environmental Effects of Ecotourism in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica: The Lapa Rios Case" by CREST Co-Director William Durham, and two Stanford graduate students, Angelica Almeyda Zambrano and Eben Broadbent, in 2010. Based on field analysis, the study concludes that Lapa Rios ecolodge "fulfills the definitional promise of ecotourism and delivers social, economic, and environmental benefits to the region."

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Concept Paper and Business Plan for the SIFT (Sustainable Investment and Finance in Tourism) Network

CREST was commissioned by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2009 to develop a concept paper and business plan for the SIFT (Sustainable Investment and Finance in Tourism) Network, designed to increase the flow of public and private funds into sustainable tourism projects in developing countries.

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The Market for Responsible Tourism Products with a special focus on Latin America and Nepal

This 2009 report, commissioned by SNV Nepal, provides market data and effective marketing strategies to assist tourism businesses and networks in Nepal and six Latin American countries (Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru) where SNV is involved in initiatives to strengthen responsible tourism. The report is a useful guide for managers of sustainable tourism businesses and Destination Management Organizations seeking to attract conscientious consumers.

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Tourism in the Developing World, Promoting Peace and Reducing Poverty

Four essays were prepared in 2008 as background documents for the USIP Special Report, "Tourism in the Developing World: Promoting Peace and Reducing Poverty." A grant from USIP provided funds for these authors and Aditi Chanchani from Equations to attend CREST's Travelers' Philanthropy Conference, held in Arusha, Tanzania in December 2008.

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Global Trends in Coastal Tourism

In 2007, CREST was commissioned by the Marine Program of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to analyze the current global trends in coastal tourism. The goal was to test WWF's working hypothesis about the main drivers behind coastal and marine tourism and to propose interventions that would be most useful, should WWF develop a new tourism program to address the threats that coastal tourism development poses to biodiversity conservation and the well-being of destination communities.

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Consumer Demand and Operator Support for Socially and Environmentally Responsible Ecotourism

Despite recent setbacks to the international tourism industry, including economic recession, disease outbreaks, and terrorist attacks, consumers and travel companies show strong support for responsible tourism. Through a 2005 survey of recent studies of tourists and tour operators in the US, Europe, Costa Rica, and Australia, this report shows that many consumers are willing to pay more for ethical practices, contribute to community projects, and support tourism certification programs.

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Ecotourism Handbooks on Certification

CREST (then CESD), in collaboration with Rainforest Alliance and The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), produced several handbooks on the topic of ecotourism and certification, in 2005. The focus of the handbooks is to show how tourism certification can be made into a reliable and useful tool for the tourism industry and its consumers. Although the handbooks are focused on the Americas, many relevant examples are incorporated from sites and certification programs worldwide.

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Giving a Grade to Costa Rica's Green Tourism

In this 2003 article, Martha Honey explains the history of ecotourism in Costa Rica. Ecotourism has become part of a Costa Rican self-identity. However, the ecotourism label is also slapped on "greenwashed" scams, but two certification programs help tourists find the real thing. Costa Rica contains scores of genuine ecotourism businesses that are working hard to be low impact, good environmental stewards, socially responsible, culturally respectful, and beneficial to surrounding communities.

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Protecting Eden: Setting Green Standards for the Tourism Industry

This 2003 Environment Magazine article by CREST's Martha Honey looks at the global environmental movement and how mounting concerns over the negative effects of conventional tourism -such as the loss of habitats and endangered wildlife- have given rise to the concept of ecotourism. She looks at issues with current certification programs and acknowledges the growing consensus over the need for an accreditation body to help assess and standardize these certification programs.

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Rights and Responsibilities: A Compilation of Codes of Conduct for Tourism and Indigenous and Local Communities

Today a number of organizations around the globe are addressing, either wholly or as part of their mission, the relationship between visitors and hosts. This 2003 publication is an effort to collate and synthesize many of these codes of conduct. While selective and far from complete, it is representative of the range of rules and rights that have been laid out by international agencies, indigenous peoples, and responsible sectors of the tourism and ecotourism industry.

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