Registration Opens for Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum

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Registration is now open for the Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum hosted by Planeta.com and EplerWood International. The innovative online forum (November 1-18, 2005) is designed to provide professionally moderated, up-to-date results on small and medium enterprise (SME) priorities for funding and investment decisions for sustainable tourism in developing countries.

Registration is now open for the Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum hosted by Planeta.com and EplerWood International.

The innovative online forum (November 1-18, 2005) is designed to provide professionally moderated, up-to-date results on small and medium enterprise (SME) priorities for funding and investment decisions for sustainable tourism in developing countries.

Funding for the Ecotourism Industry Forum comes from participants and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation

Additional sponsorships are sought from governments, NGOs, donors and foundations.

REGISTRATION

>> http://www.planeta.com/ecotravel/tour/emerging.html#app

ABOUT THE FORUM

The Ecotourism Emerging Industry Forum will facilitate the participation of key business, finance, and market players worldwide to discuss the needs of their industry. Moderators will be selected with experience and understanding of business goals and objectives.

Planeta.com and EplerWood International will prepare final results with a small editorial board to be announced. The results will be delivered to all of the development agencies via personal correspondence and meetings with the key individuals involved in donor policy development.

Discussions are actively taking place with key international donors and their involvement in this process is already assured with details presently being worked out.

COMMITMENT

The following businesses and organizations have pledged $100 of support toward the upcoming forum:

Rod Bilz, FRi Ecological Services, Canada

Stefano Cheli, Cheli & Peacock, Kenya

Lisa Choegyal, Tourism Resource Consultants, Nepal & New Zealand

Jeanine Corvetto, Andean Rainforest Expedtions, United States

George Duffy, Worldwide Ecolodges, Canada

Malia Everette, Global Exchange, United States

Verena Gerber, Hotel Eco-Paraiso, Mexico

Kurt Holle, Rainforest Expeditions, Peru

Emilio Kifuri, Canyon Travel, Mexico

Michelle Kirby and Andres Hammerman, Black Sheep Inn, Ecuador

Javier Lopez, Cascada Expediciones, Chile

Brian Morgan, Adventure Life Journeys, United States

Jennifer Morris, Verde Ventures/Conservation International, United States

Rodolfo Olmedo, Eccosports, Mexico

Mike Robbins, The Tourism Company, Canada

Noah Shepherd Consultancy, Thailand

Keith Sproule, K.W. Sproule Consulting, United States and Saudi Arabia

Jan Wigsten, Nomadic Journeys, Sweden & Mongolia

Any business interested in participating may pledge $100 at this time. (Please confirm with Ron Mader, contact info above)

Final payment on pledges will be due in October via a pre-announced payment process.

Listeners, who do not seek to make comment, will be welcomed for free.

Guidelines will be set in advance and moderators will actively monitor the discussion process. Because SMEs working in tourism so infrequently have the opportunity to have dialogue directly with donors on their priorities, all those participating will be asked to give businesses priority in the dialogue process.

CAPABILITIES

Planeta.com is the first website focusing on ecotourism and sustainable travel. Created in 1994, the site has more than 10,000 pages and has garnered numerous awards, including honors from the Mexican government and groups including Conservation International and the Council of Latin American Geographers. Website founder Ron Mader is known for his pioneering work in developing online events, including a 2002 dialogue commissioned for the World Ecotourism Summit. Other conferences hosted by Planeta include Financing Sustainable Tourism (2002), Ethical Marketing of Ecotourism (2003) and Ecotourism Certification Workshop (2000-2003). Ron Mader is the author of two books and is the Latin America correspondent for Transitions Abroad magazine. He consults with the Washington, DC-based Development Gateway in a survey of e-commerce and the sale of arts and crafts in the developing world. Among his clients are more than 30 travel businesses featured in Planeta's World Travel Directory.

EplerWood International is a private consulting firm specializing in business, market analysis, product development, planning, training and marketing of ecotourism and sustainable tourism. This firm, founded in 2003, has performed ecotourism and sustainable tourism analysis for the World Bank and USAID projects. Megan Epler Wood, the founder and former president of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), has specialized in donor policies and how they affect and influence ecotourism business for over 10 years. She successfully oversaw the organization of two TIES donor forums in cooperation with The George Washington University, Inter-American Development Bank, Conservation International, and World Resources Institute among others in the 1990s which offered the perspectives of the private sector to donor representatives from around the world.

FORUM TOPICS

Developing Infrastructure for Sustainable Tourism

1. Roadways, airstrips, rural infrastructure, sewage, water, and energy issues

Finance for SMEs

1. SME finance needs

Microenterprise Development

1. Micro enterprise development needs

Marketing and Market Development

1. Internet marketing

2. Cooperative marketing

3. Event marketing

4. Destination marketing

5. Local marketing

Triple Bottom Line Business Structures & Strategies

1. Evaluation of technical assistance needs

2. Community agreements and development approaches

3. Developing community business programs

4. Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreements

5. Triple Bottom Line benchmarking and monitoring - costs and approaches

6. Philanthropy

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

CONTACT INFORMATION

Megan Epler Wood

Epler Wood Interational

Burlington, Vermont

Ron Mader

Planeta.com

Oaxaca, Mexico

(52) (951) 513-4714

Events Calendar - Planeta.com

http://www.planeta.com/events.html

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Ron Mader
PLANETA.COM
52-951-513-4714
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