Travelers Can Observe Principles of Earth Day Year-Round by Following Tips Geared toward More Sustainable Travel

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To Support and Celebrate Earth Day, Protravel International Agent Advisors Counsel Travelers on How to Make a Difference at their own Pace

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No matter where you want to go on vacation, there is always a better, greener way to travel.

In the spirit of this month’s Earth Day on April 22 – celebrated annually to demonstrate support for environmental protection – three of Protravel International’s best-in-class expert travel agent advisors specializing in eco-tourism and sustainable travel shared their tips and best practices that can be incorporated into each environmentally-conscious traveler’s plans. With a strong commitment and responsibility to foster more sustainable tourism, Protravel’s agents are recommending how travelers can reduce their impact on the environment while still enjoying unforgettable vacations to some of the world’s most pristine and even at-risk destinations, including many places in the U.S., as well as Indonesia, Africa, Iceland, and Thailand.

Stay Local – National Parks

“Since an essential part of conservation is defending what is already there, travelers should plan to visit our National Parks this year. With so many from which to select – including Yosemite, Olympic, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Big Bend, Rocky Mountain, Glacier, Great Smoky Mountain, Boundary Waters, Everglades, Acadia, and many more – our National Parks, Monuments, and Seashores offer some of the world's most spectacular ‘back-to-basics’ yet breathtaking experiences.” – Robert Becker, one of Protravel’s most renowned environmentally-conscious New York-Based travel agents.

Eco-Friendly Staycation

“Travelers can certainly travel green without having to cut back on a magnificent experience. You can find eco-friendly properties near you for a beautiful ‘staycation.’ In New York City as well as South Beach, I recommend the 1 Hotel properties known for their ‘eco-luxury” philosophy, and natural, pure eco-conscious designs focusing on sustainable practices. The 1 Hotel by the iconic Brooklyn Bridge – right at the waterfront – offers great service and unmatched views of the Manhattan skyline. Make sure you go to Brooklyn’s farmers’ markets and do it like a New Yorker by walking or ‘Citi-biking’ everywhere.” – Patricia Serrano Chungsathaporn, another New York-based Protravel expert focusing on sustainable travel.

See the Solar Eclipse – ‘Leaving No Trace Behind’

“Sometimes taking action and making a statement is simple: travelers can choose from any number of national eco-festivals this summer – one of the biggest of them is going to revolve around the total solar eclipse on August 21. For this unique natural event, you can have a very specific, committed wilderness experience. I have previously created such a trip and personally accompanied my clients showing them how to obtain fresh water and use it, along with how to observe specific ‘no trace left behind’ principles.” – Robert Becker

Protect the Orangutans – Indonesia

“Several times a year, I take groups to Kalimantan, Indonesia, for an unforgettable experience and to support the habitat for endangered orangutans. Just last year, Indonesia has been recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) affirming Indonesia’s commitment to promote sustainable tourism.” – Irene Spencer, one of Protravel’s San Diego-based eco-tour and sustainable tourism specialists personally committed to helping the endangered orangutans by donating a set U.S. dollar amount to the Orangutan Foundation International for each traveler who books a tour with her.

Iceland – Leading by Example

“Iceland has not only become one of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations, but also a global leader in renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction. The country offers a unique natural landscape and phenomenon like the northern lights and provides innovative best practices for preserving cultural heritage for tourism, while protecting natural resources.” – Patricia Serrano Chungsathaporn

Ecolodges in Africa

“Ecolodges in Africa offer a unique vacation experience, while emphasizing high value on preservation and reducing their environmental impact by striving to be self-sustaining. Some lodges charge an additional conservation fee benefitting its local community or wildlife, others are built only with local materials, use solar power for heating, recycle their water, and/or educate and employ locals with a variety of projects revolving around conservation, research, and sustainable living.” – Irene Spencer

Volunteer Tourism – “Voluntourism”

“One way of making a difference is to volunteer during your vacation. You can work with specific initiatives such as reef restoration in the Bahamas, programs in Indonesia and Honduras, or local community programs like the Appalachian Mountain Club maintaining the Appalachian Trail. Some of the largest volunteer-organized groups are the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund.” – Robert Becker, who will work with a University of Arizona study on how the annual cycle of monsoon rains affects the local jaguar corridor just south of Tucson.

“Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant colors, friendly people, ancient ruins and temples, and magnificent palaces. You can enjoy all of that and still make a change by volunteering in local projects, such as home staying with the hilltribes in the north or picking up plastics and other trash while snorkeling its otherwise beautiful waters and stunning coral reefs.” – Patricia Serrano Chungsathaporn, who has recently volunteered for a week in Thailand, herself.

Start with Small Changes

“No matter where you want to go on vacation, there is always a better, greener way to travel. I encourage my travelers to ask the right questions, deal with responsible tour operators giving back to the community, choose organic and ecologically sustainable products for personal use, and bring reusable water bottles on all of their trips.” – Irene Spencer

“Choose destinations and properties that are committed to supporting local agriculture efforts which strengthen local economies and communities. It also helps local farmers, benefits the environment and guarantees that community farms will still be there tomorrow. Another benefit: the taste of locally grown food can’t be topped.” – Patricia Serrano Chungsathaporn

Let Protravel’s expert travel agents work for you and help you travel “green” by calling 800-227-1059. With an award-winning reputation, Protravel International is a recognized leader in corporate and luxury travel. Protravel was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in New York City. With annual sales reaching close to $1 billion last year, it has grown into 20 locations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, plus a network of hosted agents throughout the U.S.

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About Protravel International LLC:
Protravel International LLC is a Travel Leaders Group company. Founded in 1984, Protravel International LLC is a full-service, dynamic travel company with an award-winning reputation. With annual sales reaching close to $1 billion, Protravel is headquartered in New York City and supports 20 locations throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, plus a network of hosted agents in all corners of the U.S. Today, approximately 1,000 people make up the Protravel organization. Our expertise in destination, international faring and competitive products – coupled with our superior network of contacts in the airline, hotel, cruise and hospitality industry – makes Protravel one of the most powerful selling forces in the travel industry.

Protravel’s diversity of products, size of annual sales and nationally recognized stature permits them to leverage these strengths to bring the most competitive pricing and aggressive negotiations for our highly diverse client base. It is a company-wide commitment to search for the best possible travel options for our customers. Travel arrangements are personally tailored to take optimum advantage of the most up to the minute changes in the industry.

For many years, a dedicated team has guided Protravel with innovative ideas and skills. By incorporating the latest technologies and carefully monitoring industry developments, the finest products and highest levels of service are maintained. The continued success of Protravel is a testament to our sound operation and well-planned development.
http://www.protravelinc.com

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Hanna Hupfeld
Travel Leaders Group
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