Tourism and travel associations, academia, societies and organisations involved in ecotourism, nature based and outdoor tourism.

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Industry Associations and Societies

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Industry Associations and Societies

  • CoaST New listing UK based, "... is a tiny but vehement social enterprise,not core funded, working towards one planet tourism - ie a tourism providing benefits to the community, economy and the environment, operating within our social, financial and environmental means. We are a Social Enterprise, and have a team of three part-time staff, plus our Board of Directors."
  • The Rainforest Alliance "is working to help tourism entrepreneurs conserve their environments and contribute to local livelihoods, while improving their own bottom line.   [They promote] sustainability verification and certification as a strategic conservation and business development tool within the industry and to the public, [and support] the efforts of the Sustainable Tourism Certification Network of the Americas and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council to help certification programs worldwide to develop and adhere to internationally sound standards for certification programs."
  • Field Trip Earth focuses on field-based wildlife conservation research projects ongoing around the world. Some of the projects are "live," meaning that research activities, and one or more research scientists, are currently active in the field. These projects are featured prominently on the site. Projects that are not "live" are archived so that students can continue to access the relevant articles, photos, videos, and other materials. All of the projects, though, are similar in that they provide classrooms and others around the world the opportunity to interact meaningfully with wildlife researchers and other conservation experts.
  • Sustainable Travel International "is a non-profit organization with a purpose. We've been collaborating with destinations, businesses and travelers to implement innovative sustainable tourism development and conservation solutions since 2002. We combine the mission and transparency of a non-profit NGO with the business acumen and expertise of the private sector, ensuring our partners achieve their desired results and receive a strong return on investment."
  • International Institute for Peace through Tourism The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and through these initiatives, help to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world.
  • The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) New listing" a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Globalization and climate change have an increasing influence on the stability of fragile mountain ecosystems and the livelihoods of mountain people. ICIMOD aims to assist mountain people to understand these changes, adapt to them, and make the most of new opportunities, while addressing upstream-downstream issues."
  • The Mountain Forum "promotes global action toward equitable and ecologically sustainable mountain development. This is achieved through information sharing, mutual support and advocacy. In order to achieve these objectives the Mountain Forum uses modern and traditional communications, supports networking and capacity building and encourages members to be proactive in advocating sustainable development of mountain areas."
  • The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) “.. is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.  As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide."  See also the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and UNWTO Knowledge Network Program
  • World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTO)   The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the forum for business leaders in the Travel & Tourism industry. With Chief Executives of some one hundred of the world's leading Travel & Tourism companies as its Members, WTTC has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to Travel & Tourism. WTTC works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world's largest industries, supporting 260 million jobs and generating 9 per cent of world GDP."  See also useful research tools.
  • Local (Northern NSW and SE QLD, Australia) Tourist Information Centres/Associations Locality and telephone contact details for Tourist and Visitor Information Centres based in Northern New South Wales and South East Queensland, Australia.
  • APEC Tourism Working Group   "Sustainable tourism is a key economic driver for the Asia-Pacific region, creating jobs and promoting investment and development. To help promote growth in travel and tourism in the region, the Tourism Working Group (TWG) was formed in 1991. It brings tourism administrators together to share information, exchange views and develop areas of cooperation on tourism trade and policies.”  Pity there's no mention of the natural environment component of economically “sustainable”.
  • International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators In the world's most unforgiving yet beautiful and fragile environment, it's nice to know that the tour operators to this region appear to be setting themselves very high self regulating standards. "A member organization founded in 1991 to advocate, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic."
  • The Pacific Asia Travel Association Recently extensively updated and revamped, the site now presents codes of practice for operators and visitors, members directory, publications catalog, the usual PR and some material which maybe useful to those with limited time. A big improvement design and content wise on it's previous incarnation!
  • The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) "The South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is the mandated inter-governmental organisation for the tourism sector in the South Pacific, ...with a membership that substantially represents both the public and private sectors.   Current full government member countries include The Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia,Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, People's Republic of China, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Private sector members include over 200 of the major tourism operators in the region."
  • Tourism Australia  "is the Federal Government statutory authority responsible for international and domestic tourism marketing as well as the delivery of research and forecasts for the sector."
  • "The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)  is the largest representative body of tourism operators in New Zealand. It is a membership-based and private sector trade organisation with more than 2000 members – from small operators through to large companies – who collectively make up 85% of the country’s tourism turnover."
  • Wildlife Tourism Australia"Wildlife Tourism Australia Inc. is the only organisation in Australia that focuses solely on wildlife tourism, bringing together people involved in presenting wildlife to tourists in both captive and wild environments."
  • Tourism Concern “Tourism Concern campaigns for better tourism. We are an independent, non-industry based, UK charity, with members and supporters from around the world.”
  • Going Green Visit Scotland "has devised an initiative for businesses interested in "greening" their operations. At present, 10% of Scottish businesses are taking part in VisitScotland's Green Tourism Business Scheme".
  • Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) "is a semi-autonomous government agency that conserves and manages Uganda's wildlife for the people of Uganda and the whole world. This agency was established in 1996 after the merger of the Uganda National Parks and the Game Department, and the enactment of the Uganda Wildlife Statute, which became an Act in 2000. UWA is mandated to ensure sustainable management of wildlife resources and supervise wildlife activities in Uganda both within and outside the protected areas."
  • The Uganda Community Tourism Association (UCOTA) "was established in July 1998 to empower local communities in sustainable development through small-scale tourism and handcraft enterprises, also known as community tourism. Community tourism aims to involve local people in the planning, decision-making and implementation of tourism development activities. This form of tourism assures that the benefits stay as much as possible in the local community."
The Americas
  • Resource Development Council for Alaska, Inc. , a statewide business association comprised of individuals and companies from Alaska's oil and gas, mining, forest products, tourism and fisheries industries.
  • Caribbean Tourism Organization  " (CTO), the region's tourism development agency, has over 30 country members, including Dutch, English, French and Spanish, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO's vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination. Its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean."
  • Visit Mexico "Explore travel destinations and activities, and book acommodations and tours. Official Website of Tourism in Mexico."
  • U.S. Travel Association "Connects travel businesses, assists members with programs and platforms to help promote travel to and within the U.S., and provides widely-respected, industry-leading economic data, information, analysis and travel trends to benefit members."
    • – "the go-to source on sustainable travel. America's travel community is going green. Find out how at We'll show you why environmental sustainability is good business and how business and leisure travelers are seeking eco-friendly travel options. TravelGreen is produced by the U.S. Travel Association and its partner in travel, American Express."
  • The Tourism Industry Association of Canada "is the only national organization representing the full cross-section of Canada's $84.8 billion tourism industry."

See also Ecotourism Associations and Organisations, Academic, Education & Scientific Organisations, Ecotourism Projects and Outdoor Recreation and Adventure Activities