Nearly 200 sustainable tourism experts are gathered today at National Geographic for the second annual Geotourism Change Summit. Coming out of the summit is a trustworthy list of top sustainable-travel destinations and providers. So, if you are planning a midwinter escape, consider:
• Nature Air. It is a 100 percent carbon-neutral airline in Costa Rica that offsets 100 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions to encourage reforestation of tropical forests in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula.
• PEPY (“Protect the Earth, Protect Yourself”). PEPY is an educational-tourism program providing adventure bike tours and on-site volunteer projects, like building rainwater collection units, in Cambodia.
• Virgin Islands Youth Heritage Exchange Farm Excursions in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, focuses on food as the basis of youth identity, education, and recreation, while you enjoy your time at the beach!
• Trout Point Lodge, Nova Scotia. This Five Green Key-designated nature retreat in Canada has revitalized backwoods and Acadian French cultural tourism, according to summit sponsors Ashoka’s Changemakers and the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations (CSD).
Featured travel companies and resorts both take care of a particular destination and benefit the local people, according to Jonathan Tourtellot, director of CSD. For more information on Ashoka and CSD’s top choices, visit CSD’s website.
Photo by Nate Olive for VISFI.