Jonathan Tourtellot

Mexico’s Hidden Garden, the Sierra Gorda You can sum up the key to this Mexican conservation success in one word: “Inclusion.” So says the cofounder of Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, the Sierra Gorda Ecological Group. That’s Pati, or more formally, Martha Ruiz Corzo, the charismatic changemaker who has spent much of her life working to…

Changing Planet

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“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” —attributed to Albert Einstein Whenever World Tourism Day rolls around, as it did on Sept 27 (what, you missed it?), government officials like to boast about their increasing numbers of tourists. Crowd-weary tourists may just heave a sigh. Indeed, when…

Changing Planet

Backyard Tourism Wow, this place is jumping! At 5:30 pm, my wife and I thought we’d walk down our gravel road and have a quiet glass of wine and some nibbles at the local winery last Saturday. We forgot about the effect of unseasonably warm weather on a three-day weekend. Perhaps 200 people filled the…

Changing Planet

It was a green, green time in Slovenia last month. Especially so for those of us participating in a tourism-themed “Global Green Destinations” conference. We learned about “Green Solutions” and the “Slovenia Green” program and “Green Experiences,” and we did it all in Europe’s official Green City for 2016: Ljubljana, the country’s capital. Even the…

Changing Planet

Part Two—Tanzania Good tourism should help protect a place, not destroy it. This week two men in two places won the same international conservation award for successfully combating two types of flawed tourism. A Puerto Rican, Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera, 43, won the Goldman Environmental Prize for saving one of his island’s last ecologically valuable…

Changing Planet

2017: U.N. Year of Sustainable Tourism—Meaning? Last week the United Nations declared that 2017 will be the “Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.” This will no doubt launch a thousand new debates on just what “sustainable” means. So I’ll get things started. For tourism to be truly sustainable we must face a swiftly growing problem:…

Changing Planet

THE PLACES WE LOVE VIII Prince Ottaviano de’Medici di Toscana, President of the International Medici Association and present-day representative of the Historic House of the Medici—the family who powered the Italian Renaissance and thus much of Western civilization—lives in the splendid, art-infused city his ancestors helped create: Florence, Italy. He is not a happy man….

Human Journey

Famed Charles Darwin Research Station at Risk It’s often said that tourism is a two-edged sword. If so, then nowhere do both edges gleam more brightly and sharply than in the Galápagos. Now, with a weird, backhand snicker-snack, the tourism sword is slashing at the same renowned scientific institution that it has also helped: the…

Changing Planet

“Natural.” “Eden.” “Genuine.” “Safe.” “Paradise.”  “Pristine.” “Unspoiled.” Russ Jarman Price was telling the audience at our international symposium that these and many other words had been offered to describe the island nation of Grenada. Collecting such descriptors was one step in the process that his creative team used in coming up with its new “Pure…

Changing Planet

 World Heritage Recognition Granted June 22, 2014 You’ve probably never heard of it, but that’s about to change. This archaeological site is so exceptional that the international World Heritage Committee today granted the United States request for inscription on the World Heritage list maintained by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). Welcome to…

Changing Planet

On September 6 this year, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the ministers of tourism of the Organization of American States voted that their countries should adopt the geotourism approach—defined in 2002 by the National Geographic Society as “Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being…

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On September 6 this year, in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, the ministers of tourism of the Organization of American States voted that their countries should adopt the geotourism approach—defined in 2002 by the National Geographic Society as “Tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being…

Human Journey