ecoplannet Policy and certification programs and standards brochure


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This brochure i describes the various sustainable tourism policy, ecotourism certification programs, star grading programs, harmonised accommodation star grading programs that have been conducted across southern Africa, Lesotho, Morocco, Romania, Botswana, Quebec, the Island of the Bahamas, the Republic of Palau and Canada. Several have won for major international awards including the 2009 and 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards....and the 1996 Green Globe Achievement Award. We focus on him by name Quality Assurance (including hygiene, security and safety], Responsible tourism and universal accessibility standards within our policies and grading standards.

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ecoplannet Policy and certification programs and standards brochure

  1. 1. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m ecoplan:net has more than 22 years of experience providing sustainable tourism planning, development, certification and training services to governments, donors, the travel industry, indigenous communities and NGO’s. Our efforts will hopefully lead to a more sustainable world for future generations of travelers and travel suppliers GRADING PROGRAMS CERTIFICATION & POLICIES P l a n n i n g t o p r o t e c t o u r p l a n e t Quality Assurance and Green Certification Setting new standards and grading programs for the tourism industry...... Page 2 Responsible Policies National sustainable tourism policies provide a framework for government to shape a responsible travel industry..... Page 4 Construction and Operations Guidelines Technical manuals are powerful tools that can assist an operator to be responsible.... Page 9 Sustainable Tourism Destination Planning Positioning a nation or region as a responsible destination is based on ‘blueprint’ for action Page 12 DEVELOPING TOURISM POLICIES, GRADING + CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS + STANDARDS FOR Q U A L I T Y A S S U R A N C E , S U S T A I N A B L E DEVELOPMENT AND ACCESSIBLE TOURISM Driven by increased market awareness of social and environmental responsibility, universal accessibility and concern for climate change including CO2 emissions, tourism administrations, stakeholders and providers are emerging as serious stewards of our planet. Responsible and sustainable tourism policies and guidelines and certification and grading programs, are extremely effective mechanisms in advancing product quality and environmentally and socially responsible tourism. Furthermore the travel trade is eager embrace sustainable tourism policies and practices that both protect the environment and improve the bottom-line through a reduction in energy and water consumption. Governments are particularly eager to develop and implement policies that improve product quality, meet the needs those with limited abilities and protect the environment on which their industry is built thus generating and securing jobs, improving tourism revenues revenues and managing the destinations fragile resources. However the major force behind improved product quality and the greening of the industry is the marketplace. Over the past 5 years, travel consumer surveys have consistently demonstrated support for ‘responsible’ tourism suppliers, a preference for those with a certified ecolabel and an increased interest in designated responsible tourism destination. This tendency further expands as more operators seek to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, attract new clients as well as reduce operating costs by ‘Going Green’. A national credible certification program and stakeholder supported quality and sustainable tourism policies are powerful and practical tools to ensure that destinations advance their quality assurance, universal accessibility and responsible initiatives in the most effective and cost efficient manner. !
  2. 2. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m STAR GRADING + ASSESSOR TRAINING PROGRAM Assessor and Master Assessor Intensive Training Program The assessor and master assessor training program was designed facilitated by James and Ms Tori Anderson and involved involved; • Selection of assessor trainees based on academic qualifications, hospitality experience and interviews • Design of both an assessor and master assessor training manual including; tourism industry facts, international grading programs, grading procedures and descriptions of all standards for a) quality assurance, b) responsible tourism, c) universal accessibility • Facilitation of 12-days classroom theory and 6 practical on-site training for various accommodation categories • Regional and international tourism trends and issues • Current and proposed minimum requirements • 5-star Grading process, techniques and standards • Organization of diverse invited guests (those with disabilities, architects and interior designers, • Multiple evaluation techniques including exams, interviews, class participation and presentation, on- site observations, etc. • Identification of top candidates for master assessor training, interviews and selection Participant’s included both those aspiring to be independent assessors as well as regional Ministry of Tourism inspection staff. 29 participants were trained, 14 ministry officials returned to their region and 10 qualified as certified independent assessors. LESOTHO Accommodation Quality Star Grading Program for the Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation and the World Bank (PSC) with IESC. James served as Team leader on the most c o m p r e h e n s i v e accommodation star grading programs ever developed. The program was developed in 5 months and ended with the certification of 12 properties and the endorsement from the Government of Lesotho Cabinet. The grading standards also reflected those developed by James for RETROSA [Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa]. Highlights of the program included; • Six Regional Sensitization Workshops for all stakeholders • Assessor and master assessor training, • Revision of 200+ minimum requirements • Structure for the Lesotho Grading Council • Design and launch of a website for graded facilities [] • Communication strategy addressing key audiences [tour operators, consumers, accommodation suppliers, etc.] • Graphic design of all materials including logo, newsletter, and electronic brochures, etc. • 2014-2018 Action Plan QUALstar fully integrates Responsible Tourism and Universal Accessibility standards with 200+ Quality Assurance standards in each of the 6 accommodation categories.
  3. 3. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m Harmonized Accommodation Grading Program ACTION PLAN for Southern Africa, for RETOSA Regional Tourism Association of Southern Africa The Harmonized grading program was supported by a detailed 3-year ( month-by-month) Action Plan identifying all activities required to ensure a launch by early 2014. Activities included: • Scripting of all new standards for accommodation categories • Design and delivery of train-the-trainer workshops and training manual for national grading officers • Design and delivery of Auditor Training Programs • Communication Plan for RETOSA and 15 member states • International Marketing Strategy and Promotional activities • Launch customer feedback mechanism Southern Africa Harmonized Accommodation Grading Scheme for the Commonwealth Secretariat and RETOSA (RegionalTourism Organization of Southern Africa) ecoplan:net was hired to develop a framework for what is considered the first major regional harmonized accommodation grading scheme in the world including 15 countries such as Angola, South Africa, Tanzania, Swaziland, Namibia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, etc. Most countries were either updating their program or developing a new accommodation grading scheme. Therefore the timing was excellent to gain consensus on both the need for a harmonized scheme as well as the overall structure for its development and management. James began the assignment by visiting a cross-section of the various countries to understand the opportunities and obstacles to developing a harmonized scheme. A Framework for a Harmonized Scheme The framework addressed the following components; (A) a review of current international accommodation grading schemes, (B) overall management structure for the development and ongoing administration of the scheme, (C) marketing strategy to promote the harmonized grading program,(D) activities and techniques to ensure buy-in and continued member nation support for the program, (E) integration of responsible tourism and universal accessibility standards with the quality assurance standards, (F) benchmarked accommodation rating programs from southern Africa's current markets, competitive markets and future markets [e.g. China and India], and (G) availability of trained auditors and the need for auditor training,(H) consumer feedback mechanism and (I) an assessment of mandatory vs voluntary systems. Management Workshop: These topics where presented, to representatives from the member states, during a 2-day workshop for discussion, feedback and validation. Preparation of 300+ Harmonized Grading Standards and Programs for RETOSA (Regional Tourism Association of Southern Africa) ecoplan:net was hired to prepare approximately 300 standards for each of the six categories of accommodation including; (1) Urban hotels, (2) Resorts and vacation hotels, (3) Guesthouses, (4) Nature [safari] lodges, (5) self-service apartments and villas, and (6) campgrounds. The mandate was clear; despite the great variation in the quality of accommodation across the Southern Africa region (e.g. from Angola to Mauritius), the member states insisted that the new standards to be of an international caliber. ecoplan:net also ensured that standards reflected those existing national standards (e.g., Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania, etc). Each provided a particular quality to the final standards. Tanzania was considered important because of its adopted standards from the East Africa Community. Therefore there is a relationship between East Africa and southern Africa standards. These standards might well be the most comprehensive in the world. Not only do they embrace 200 quality assurance standards, for each accommodation category, but there is also an additional 70+ responsible (sustainable) tourism standards and 40+ universal accessibility (UA) standards that have been integrated into the harmonized program.Mart The UA standards have been particularly well appreciated and were presented at a workshop on accessible tourism at World Travel Marketplace in 2011. HARMONIZED GRADING SYSTEMS ! !
  4. 4. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m Marine  Ecotourism  Certi0ication  Program;   Lower  St.  Lawrence  River  Region,  Canada ecoplan:net was retained to prepared the first ecotourism certification program in Canada. The program was developed within a federal environmental protection program for the lower St. Lawrence River region as it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Consequently the scheme focused on responsible standards marine ecotourism including whale watching, sea kayaking, pleasure boating and launches, bird watching and catch and release fishing, and the operation of coastal resorts and lodges. The program has been operational for the past eight years and has approximately 100 certified members. Morocco  Rural  Tourism  Accommodation   Quality  Assurance  Standards  and                                                                             Eco-­certi8ication  Program   WINNER: Tourism for Tomorrow Award (2009) ecoplan:net  was   hired  by  the  Zakoura   Microcredit   Foundation,  with   funding   from   the   Grand   Duchess  of   Luxemburg   Fund,  to   undertake   three  activities;  a)  an  assessment  of  current  international  certiAication   programs  to  determine  if  the  foundation  should  import  a  program   or   develop   its   own   scheme,   b]   develop   a   certiAication   program   for   its   microcredit   clients   throughout   Morocco,   c]   design   and   facilitate   a   training  program  or  auditors. Zakoura  Foundation,  the  largest  microcredit  organisations  in  Morocco   is  responsible   for  supporting   several  hundred   small  to  medium-­‐size   guesthouses  and  lodges.  The  purpose  of  the  certiAication  program  was   to  both  protect  their  investment  as  well  as  insure  operators  offered  a   quality   product   and   were   more   environmentally   and   socially   responsible.  Furthermore   the  promotion  of  those  facilities   that  have   become  certiAied  enhances  the  viability  of  these  operations  as  well  as   provides  leadership  or  other  small  businesses  in  rural  areas. Training  the  auditors;  the   auditors  were   selected  from   foundation   agents   located  throughout   Morocco.   The   training   program   provided   the   technical   knowledge   for   auditors   to   assess   each   operation   and   make  a  recommendation  to  the  certiAication  program  co-­‐ordinator. The  Botswana  Green,  Green  +  and  Ecotourism   Certi8ication  Program  for  the  Botswana  Tourism  Organisation WINNER: The 2010 TOURISM for TOMORROW AWARD ecoplan:net  was  retained  to  develop  the  Airst  national  green  certiAication  scheme  in   Africa.  It  is  considered  one  of  the  most  comprehensive  in  the  world  with  more  than  150   standards.  The  assignment  described  the  certiAication  process,  a  management  structure,   marketing  program,  and  auditor  training  program  and    cost  estimates.   The  design  and  wording  of  the  various  certiAication  standards  included  the  input  of  more   than  300  travel  industry  stakeholders  from  all  regions  of  Botswana.  ecoplan:net  held   workshops  for  tourism  operators,  government  ofAicials  and  NGOs  resulting  in  the   unanimous  approval  of  the  standards,  including  the  mandatory  requirements  for   certiAication.  The  program  was  then  tested  on  12  businesses  representing  a  cross-­‐section   of  hotels,  lodges,  guesthouses  and  tour  operators.  The  program  is  unique  in  that  it   applies  to  both  two  levels  of  green  certiAication  as  well  as  ecotourism  operations.                       NOTE: In 2012 the Green and Green + Standards will be integrated into the Quality Assurance Standards Training  the  Auditors:  ecoplan:net  was  also  hired  to  train  the  BTB  auditors. ECOTOURISM CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS
  5. 5. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m SUSTAINABLE GUIDE CERTIFICATION Auditor Training Program ecoplan:net was retained to design the program and deliver a 4-day training program for proposed auditors for the guide certification. Those interested in serving as auditors came from a variety of professions including travel industry trainers, ISO auditors and government officers. A comprehensive training manual was prepared that presented detailed descriptions of the requirements for quality assurance and hospitality, sustainability and technical competence standards. BAHAMAS Sustainable Guide Certification Program ecoplan:net was hired by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with UNEP, to prepare the first- e v e r c o m p r e h e n s i v e sustainable tourism guide certification program. The original prog ram was developed to respond to the needs of fly-fishing guides however it is also a model for s e a k a y a k i n g a n d birdwatching guides. T h e c e r t i fi c a t i o n program is based on more than 250 standards that address: (a) Quality assurance, (b) Sustainable tourism (c) Universal accessibility (d) Technical Competence Sustainability Standards reflect basic environmentally responsible practices including: • energy and water conservation, • waste management, • reduction of hazardous wastes, • local purchasing and hiring practices, • preference for organic foods, • contribution to local community development and environmental protection. Technical Standards focus on casting techniques, knot tying, knowledge of tides and marine ecology, proper boat handling and water safety and emergency response, etc. A 3-Tier Program A 3-tier classification system was developed for the various levels of guide competence. The levels include: (1) Sustainable Guide, (2) Premier Guide (3) Master Guide. A Sustainable guide is typically for those just entering the guiding business. The Premier guide classification applies to those with several years experience and an excellent technical knowledge of the fly fishing guiding activity. The master guide are those who have a long history as a guide, and are extremely c o m p e t e n t w i t h t h e i r knowledge of fly-fishing techniques, market demand and Marine ecology. Each category had basic mandatory requirements to achieve certification. Cer tification Program Management + Training A certification program management system was set up within the Sustainable Tourism Division of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. Training is required for all guides. The program is managed by the Ministry of tourism and the College of the Bahamas. Sustainable Guide Train the-Trainer Program for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Inter-American Development Bank In order to be certified, all guides must embark on a three stages process including (a) attain a captain B license, (b) attend a five day training program and (c) successfully complete an audit by a Ministry of Tourism certified auditor. Training all guides represents a major commitment by both the Ministry of Tourism as well as the guides themselves. In order to make training as accessible as possible, the Ministry of tourism hired ecoplan:net to design and deliver a train-the-trainer program. Two qualified existing guides were selected from each of 11 islands and were required to embark on a 10-day train-the-trainer program. The program had three modules: Quality Assurance and Sustainability Standards, Technical competence standards and Outboard motor maintenance standards. The training program was supported by 2, 150+ page manuals as well as the training materials that would assist the newly trained guides to deliver the guide training in their respective island. The manuals included: Volume 1: Sustainable and Quality Assurance Standards including environmental management systems, water safety and emergency response Volume 2: Technical Competence Standards: boat handling, casting techniques, boat and motor maintenance
  6. 6. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m TOURISM CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS Island of Exuma and Exuma National Marine Park (Bahamas) Ecotourism Criteria for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Commonwealth Secretariat WINNER: Caribbean Tourism Organization ‘Environment Award’. James was hired to prepare a Sustainable Marine Tourism Development Plan for this major island and National Marine Park, within the Bahamas archipelago. The strategy was based on achieving a rigorous level of biodiversity protection through environmentally responsible planning, development and operations criteria. Specific emphasis was placed on marine debris reduction, water management, coral reef protection, pesticide and hazardous elimination, sound land use planing and sustainable architectural practices in the coastal zone. The criteria received unanimous approval from residents and stakeholders. Zambia Tourism Quality Assurance Star Grading Standards Review for IESC on contract to USAID and the Ministry of Tourism and Environment Zambia prepared its first set of To u r i s m Q u a l i t y A s s u r a n c e Standards, based on the 5 star system, in 2008. ecoplan:net was hired, by International Executive Services Corporation, to evaluate and review both of the individual standards as well as the certification process and overall program. The mandate included i]a review of 20 tourism quality assurance grading programs in Europe and North A m e r i c a , i i ] i n t e r v i ew s w i t h stakeholders, particularly those in the accommodation sector, iii] i d e n t i fi c a t i o n o f t r e n d s a n d refinements to international grading minimum requirements and standards Several significant changes, in both the structure and implementation of the standards were proposed. A renewed effort was made to include the various travel suppliers in assessing and understanding the grading program. The standards also lacked environmentally responsible criteria. Therefore the Ministry was asked to make a decision between a ] integrating green standards into the overall system or b) establishing a separate certification program for environmentally responsible tourism. Since James was currently working in Botswana to develop their green and eco-certification program at the time, he was aware of the competitive positioning that this program could create for Zambia. As a consequence several eco- friendly standards were applied to the star grading system, including energy conservation and water management. Queen Charlotte Islands Lodge Site Location Criteria and Assessment for the British Columbia Ministry of Crown Lands, Canada The QCI are unquestionably the most beautiful island chain in Canada. The have been the home of the Haida Gwaïi for thousands of years. The combination of dramatic cultural and natural heritage dramatically increased demand to lodge sites. The local indigenous people had placed a moratorium on all lodge a n d r e s o r t d e v e l o p m e n t . Consequently James was hired to work with the Haida tribe and prepare a comprehensive set of appropriate site selection criteria that met their environmental and cultural requirements. Using the agreed upon criteria 12 sites were located throughout the archipelago and then presented to all residents of the islands. The preferred sites were then presented t o l o c a l a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a l investors..
  7. 7. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m SUSTAINABLE TOURISM POLICIES International Awards The Bahamas was the first country to be recognized for the Green Globe Achievement Award for the preparation of the Caribbean's first policies for sustainable tourism. The policies were prepared by ecoplan:net with funding from the Organization of American States. The policies also won the European Travel Writers Award and were described as “a model for small island states’ by the influential Economist Magazine (Jan. 1997) ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Bahamas Sustainable Tourism Development Policies, for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism ecoplan:net was retained with finding from the OAS (Organization of American States) to assess the environmental issues and develop a set of Sustainable Tourism Policies to both influence cabinet as well as establish a framework for long term sustainable development. Policies were prepared for each of the following topics: 1. SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT 1.1 Sustainable Planning 1.2 Assessing Economic Impact 1.3 Local Involvement and Benefits 1.4 Public Consultation 1.5 Intergenerational Equity 2. RESPONSIBLE MARKETING 3. RESORT GREEN MANAGEMENT 3.1 Green Management Policy 3.2 Purchasing Procedures 3.3 Energy and Water Conservation 3.4 Use of Pesticides and Herbicides 4. HERITAGE RESTORATION 4.1 Architecture 4.2 Site Planning and Protection of Heritage Landscapes 5. SITES/FACILITY DEVELOPMENT 5.1 Site Planning 5.2 Site Design 5.3 Building Construction/Design 6.ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENTS 7. RESEARCH + MONITORING OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS 8. NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCE PROTECTION 9.PROTECTION OF MARINE RESOURCES 10. MARINE DEBRIS REDUCTION 11.ENFORCEMENT 12. WASTE MANAGEMENT 12.1 Waste Reduction 12.2 Solid Waste Management 13. WATER CONSERVATION 14. TRAINING AND EDUCATION 14.1 Staff Training 14.2 Public Environmental Education 14.3 Tourist Education 15. NATIONAL INITIATIVES 15.1 Sustainable Tourism Planning 15.2 Bahamas Conservation Strategy 15.3 Strengthen Sustainable Resource Management Capacities 16. SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT UNIT The project resulted in the creation of a Sustainable Tourism Unit within the Ministry of Tourism.
  8. 8. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m SUSTAINABLE TOURISM POLICIES Canada’s Sustainable Tourism Policy and Action Plan, for Tourism Canada Canada’ first Sustainable Tourism Policy and Action Plan was prepared by ecoplan:nets’ James MacGregor as part of GLOBE ’90 (Global Opportunities for Business and the Environment) Conference. During that landmark event, James gathered tourism specialists, NGO’s and environmentalists from a 8 countries to collectively present their vision of a sustainable tourism policy. James worked with the team to craft 28 policies and a 5 year action plan that was designed to position Canada as a leading nation in sustainable tourism planning and development. The document was widely distributed and was used by several provincial government to structure their own sustainable tourism policy. The action plan was subsequently integrated in Canadas’ National Sustainable Development Plan. Palau Sustainable Tourism Development Policies for the Office of the President of the Republic of Palau (Micronesia) I n t h e l a t e 1990’s, charter flights started a r r i v i n g i n P a l a u . T h e President of the Republic was concerned that the introduction of mass tourism would have a negative impact on the precious marine resources of the islands. Consequently ecoplan:net was commissioned to prepare Sustainable Tourism Development Policies and associated workshops. A two phase process was proposed. PHASE 1 included an assessment of the nations environmental issues followed by a 5-day intensive workshop with members of the Council of Chiefs, senators, the travel industry and NGO’s. Working in groups and using a structure developed by ecoplan:net, t hey collectively prepared an initial set of 37 s u s t a i n a b l e policies. In PHASE 2, the policies were edited and with the collaboration of several senators and NGO’s a final document was prepared for a presentation at a National Conference. With the support of the president the 37 policies were endorsed by the Republic of Palau Congress in a record 6 month.
  9. 9. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m Ecotourism  Itinerary  and  Tour  Operations   Criteria  for  the  Canadian  Museum  of  Nature James was retained as an in-house consultant by the Canadian Museum of Nature. Part of his mandate was to identify business opportunities for the museum, with a particular emphasis on ecotourism packages that could be sold to the museum membership. Some of these packages were developed with museum staff and others built on existing tour products offered by select international ecotourism operators. In order to ensure that all tour products met the highest ecotourism standards, James prepared a detailed manual outlining all ecotourism criteria with respect to community involvement and guest/host relationships, energy and water conservation, waste management practices, interpretation program standards, use of environmentally responsible accommodation and transportation, and other attributes typically associated with a quality ecotourism experience. Eco-tent accommodation in the Okavango Delta (Botswana) Egypt  Ecolodge  Design,  Construction  and   Operations  Giuidelines  Manual  for  USAID Ecoplan:net was retained by Chemonics International and USAID to prepare a comprehensive Ecolodge Development and Operations Manual to be used to a] assist Egypt’s Tourism Development Authority (TDA) to assess the credibility of various ecolodge applications and b] to assist new developers in constructing facilities that responded to the highest environmental requirements. The document was subsequently distributed to existing resort and lodge operations in the Red Sea Region in order to promote more environmentally responsible lodging ad food services operations. A Practical Manual for Investors The manual is divided into three sections. Section 1 included an assessment of existing ecolodges particularly in arid and desert environments but also considered were responsible practices in coastal, marine, mountain and forest locations. In Section 2, these ‘Best practices’ were used to identify and describe more than 150 development criteria, standards ad technologies that would be most applicable to the conditions within the Egyptian desert environment. Section 3 provided a checklist to TDA that allowed them to rate the quality of the ecolodge application. Botswana  Ecotourism  Best  Practices  Guidelines  Manual   and  Handbook  for  the  Commonwealth  Secretariat  (London)                                                                             ecoplan:net, in collaboration with Discover Ltd., was hired by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Botswana Tourism Board to identify Ecotourism Best Practices in Africa and worldwide. Approximately 40 ecotourism destinations and facilities where assessed and a comprehensive description was provided for 20 facilities. Information extracted from the analysis of these operations then provided more than 180 planning, design, construction, operations, tour and marketing criteria that would ensure a sustainable tourism eco-operation. Each criteria was then described so that it would assist any operator or enterprise that wanted to be a green business. For instance water saving devices, energy conservation practices, and waste management techniques that encouraged recycling and composting were described in technical detail. Particular emphasis was placed on the preparation of the Ecotourism Business Plan and the Environmental Impact Assessment. These criteria eventually were used as a basis to the standards identified in the Botswana Green and Ecotourism Certification Program. The manual also contained an extensive list of suppliers of green products and technologies in both Botswana and South Africa. Following the production of the manual, a concise Ecotourism Handbook was prepared and printed for widespread distribution to operators and accommodation suppliers throughout Botswana. GUIDELINES AND MANUALS
  10. 10. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m ECOLODGE DEVELOPMENT Lake  Matagami  Ecolodge James is co founder and partner, business planner and vice- president of marketing C a n a d a ’ s fi r s t N o r t h e r n ecolodge is located on the 50th parallel yet all electricity is generated by solar and wind sources. The facility is built entirely from wood grown in a certified sustainable forest (owned by a local aboriginal Cree community business). The facility is plastic and chemical free and has been c a l l e d “ a l a b o r a t o r y i n sustainable living” by an international tour operator. A 3% contribution is added to the payment and it is used to finance local Cree culture and environmental projects. Furthermore all fuel consumption i s c a l c u l a t e d a n d t h e appropriate number of carbon credits are purchased making it the first carbon neutral lodging facility in Québec. Haida  Gwaii  Native  Coastal   Ecolodge  and  Cultural   Center  Business  Plan, for the Skidegate Tribal Council, Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada Despite its remote location, the Islands of Haida Gwaii have become one of the more desirable destinations in Canada. The local tribal council, using funds from fishing decided to expand their economic base by investing in the tourism sector. James was hired to prepare a business plan that included both a 22 unit lodge and cultural center to display the indigenous art. James worked with several tour operators in Vancouver to ensure immediate positioning in the marketplace. Eagles  Nest  Coastal                   Eco-­Resort  Business  Plan, Barkley Sound, for Barkley Charters Limited, Vancouver Island, Canada Barley Sound was one of the major commercial fishing areas on the west coast. With the decline in fishing, many fish processing plants were vacated. James and a local architect were hired to assess the feasibility of converting a closed plant into a fishing and leisure resort. The proximity to Barkley Sound, with direct access to the Pacific Ocean was a major attraction and the eco-resort has been a successful venture for the owner and local residents Banks  Island  Naturalist   Ecolodge  Business  Plan,   Arctic Coast, for the Sachs Harbor Inuit Council, Banks Island, NWT, Canada The Inuit community of Sachs Harbour is located approximately 840 km above the Arctic Circle. During the preparation of the Western Arctic Tourism Strategy, James was asked to assess the conversion of a Canadian Atmospheric Weather Station into a naturalist lodge. A feasibility study demonstrated the demand for a high arctic destination lodge. A detailed training plan was provided to ensure that the local indigenous people had access to most of the jobs in the lodge. Nanatsuak  Wilderness   Coastal  Destination                     Ecolodge  Feasibility   Analysis, for the Nain Inuit Tribal Council, Labrador, Northern Canada The Nain Tribal Council acquired a former Moravian Missionary site and heritage buildings, south of the Tourngat Mountains in Northern Labrador. The site was only accessible by boat and snowmachine in the winter. James was hired to assess the business potential for the development of one of Canada’s premier wilderness resorts within the highest environmental standards and respect for the Inuit traditions.
  11. 11. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m SUSTAINABLE TOURISM TRAINING International  Training   Workshops James has delivered 250 tourism training workshops to more than 6600 participants in 14 countries. They have focused on sustainable tourism and ecotourism planning, product development and marketing including quality assurance. Several have been award winning and landmark events including: ecotour ’94: the first ecotourism training workshops in South Africa ecoCARIBE: a series of sustainable tourism, green management and ecotourism training workshops designed for the 11 Commonwealth Caribbean Nations and WINNER Green Globe Achievement Award (1997) Brazil Train-the-Trainer Ecotourism Planning Workshop WTTC Human Resource Council ‘Best Practice’ (1998) Botswana ecoCertification Guidelines Workshop Series and Auditor Training for the Botswana Tourism Board James facilitated a series of 14 workshops throughout Botswana. The first series identified more than 160 ecotourism planning, management and operations criterion which subsequently formed the core of the Best Practices Guidelines Manual. The second round of workshops (in Gaberone, Maun, Kasane) identified the private sector demand for a national eco-certification scheme based on the previously identified ecotourism criteria. Morocco Rural Tourism Eco-certification Auditor Training Workshop for the Zakoura Microcredit Foundation Following the preparation of the Tourism for Tomorrow Award winning Rural Tourism Eco-certification Program, ecoplan:net was hired to design, prepare the manuals and deliver an intense 1-week training program for the field agents from across Morocco. The training included both theory and practical application. There were more than 300 small accommodation and restaurant clients who were eager to apply for certification. This was the first such training program in Africa. Madagascar Ecotourism Planning and Product Development Workshop Series for USAID and TIES Following the facilitation of Madagascar’s first National Ecotourism Symposium (for the International Ecotourism Society), James was invited to return and deliver 5- day regional workshops in the south (Tuléar) and on the island of Nosey By in the north. These programs were attended by more than 100 participants and officially launched ecotourism in Madagascar. The workshops were part of the National Park and Protected Area (ANGAP) Ecotourism Development Strategy which was also prepared by ecoplan:net, for USAID’s SAVEM Project. Hawaii (Maui) Resort Green Management Workshop and Manual for the State of Hawaii and Pacific Rims Convention Ltd. ecoplan:net designed and delivered Hawaii’s first Corporate Green Management Workshop for major resort operators from across Hawaii as well a several islands in the South Pacific (Guam, Samoa, Palau) and California. The 5-day program was developed to assist major resort operators to conserve limited island and marine resources and respond to market demand for environmentally responsible resort and hotel properties and operations.
  12. 12. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m SUSTAINABLE DESTINATION PLANNING Tata Regional Sustainable Tourism Development Principles and Strategy; A Quadruple Bottom line Approach (2009-2014) for UNDP and the Program for the Oasis of the South, Morocco The oasis in the southern regions are threatened by climate change, advancing dunes, changing agriculture practices and neglect. ecolan:net was hired to work with local villages and stakeholders to prepare a tourism strategy based on international sustainable development practices. The strategy also introduced the QUADRUPLE BOTTOMLINE APPROACH to promote CO2 reduction and climate change adaptation. ecoplan:net worked with the UN-HABITAT’s Local Agenda 21 program which, in promoting the Millennium Development Goals, was responsible for many progressive programs including composting, water conservation and recycling. ecoplan:net continues to work with local lodging managers and tour operators to develop sustainable operations and practices with the intention of promoting the region as a true sustainable destination making a determined effort to reduce tourism related CO2 emissions. Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Sustainable Tourism Development Opportunities, for the British Columbia Ministry of Economic Development, Canada C l a y o q u o t Sound was the m o s t controversial environmental ‘hot spot’ in Canada, in the m i d 19 9 0 ’ s . L o g g i n g interests were c u t t i n g Canada’s most valuable old growth forests leaving few economic benefits in the region. ecoplan:net was hired to both identify sustainable tourism development opportunities as well as determine the potential long term economic value of the industry. James facilitated numerous public meetings where heated debates between the various interests (loggers, fishers, native communities, environmentalists and travel industry representatives) threatened to stall the cooperative planning process. However the overall mission was kept focused by the focus on long term sustainable development of the region. The Biosphere has now b e c o m e a n i n t e r n a t i o n a l destination for m a r i n e a n d c o a s t a l ecotourism.
  13. 13. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m ADDITIONAL PROJECTS Western Sahara Tour Itineraries, Sustainable Tourism Criteria and Action Plan for the UNDP Program for Protection of the Oasis Retezat National Park Sustainable Tourism Strategy and Development Criteria, Romania, for USAID, PAN Parks and Chemonics International Ecotourism Development Strategy in the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve (Ecotourism Amenities & Design) Bangladesh, for the Asian Development Bank and ANZDEC Namgis/Alert Bay Product Development and Market Opportunity Study and Ecotourism Planning Workshop, for the Alert Bay Historical Corporation, British Columbia, Agadir, Southern Morocco Sustainable Coastal Tourism Policy and Action Plan (including Web Site Development, Visitor Exit Surveys, Tour Operator Database), for USAID and Chemonics International International Coastal Ecolodge Design Competition (site location, training workshop and selection of architectural firm), for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Inter- American Development Bank The Cree First Nations of James Bay (Northern Québec) Community Tourism/Ecotourism Development Strategies for the James Bay Cree Municipal Council Izmir Aquarium Feasibility Study and Site Selection Proposal, City of Izmir, Turkey, for the Canadian Museum of Nature Indian Ocean Region (Comores, Mauritius, Seychelles) Assessment of Biodiversity Planning Requirements, for the Canadian Museum of Nature Oregon Coast Ecotourism Product Development (Select Itinerary Proposals), for the Presidential Commission for Rural Development and the National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, D.C Metlakatla Regional Ecotourism and Aboriginal Tourism Development Plan, for the North Coast Tribal Council, BC, Canada Vancouver Island Tourism Marine Education and Information Centre Business Plan, for the City of Nanaimo, Harbour Commission, Nanaimo, BC BIOPARC Environmental Education Centre Business Plan, for the Municipalité de Bonaventure, Gaspé Region, Quebec, Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site Management Plan and Feasibility Study, for Environment Canada, Canadian Parks Agency, Western Region Cruise Ship Industry Study - B.C./Alaska Ports, for the Port of Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Canada Quadra Island Marine Destination Resort and Golf Course Feasibility Study, for the Cape Mudge Band Council, Quadra Island, BC MacKenzie River and Delta Tour Boat Market Opportunity and Feasibility Study - Top of the World Tours, Yellowknife, NWT Shippagan Marine Museum Feasibility Study and Master Plan, for the Department of Regional Economic Expansion, New Brunswick, Canada Vancouver Public Aquarium Economic Impact and Long Term Development Strategy, for the Public Aquarium Board The Fisherman's Village (Commercial Tourism Development) Feasibility Study and Master Plan, for the Town of Caraquet, New Brunswick, Bay du Nord River, Newfoundland; Canadian Heritage River System Evaluation and Management Plan, for the Canadian Parks Agency ecoplan:net   has   been   responsible   for   over   200   studies   based   on   comprehensive   sustainable   tourism   planning   policies,   d e v e l o p m e n t   c r i t e r i a   a n d   operational   practices   and   procedures.   We   have   endeavored   to   promote   the   highest   environmental   and   socially   responsible   ethics   in   all   projects,  plans  and  programs.
  14. 14. s e r v i n g t h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y a n d s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e t o u r i s m s e c t o r e c o p l a n : n e t • T e m a r a M o r o c c o • B r a s o v R o m a n i a • w w w . e c o p l a n n e t . c o m ECOPLAN:NET PEOPLE & PROJECTS Additional ecoplan:net services: We offers a complete range of sustainable tourism services including: • National and Regional Sustainable Tourism Strategies and Policies • Tourism Business Plans • Tour product development and packaging • Marketing Research and Strategies • Green management Strategies and Audits • Sustainable Tourism and Green Tourism Certification Program Planning • Visitor Centre Development • Training and Train-the-Trainer Programs in: sustainable tourism, ecotourism, green management, auditing, green marketing • Park and Protected Area Management Planning and Site Design James MacGregor Sustainable Tourism Policy Planner and Trainer President: ecoplan:net sarl James has 35 years experience consulting to the tourism sector including national-state-provincial- municipal governments, private companies, NGO's, indigenous people's organizations and communities. He has been project manager on more than 370 tourism and economic development assignments. He is an internationally recognized regional/community tourism, and protected area planner and an expert in ecotourism and sustainable tourism development. Specific knowledge includes: preparation and implementation of sustainable tourism development strategies and policies, design and development of sustainable tourism certification programs, community/ regional tourism plans, market analysis, business plans/feasibility studies, green management strategies, ecotourism, and adventure travel product development, resort and ecolodge planning/construction, international e-marketing and investment strategies, and sustainable tourism training program design and facilitation. James held senior management positions in several international consulting firms including SNC Lavalin, where, for 12 years, he was Director of the International Tourism and Economic Development Division. In 1992 he established ecoplan:net, which became Canada’s leading sustainable tourism and ecotourism planning, marketing and training consulting firm. He is cofounder and partner in both ECOadventures Ltd. a leading Canadian ecotourism and adventure travel company and the Lake Matagami Ecolodge in Northern Québec. He has published numerous papers and is a frequent keynote speaker, lecturer and workshop facilitator in the Americas, Asia and Africa. The Sustainable Tourism Development Policies he prepared for the Bahamas received the 1996 Green Globe Achievement Award from the World Tourism and Travel Council. He was Chief of Party for the USAID/Morocco Rural Sustainable Tourism Development Program and currently operates a sustainable tourism planning and economic development consulting practice in Morocco with current projects in Botswana, Egypt, Zambia and James can be contacted at: ecoplan:net sarl (Morocco) +212 645 492 026