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Conservationist Chloe Harvey is back with part two of this fantastic three-part series documenting Ginette Bariteau’s incredible journey to improve the way her business deals with the environment

Ginette Bariteau: Team-meeting-introducing-Green-Fins-min

“The assessment process highlighted areas where Ginette and her team are really stepping above and beyond the norm in terms of managing their risk to the local environment.”

Ginette Bariteau owns Scuba 6 Eco in Panama and first stumbled across Green Fins in May this year. Since then she has downloaded the Green Fins Dive and Snorkel Centre Handbook and has been working systematically to implement the environmental code of best practice within her operations ever since.

Changing our way of life towards one focused more on sustainable living can feel a little overwhelming, how on earth do we know where to start? Using a unique assessment system based on risk to marine biodiversity, the Green Fins approach helps dive businesses to identify high risk practices. They can then prioritise action and use the comprehensive Green Fins guidance material to identify realistic and low-cost alternatives. With the support of The Reef-World Foundation, international coordinators of Green Fins, Ginette assessed the performance of her current environmental practices and identified three clear priority actions to focus on addressing in the short term.

Continue reading on underwater 360.

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Going Green with Your Fitness Regime

Categories: Green Tips, People and Places, Planet
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Fitness Routine

Get fit and stay healthy. That is our motto and New Year resolution for 2017!

Upgrading your fitness routine to the next level also helps to protect our planet. Here are some of our favourite eco-friendly fitness tips to help you to ‘go green’ with your workout:


Green commute


Reduce your carbon footprint while you exercise. If possible, try walking, jogging or riding a bicycle to the gym or your next destination whilst getting your heart rate up at the same time. If it’s too far, not safe or simply impractical then choose public transport if possible or try to join a carpooling scheme with your fitness friends. Services such as uberPOOL make it easier to carpool and cut down on your fuel costs. And having a gym buddy is an instant incentive to keep up with your fitness goals! Read more on how to commute green to get lean, and how to commute in an eco-friendly way.



The author enjoyed a grand sunrise atop Mount Yotei, Japan. 2016.


Exercising outdoors is a low cost, enjoyable and cheap and green way to take your health to the next level. Instead of increasing your energy consumption via home or gym exercise machines, take advantage of running, hiking or biking trails in your area. For some motivation, check out AppCrawlr’s recommendations for the best outdoor fitness apps.


fitness gear


Choose products that are made of sustainable, recycled or earth-friendly fabrics. Here are 11 great picks for eco-friendly workout clothes. Remember to always carry a reusable bottle or hydration pack for your water, tea or sports drinks.


Local products at street market


Fuel your body with organic energy bars, fresh fruit, and juices before or during your workout. You can also get vitamins and nutrients from locally grown produce and help to cut down on environmental waste.


Earth Day Run 2015 (Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channel)

Earth Day Run 2015 (Photo courtesy of National Geographic Channel)


Isn’t it wonderful when your fitness regime also benefits those in need? Sign up for a running event that supports ‘green’ cause. Check out details of your local Earth Day Run. Your registration fee benefits the organisation that helps to make a difference for local communities and environments.



When your sneakers are worn out – don’t throw them away. Donate them. Give your shoes new life with Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe, a programme that recycles and transforms athletic shoes into surfaces for tracks, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts.

Stay fit, stay healthy and help your local community and environment.


Go green this Christmas with eco-friendly decorations

Categories: Energy, Green Tips, Planet, Waste
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The festive season is here! You can already see red and green decorations and hear ‘Silent Night’ being played everywhere you go. Homes are lit up with fairy lights and Christmas trees are being put up and decorated. But do try not to get too carried away by the holiday spirit and forget all those sustainable habits that you’ve been working on so successfully in 2016.

Check out our tips on how you can make your Christmas even ‘greener’ by decorating your home and office with eco-friendly decorations:

Photo credits:

Photo credits:

  • Christmas Trees – If you plan on purchasing a real tree we recommend getting a ‘living tree’, which you can grow outside after the holidays and reuse every year (How to choose a living Christmas tree). In countries like the US and the UK there are companies where you can rent trees. For those who prefer artificial/plastic trees, we suggest that you buy second-hand and use it for as long as you can. Check out websites such as Ebay, Freecycle, Freegle, Craigslist or Gumtree to find your perfect tree.
  • Décor – Be creative and do-it-yourself! Look around your house for materials you can reuse to make wreaths, ornaments and garlands. You can even spruce up last year’s decorations and reuse them. Another option is to ask your family and friends if they would like to trade holiday décor.


  • Gift Wrapping – Hate receiving junk mail? Instead of putting it directly into the recycle bin you can use it to wrap gifts instead! You can also use old calendars, magazines and newspapers. Read on for eco-friendly and reusable gift wrap ideas.

Finally, wherever you are in the world we wish you a Happy Christmas and a fabulous eco-friendly New Year!


Industry Awards Your Organisation Should Apply For

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Receiving awards has its benefits, whether your organisation is in its infancy or has been around for some time. It’s a fantastic way to build credibility, gain recognition and get the word out about all the positive things that your organisation is doing day by day.

Winning awards also boosts employees’ morale as it shows them that their efforts are being recognised. Additionally, and as noted in the Huffington Post, it’s not bragging when someone else says it…and it also makes your partners look good.

Deciding on which awards to apply for can be daunting, so to put you on the right track we have highlighted seven awards programmes given annually for you to consider.


1) Tourism for Tomorrow
Organiser: World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC)
Deadline for Applications: Now! Deadline is 14 November 2016. Click here to learn how to apply.
Awarding: 26-27 April 2017 at the WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok, Thailand

  • Community Award
  • Destination Award
  • Environment Award
  • Innovation Award
  • People Award




2) UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism
Organiser: United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Deadline for Applications: September 2017
Awarding: January 2018

  • UNWTO Lifetime Achievement Award
  • UNWTO Ulysses Prize
  • UNWTO Awards for Innovation (Public Policy and Governance; Enterprises; Non-Governmental Organizations; Research and Technology)
  • UNWTO Ethics Awards



3) World Responsible Tourism Awards
Organiser: Responsible Travel
Deadline for Applications: May 2017
Awarding: November 2017 at the World Travel Market in London

  • Best accommodation for responsible employment
  • Best for wildlife conservation
  • Best innovation by a tour operator
  • Best for poverty reduction and inclusion
  • Best responsible tourism campaign
  • Overall winner


4) Skål Sustainable in Tourism Awards 
Skål International
Deadline for Applications: June 2017
Awarding: Skål World Congress in late October/early November 2017 in Hyderabad

  • Tour Operators
  • Urban Accommodation
  • Rural Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Countryside and Wildlife
  • Marine
  • Community and Government Projects
  • Major Tourist Attractions
  • Educational Institutions/Programmes and Media



4) World Legacy Awards

Organiser: National Geographic
Deadline for Applications: August 2017
Awarding: March 2018 at ITB Berlin

  • Earth Changers
  • Sense of Place
  • Conserving the Natural World
  • Engaging Communities
  • Destination Leadership


awards asean-green-hotel-award-2014-500x380

5) ASEAN Green Hotel and ASEAN Homestay Awards

Organiser: ASEAN Tourism
Deadline for Applications: August 2017
Awarding: January 2018

  • Overall Winner
  • One (1) ASEAN Green Hotel Award and Two (2) Runners-up from each member state
  • One (1) ASEAN Homestay Award and Two (2) Runners-up from each member state



7) Awards from PATA

A. Grand and Gold Awards
Deadline for Applications: April 2017
Awarding: September 2017 at PATA Travel Mart (Macau SAR)

  • PATA Grand – Education and Training; Environment; Heritage and Culture; Marketing
  • PATA Gold – click here for the full list

B. PATA CEO Challenge

Deadline for Applications: September 2017
Awarding: November 2017 at the PATA Aligned Advocacy Dinner, World Travel Mart, London

  • State, Region, Province and Country
  • Second Tier/Third Tier City

C. Tourism InSPIRE Awards
Deadline of Application: (postponed for 2016)
Awarding: November at the PATA New Tourism Frontiers Forum

  • Best Branded Accommodation
  • Best Independent Accommodation
  • Best Marine and Wildlife Tourism Provider
  • Best Culture and Heritage Tourism Provider
  • Best Responsible Tourism Destination
  • Best Community Based Tourism Initiative

New Sustainable Habits for World Food Day 2016

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World Food wfd2016_webbanner_en

Every year, countries come together on 16 October for World Food Day to increase awareness of the global campaign to end hunger. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shines a light on the effects of climate change on food security with this year’s theme ‘Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too’.

The FAO is urging countries to adopt sustainable farming practices, decrease food losses, and to invest in rural development by strengthening smallholding farmers and fisherfolk whose livelihoods are most affected by climate change. In September 2015, 193 countries pledged to end hunger by 2030.

The FAO is challenging all of us to contribute to this goal by simply changing our daily habits and making better decisions. Here’s a three-step guide on joining the movement:

Step 1. Go to FAO’s World Food Day Climate Actions website and pick four actions that interest you.

There are three categories to choose from:

  • Preserve the earth’s precious natural resources (e.g. taking shorter showers)
  • Waste less (e.g. use refillable water bottles and coffee cups)
  • Being climate smart by reducing your carbon footprint. Walk, ride a bicycle and consider using public transport

Step 2. Share your actions on social networks using the hashtag #WFD2016

Take selfies, shoot videos or simply write about your commitment to take action to end hunger. Be an advocate – and let your friends know that they can be one too!

Step 3. Make these four actions into a habit!

It’s extremely easy to start something – but the challenge is to always maintain that commitment. Here are some tips on how to make these actions into life habits:

  • Choose an action that interests you and is easy to start. For example, bringing your own reusable water bottle is something that everyone can (and should) immediately do. It not only saves you money but it is also better for the environment and for your health. Invest in a sturdy bottle that is easy to carry  so that you’ll always want it with you.

World Food start-small

Illustration from

  • Remind yourself to always carry your water bottle by setting an alarm on your tablet or phone or a daily note on your online calendar. Check out Goals in Google Calendar and 10 other apps to help you form sustainable habits.
  • Give yourself a reward. Having your own water bottle means that you don’t have to spend money on bottled water ever again when eating out. Imagine how much money you would save! Instead of contributing to the world’s plastic waste, you can use the money for something else – such as a delicious dessert.

Forming a new habit can take from two to eight months. In those months, there will be times when you’ll forget to bring that water bottle. That’s okay. Start again and just keep on going.

World Food habitquote

Read more:


Ten Years of Transformational Tourism Across Asia

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ten years rti-logo-new

Celebrating a decade of best practice in responsible travel

Ten years ago Wild Asia, a social enterprise in Malaysia, identified a need to work with industries, rather than against them, to improve social and environmental impacts of the private sector. One of those industries was tourism, and as a way to inspire and educate businesses from around the region, they set out on a mission to identify and reward the best examples of responsible tourism and share them on a B2B platform. A decade later, Wild Asia has one of the largest collections of case studies on sustainable travel practices in the region, and has assessed hundreds of tourism enterprises of all shapes and sizes and geographical locations.

ten years spneva01

2016 marks the 10th birthday of the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards. Instead of running a traditional awards competition, this year Wild Asia has been focusing on consolidating lessons learned in a decade of responsible tourism, and has been re-connecting with past recipients to share stories of best practice.

This year’s activities will be celebrated and shared at ITB Asia, and then available open source on their website: www.rt.wildasia .org. The awards family is excited to share inspiring stories and open-source documentation, that will highlight successes, challenges, impacts made, and insights across the program to date. During this year’s ITB Asia, Wild Asia will share a reflection report and premiere several short engaging and educational documentaries of Awardees from around South and South East Asia.

2016ʹs special celebration could not be possible without the generous support of GIZ. “Presented by the Responsible and Inclusive Business Hub Southeast Asia (RIBH SEA) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Responsible and Inclusive Business Hub Southeast Asia”

Responsible Tourism at ITB Asia

The Responsible Tourism Events at ITB Asia, Asia’s largest travel trade show, is a growing success. These events started in 2009 as a collaboration with ITB Asia’s CSR partner, Wild Asia, a leading sustainability consultancy. These events aim to showcase and provide practitioners and experts in the field of sustainability, a platform to share stories, case studies, and tools to help operators run their business better; for the environment and for local people in destinations.

This year, Wild Asia is proud to announce 2016’s series of Responsible Tourism events. Our line up of speakers have been carefully chosen to provide you with the latest trends, lessons learnt from successful case studies and inspiration needed to help you become better and more sustainable in your business. The events will be held on 20 and 21 October at Sands Expo and Convention Center, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.

The following topics will be discussed and it will be held at the Responsible Tourism Hub, a prominent booth in the exhibition hall is the main hub where the talks will be held. More details on the talks can be found here:

Some of the topics include:

  • Tourism and child protection – The Childsafe movement
  • The role of community based tourism in visitor dispersion and the spread of the tourism dollar
  • Storytelling to promote the Mekong region
  • Money-spinners for the tourism business: Go local, engage community and test eco solutions
  • Seeing beauty and value in waste
  • MICE tourism as a driver for sustainability?: Case studies and leadership lessons from Asia
  • Passion is not enough: Preparing for success in wildlife and nature tourism marketing
  • The rise of CSR in MICE
  • Marketing for BTWO and founding trustee for Tlhokomela Bostwana Endangered Species Trust

ten years soneva02

On the last day of the trade show, 21 October, 2016 from 11am to 1pm, Wild Asia will be celebrating our 10th year anniversary of our flagship Responsible Tourism Awards. We have handpicked ten award winners around the region to share their stories. This extraordinary two-hour special will showcase ten leaders and pioneers in responsible tourism. Join us for an amazing time as we discover, listen and watch a collection of short clips as our all-stars share their successes and challenges in their journey towards creating a business that impacts positively on local communities and planet earth. We will also share insights and lessons learnt after a decade of assessing and awarding sustainable tourism businesses in Asia. Also speaking at this special event are notable speakers from GIZ and the Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN).

—————– end ——————-

Notes to Editor:

About ITB Asia and Wild Asia 

ITB Asia, the annually held three day B2B trade show and convention – now in its seventh year in Singapore – will take place in Marina Bay Sands this year. It is organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte Ltd and supported by the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau. This is where international exhibitors of all sectors of the travel-value chain, Asia Pacific’s leading travel companies and emerging small and medium-sized enterprises meet with top international buyers from the MICE, Leisure and Corporate Travel markets.

Wild Asia is a social enterprise working to protect and support the conservation of natural areas and local communities via the tourism industry. Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Initiative works through strategic partnerships with businesses and modules to facilitate learning and implementation of international standards and guidelines. Our ultimate goal is to promote sustainable practices that will adverse impacts on the environment and ensure that local communities are engaged and empowered. For more on Wild Asia’s tourism work, go to

Media access and contact:

For more information or media passes to cover the Responsible Tourism events, please contact us at the contact details below:

Deborah Chan
Responsible Tourism Associate & Responsible Tourism Events Manager
Email: [email protected]

Amy McLoughlin
Responsible Tourism Awards Manager & Associate Specialist
Email: [email protected]


Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author(s) and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) or any employee thereof. We make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability or validity of any information presented by individual authors and/or commenters on our blogs and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.




A 7-Night, $250 Cruise? Yes, and You Might Also Do Some Good

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The Fathom Adonia, from Carnival. FATHOM

I had been on only one cruise in my life: a hulking 4,252-person Royal Caribbean vessel that featured an ice-skating rink, a mini-golf course, a casino and a Johnny Rockets. It felt as if a small city had been ripped from its foundation, airlifted and placed on the water. David Foster Wallace’s famous essay on the perils of being pampered at sea rang true: Between the all-you-can-eat food, bad drinks and being compelled to participate in “Y.M.C.A.” more times than I care to admit, I was ready to never set foot on a cruise ship again. by Lucas Peterson, Frugal Traveler (29 September 2016). 


Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. FATHOM


The Adonia offers a chance to work on reforestation, in which volunteers plant trees and try to undo the effects of agricultural deforestation in the Dominican Republic. FATHOM

Find the original article on The New York Times.


Top 100 Sustainable Destinations for 2016

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top 100 greendesttop100Green Destinations unveiled the “Top 100 Sustainable Destinations” in the world for 2016 during World Tourism Day on 27 September 2016. According to the organisation, “The Top 100 initiative aims to recognise tourism destinations that have worked hard to make a difference and take sustainability seriously.”

Over 150 destinations were submitted, which were then reviewed by thirty evaluators and a selection panel led by Albert Salman (Green Destinations), Jonathan Tourtellot (Destination Stewardship Center), Masaru Takayama (Asian Ecotourism
Network), Brian Mullis (Sustainable Travel International), and Randy Durban (Global Sustainable Tourism Council).


The nominees were judged against the Green Destinations’ fifteen core criteria:

  • Sustainability Coordinator
  • Sustainable Tourism Policy
  • Nature Protection
  • Respect for Animals
  • Protection of Landscape and Scenery
  • Waste Water Treatment
  • Solid Waste Reduction
  • Reduction of fossil fuel dependency
  • Cultural Heritage Conservation
  • Protection of Intangible Heritage
  • Protection of People
  • Inhabitants Involved in Tourism
  • Promoting Local Products
  • Health and Safety Prevention
  • Accessibility for Disabled


top 100 korchithai

Twenty destinations in eleven Asia-Pacific countries made the Top 100:

  • Kingdom of Bhutan
  • Timor Leste – Atauro Island
  • Taiwan – Northeast and Yilan Coast & Chihalaahay Cultural Landscape Area
  • Philippines – Lake Holon, Lake Sebu, and Boho, Aloguinsan
  • Indonesia – Plataran L’Harmonie and Misool, Raja Ampat
  • Republic of Korea – Dongbaekdongsan and Suncheon Bay Wetland
  • China – Jiuzhaigoiu Scenic Area, Mt. Huangshan, Sanqingshan World Heritage Site, and Yi Xian
  • Thailand – Tung Dap Village
  • India – Parambikulam Tiger Reserve and Khangchendzonga National Park
  • Tajikistan – Pamir Mountains
  • Republic of Palau  

See the whole “Top 100 Sustainable Destinations” list here.


The Paradox of “Last Chance Tourism”

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A new study shows travelers are flocking to those destinations most ravaged by climate change.

Last Chance Tourism sierra-coralgarden-dkartistock-wb

A coral garden | Photo by Dkarti/iStock

Move over, bleisure travel, staycations, and voluntourism. Nowadays, climate change is dictating travel trends. Case in point? Experts have coined a new term for those quests to soak in the most threatened and rapidly diminishing corners of the globe: “last chance tourism,” or LCT. This refers to destinations such as Australia’s rapidly bleaching Great Barrier Reef, the melting ice sheets of Antarctica, and the alternately flood- and drought-threatened islands of Galapagos and the Maldives. Think of LCT as climate change tourism, vanishing-earth voyaging, or, if we’re being dramatic, doomsday travel. By Katie O’Reilly, Lifestyle Editor, Sierra Club. Read more.


Be a farmer for a day in Crete

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Traditional bread making at Agreco

Traditional bread making at Agreco

13 September 2015 – Shy, directionless squeezing is not the way to bountiful buckets of milk. That’s what occurs to me, high in the sweet and fertile heartland of Crete, as I try to get to grips with the ancient art of goat-milking. Retaining a purchase on the teat while avoiding being nipped or kicked demands a lot of concentration. Emily Payne Read more.