Meeting set for Monday to discuss Kaua’i ecotourism

The specialty industry within the tourism industry has its own professional standards of conduct, and state, national and international organizations.

But to learn more about ecotourism, or a type of a visitor-centered industry that also focuses on the ecology of Kaua’i and has as one of its goals creation of a more sustainable travel and tourism industry in Hawai’i and on Kaua’i, you may want to check out a free meeting on the subject.

Kaua’i members of the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association are hosting a meeting tomorrow, Monday, Sept. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the Aloha Kauai Beach Resort (formerly Kauai Resort and the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort-Kauai) in Wailua.

The guest speaker is Wendy Bauckham, who will share her experiences and information gathered during her attendance of the 2002 World Ecotourism Summit held in Quebec City, Canada, in May.

The meeting is also to generate interest and membership in the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association. Dale Rosenfeld, 822-4688, or Dale@Kauaihorses.com, of Esprit De Corps Riding Academy of Kapa’a, is a statewide association board member, and contact for more information, or to RSVP for the event.

The Hawai’i Ecotourism Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Members represent a diverse range of special-interest groups and individuals involved in promoting ecotourism in Hawai’i.

The HEA is committed to diversifying Hawai’i’s visitor industry through advocacy of ecotourism, or more sustainable forms of tourism. Educating decision-makers and the public to the benefits of ecotourism are the key methods used, Rosenfeld explained.

The primary goal of the HEA is to contribute to the effective stewardship of Hawai’i’s unique natural and cultural diversity through ecologically sustainable nature- and culture-based tourism.

Benefits of membership include: Opportunities to network with and market services to HEA members and others interested in eco-tourism; opportunities to network with economic development and environmental stewardship governmental agencies; access to information on visitor preferences; special rates on Internet-based services, including e-mail accounts and Web page design; enhanced marketing exposure on the HEA Web site (planet-hawaii.com/hea); inclusion in the HEA membership directory; permission to use the HEA member logo and decal; participation in group insurance programs tailored to ecotourism operators; educational and professional development opportunities via lectures, workshops and special events; eligibility for HEA awards; subscriptions to the Hawai’i Ecotraveller Report member newsletter; and access to “E Malama,” the manual on ecotourism, including professional standards of conduct.

Several Kaua’i businesses and individuals are HEA members. Rosenfeld and Steve Cole, owner of A Na Pali Eco Adventures in Hanalei and Port Allen, are HEA board members.

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