The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) provides global knowledge and advocacy uniting communities, conservation and sustainable travel. Professional and organizational members hail from 135 countries, and individual travelers may join free. Next month, ecotourism pros will talk shop while visiting Ecuador.
The Society holds its international conference, the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC), in Quito, Ecuador from April 27th to 30th 2015 with a record turnout of members and registered participants. ESTC conferences have always been held in outstanding ecodestinations around the world, including Oslo, Bar Harbour, Vancouver, Nairobi, Monterey, and Bonito and this year Ecuador is no exception.
TIES Chair, Dr. Kelly Bricker says Ecuador was chosen because [it] “epitomizes ecotourism and sustainable tourism — every destination in the country has a terrific story to tell…from the work within national parks, to the engagement of local communities, there are numerous champions of sustainability at its best.”
Of special note, this year’s ESTC will also feature Ecuador’s Minister of Tourism, Sandra Naranjo. ESTC is very excited to feature Ms. Naranjo, the first sitting Minister of Tourism to deliver a keynote address at a TIES conference. Her vision is to utilize tourism as an economic instrument to achieve sustainable development, something ESTC delegates will hear more about during the conference.
Founded in 1990, TIES is the largest and oldest ecotourism society in the world, with over 14,000 members. Since 2005, TIES has hosted the ESTC, offering international tourism professionals, conservation groups, academicians, and government the opportunity to network and share best practices in a supportive setting, while experiencing the ecotourism and sustainable tourism initiatives of the host destination.
Building on previous conferences, ESTC15 in Quito is expected to expand up to 500 attendees, having grown significantly every year since 2011. The benefits have increased as well, as this year there will be numerous low-cost field sessions, sponsored tours, and workshops.
Oliver Hillel, Program Officer at Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity, commented, “The ESTC provides global players with the best venue to discuss joint proposals and projects, and network with the best practitioners all over the world. The width of the issues discussed, the diversity of skills and experiences of participants, and the innovative solutions shared make it a reference and a watering hole for professionals trying to make a difference in the competitive and growing fields of ecotourism and sustainable tourism.”
Focusing on ecotourism’s role in sustainable development, the ESTC aims to strengthen the tourism industry’s commitment on global positive impact. The conference program will highlight ideas for conserving natural areas, alleviating poverty, empowering women, enhancing education, and improving the well-being of local communities.
TIES is committed to promoting responsible tourism practices that benefit conservation and communities. Our global network spans over 135 countries, with members who are leading the vital efforts to make travel and tourism more sustainable.