Green Travel Media Crew in #EcoCostaRica

Part of the Green Travel Media Crew in #EcoCostaRica

 

Keeping secrets is a funny thing: I’m very good at it, but I find it excruciating when there’s exciting news to share.

 

You can probably imagine the pain (oh, the PAIN!!!) of sitting on this announcement for the past 6 weeks or so, waiting for all the I’s to be dotted and T’s to be crossed so we could finalize the details of our agreement. I didn’t want to talk about it for fear of jinxing it, because this is by far our biggest business deal since Mary and I launched GGT four years ago.

 

So here it is:  Our company Green Travel Media LLC has been selected by eco-tour operators International Expeditions to be the editorial voice behind their 2015 rebranding efforts.

 

International Expeditions logo

 

This is a huge, multi-layered, year-long partnership involving over a dozen talented travel bloggers, 70+ travel stories (which will be used on their website and in their catalogue, newsletters, etc.), social media support, sponsorships and more. The partnership may eventually expand to include other elements, such as scouting and guiding tours.

 

It’s an exciting opportunity for all parties involved, but especially for us. International Expeditions was one of the founding members of The International Ecotourism Society, and has essentially had the same mission statement since they were founded in 1980: “The purpose of International Expeditions is to stimulate an interest in, develop an understanding of, and create an appreciation for the great natural and cultural wonders of our Earth.” The company was founded on the belief that those who feel a deep connection to an environment and its people are more compelled to preserve those wonders.

 

Mary Gabbett of Green Global Travel in the Peruvian Amazon

Mary With Her Fan Club in the Peruvian Village of Nueva York

 

We were initially approached by the company back in 2011, when we had less than 10,000 monthly page views, with an offer to take their river cruise in the Peruvian Amazon. We were blown away, not just by the destination’s amazing natural and cultural attractions, but also by IE’s clear commitment to the local communities.

 

We toured a school in Iquitos where they were educating kids about the principles of environmental conservation. We visited the village of Nueva York, where we saw IE’s investment in water treatment, infrastructure and schools, and spent time getting to know the local Ribereños (River people). And we were honored with a magical blessing ceremony from Maestro Don Juan, a traditional Amazonian shaman in the village of San Jose.

 

Shaman's Blessing Ceremony in the Peruvian Amazon with International Expeditions

IE Guide Johnny Balarezo Malatesta Gets a Shaman’s Blessing from Maestro Don Juan

 

This was one of the trips that helped launch GGT to its current success, and we’ve stayed in close contact with the IE team ever since, always looking for ways we could collaborate. We allowed them to use some of our Amazon video footage to pitch a reality TV show concept in 2013, and they came to us for some content marketing work earlier this year.

 

So we were delighted when they asked us to bid on the contract to oversee the content for their rebranding efforts. And we were honored that this influential company– which has been named among the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth by National Geographic ADVENTURE and one of the World’s Best Tour Operators & Safari Outfitters by Travel + Leisure– has invested their trust in us to convey their brand message of responsible ecotourism.

 

“Sometimes even dedicated travelers don’t understand the concept of nature travel and ecotourism,” says IE’s Media Relations Director, Emily Harley. “Although we’re in remote and exotic destinations, an International Expeditions journey isn’t an extreme adventure. As someone who wants to tell the long, rich story of International Expeditions, it was important to connect with people like Bret and Mary, who appreciate an in-depth experience in the wild… people who aren’t afraid to trade-off white linens and TV for conversations with a local and sampling fruit purchased while passing a village. Green Travel Media is very exciting to me because it enables me to connect with journalists who see the world through the same eyes as IE, and helps us expose a 35-year-old brand to a fresh group of people interested in exploring and protecting the natural world.”

 

Shopping From Ribereños in the Peruvian Amazon

Shopping From Ribereños in the Peruvian Amazon

 

It’s equally exciting for us, because it allows us to tell great stories about many of the places we’ve visited in a way that will hopefully inspire others to travel there with a responsible, sustainably-managed tour company. It’s also exciting because it will allow us to get paying freelance work for many of the bloggers whose work we respect the most. And, with any luck, it will hopefully lead to more opportunities like this in the future, giving environmentally conscious content creators a chance to earn a decent living without having to sell their souls.

 

Four years into building our dream business, Green Global Travel and Green Travel Media have a unique opportunity within both the ecotourism and travel blogging industries. We have a strong vision of a better way for professional travel bloggers and respected travel brands to do business together, and we’re extremely excited about the promise that our partnership with IE holds. If you’re not already a member of our Green Travel Media Facebook group, we’ll hope you’ll join for more details on opportunities to come!   –Bret Love; photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

 

If you enjoyed our announcement post, you might also like: 

PERUVIAN AMAZON: Piranha, Iguana, & Hotter than a Sauna

PERUVIAN AMAZON:  Parakeets, Punk-Rock Birds & Pimp Monkeys

PERUVIAN AMAZON:  3-Toed Sloth, Toucan Sam and the Elusive Pink Amazon River Dolphin

PERUVIAN AMAZON:  Up Close & Personal with one of the Amazon’s Most Endangered Species

PERUVIAN AMAZON: Shaman & Village Life

PERUVIAN AMAZON: Welcome to the Jungle

VIDEO: Amazon River Boat Party With Peruvian Music

VIDEO: Amazon River Cruise Highlights

PHOTO GALLERY: The Faces of Peru

Dr Martha Honey at TBEX Cancun 2014

INTERVIEW: Dr. Martha Honey on

Ecotourism, Dolphin Tours & Travel Bloggers

 

It might sound like hyperbole to say that Dr. Martha Honey wrote the book on Ecotourism, but it’s true. Ecotourism & Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? is literally the most authoritative tome on the topic, providing a comprehensive overview of the myriad complexities involved in responsible travel.

 

An award-winning investigative journalist with over 20 years in the field (Costa Rica and Tanzania), Dr. Honey has gone on to become one of the world’s most respected thought leaders on Ecotourism trends. She served as Executive Director of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) from 2003 to 2006, and co-founded both the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and its non-profit charitable program, Travelers’ Philanthropy.

 

It was an honor to be involved in landing Dr. Honey as the Opening Keynote Speaker for the TBEX Travel Blogging Conference in Cancun last week, and an even greater honor to be asked to interview her onstage for the Keynote session. But perhaps the greatest honor of all was the quality time Mary and I got spend with Martha and CREST’s Washington Program Associate, Samantha Hogenson, during our four days in Cancun.

 

In preparation for the conference, Dr. Honey and I conducted a telephone issue to discuss topics ranging from the evolution of Ecotourism  and why she feels it’s the best form of travel to the TBEX Dolphin Tour controversy and the role she sees travel bloggers playing in the future of responsible travel.

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Sunset at Piedra Escondida in Mexico's Riviera Maya

7 Awesome Cancun Ecotourism Attractions to See at TBEX

 

Tomorrow morning Mary & I leave for our appearance in the Opening Keynote Session at TBEX (a.k.a. Travel Bloggers Exchange), in Cancun, Mexico. It’ll be our first-ever travel blogging conference, but our third time visiting the Riviera Maya in the last five years.

 

I’ll admit to being both nervous and excited about it: Though I’ve attended major events such as SXSW and the Toronto Film Festival numerous times as a journalist, speaking on stage is a different story. Fortunately I’ll be getting to interview one of my personal heroes, Ecotourism pioneer Dr. Martha Honey, founder of the Center for Responsible Travel and Travelers Philanthropy, a non-profit founded to help travelers give back to community conservation and sustainable development projects.

 

None of this would’ve happened if it hadn’t been for the huge controversy over the Cancun CVB offering Swim With Dolphin Tours to visiting bloggers as part of the official TBEX Fam Tours. When the most popular blogger in the world, Nomadic Matt, suggested bloggers boycott TBEX unless they canceled the tour of the dolphinarium– which many of us eco-friendly folks think are cruel and inhumane- there was a standoff, with neither side seemingly willing to budge. Fortunately, having worked with the CVB Cancun before, we were able to work diplomatically to get the tours cancelled.

 

The irony that the all-inclusive hotel the conference is in and the location of the Opening Night Party both offer captive cetacean tours is not lost on Dr. Honey or I. But we’ve agreed that the Big Picture– getting to talk about the importance of responsible ecotourism, and of bloggers covering these types of issues in their work– allows us to educate and inform the key travel industry influence in a way that could help make a difference. I mean, just imagine if even half of the bloggers attending TBEX started writing about Sustainable Travel issues regularly?

 

So in that spirit of focusing on the positive and encouraging people to celebrate the beauty of nature and cultural conservation, we thought it’d be fun to share seven of our favorite Cancun ecotourism attractions. Check out the videos!

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Photos of J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel Island, Florida

PHOTO GALLERY: The Beauty of

J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

 

Without Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, Sanibel Island, Florida as we know and love it today might not even exist.

 

Born in 1876, Ding (a contraction of his last name, which he used to sign all his work) became one of the leading editorial cartoonists of the 20th century, working primarily with the New York Globe and New York Herald Tribune.

 

Darling used his work to criticize the role industrial commerce played in the pollution of America’s rivers, the role of hunting in the rise of endangered species, the scourge of deforestation, and the businessmen and politicians who seemed not to care about the long-term implications of their actions. He won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work, in 1924 and 1943.

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typing

Photo by Sebastian Anthony via Creative Commons

Why (and How) I Write:

A Blog Hop Post

 

A few weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a Blog Hop about one of my favorite subjects (Writing) by two of my favorite bloggers, Susan Portnoy and Jessie Voigts.

 

Susan Portnoy is a safari addict, world explorer and photographer who blogs as The Insatiable Traveler. She’s traveled to over 35 countries and looks forward to every new experience, especially those that involve authentic cultures, wild animals or remnants of ancient civilizations. She is a contributor to Yahoo Travel and her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Mashable, & more. When she’s not traveling, Susan is a veteran communications and PR consultant (most recently at Condé Nast). This fall she’ll oversee press for the return of Fashion Rocks and Movies Rock, two prime-time CBS specials that celebrate the relationship between fashion and music and movies and music respectively.

 

Jessie Voigts is a mom who loves sharing the world with her daughter. She has a PhD in International Education, and is constantly looking for ways to increase intercultural understanding, especially with kids. She has lived and worked in Japan and London, and traveled around the world. Jessie is the publisher of Wandering Educators, a travel library for people curious about the world, and Journey to Scotland, a resource for traveling to Scotland. She also founded the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program. She’s published six books about travel and intercultural learning, with more on the way. You can usually find her family by water, anywhere in the world.

 

Read on for my answers to four not-so-simple questions about Writing, and to find out which 3 blogger friends I’ve invited to join the Blog Hop… Continue reading

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Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Check out our other sites! Green Travel Media
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Proud members of: The International Ecotourism Society

As Seen In:

Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

 
• ANTARCTICA
How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
 
• ASIA
India- Ranthambhore National Park
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
 
• AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities

 

• NORTH AMERICA
CANADA
Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

UNITED STATES
America’s Best Volcanoes
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

MEXICO
Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba
 
• CARIBBEAN