UNESCO_Intangible_Cultural_Heritage_Traditions

12 Odd Intangible Cultural Heritage

Practices UNESCO Protects

 

If you were enraged when ISIS extremists bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq, or in 2001 when they dynamited the 6th-century Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, you were probably feeling equal doses of anger and helplessness. These were both physical marvels, and we watched them senselessly annihilated by ignorance and hatred.

 

But traditional customs and culture can die, too. That’s why UNESCO created an Intangible Cultural Heritage List, which covers cultural traditions in dire need of protection. This list contains plenty of the things you would expect– song, dance, festivals, crafts and arts. But it also contains many more unusual, protection-worthy practices which are on the brink of destruction.

 

The Intangible Cultural Heritage traditions covered below all caught my eye because I’m either personally familiar with them or they made me pause as I read through the list. They’re listed here in no particular order, other than whimsy:

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Madagascar_Animals_King_Julien_Ringtail_Lemurs

Madagascar Animals Photo Gallery

 

Visiting Madagascar had been a dream of ours for a very long time. We imagined lush rainforests teeming with wildlife. We imagined colorful birds, playful ring-tailed lemurs, chameleons ambling across tree branches and other Madagascar animals as far as the eye could see.

 

When we finally traveled to Madagascar last summer, we found the place amazing and terrible at the same time. Decades of uncontrolled logging led to a loss of nearly 50% of Madagascar’s rainforest between 1950 and 2000. With deforestation came a decrease in biodiversity, with several lemur and other Madagascar animal species (many unique to the country) now endangered or extinct.

 

Luckily, the Malagasy government created a great network of national parks, where poaching and illegal logging are strictly controlled and tourists are only allowed to visit with a guide. The Madagascar I saw in national parks was the one of my dreams, with lush nature and plenty of wildlife to see.

 

Baobab Tree in Madagascar

 

Viewing the wildlife of Madagascar is a completely different experience from safaris in the African savannah. You don’t travel on a vehicle, you walk, led by a skilled guide and pisteurs, a network of animal-spotters that tell the guides where animals are likely to be seen.

 

Madagascar animals are small, and therefore harder to spot. Lemurs are not much larger than a monkey, and some chameleons are no more than a couple of inches long. So spotting them in the wilderness is not at all easy.

 

Still, wildlife-viewing in Madagascar is a wonderful experience. You’ll see animals that cannot be seen anywhere else, as the island is home to more than 800 endemic species, from lemurs and the cat-like fossa (the baddie in the Madagascar movie) to dozens of chameleons and colorful birds.

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Bret_Love_Build_A_Better_Blogging_Brand_TBEX_Athens

Photo by Vera Wolters

Why I’m Running for President of the

Professional Travel Bloggers Association

 

Last year at this time, I was unexpectedly nominated to run for President-Elect of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.

 

Mary and I discussed the opportunity at great length, but I ultimately had to decline for a few reasons: 1) It was a 3-year time commitment; 2) We were in the process of launching our blogger-driven creative services agency, Green Travel Media; and 3) I wasn’t sure how closely our clearly-defined goals for the blogging industry aligned with those of the PTBA.

 

A year later things have changed for us dramatically, and I’ve decided to accept my nomination for President-Elect this time around. The main reason can be boiled down to this: My combination of Experience, Connections and Strategic Vision will not only benefit current members of the PTBA, but will improve the blogging industry on the whole and the relationship between travel bloggers and travel businesses.

 

This is my promise to you: During my three years with the PTBA, more new bloggers will join, more travel industry businesses will want to work with us, and more bloggers will make more money doing work they can be proud of. And I’ll explain why and how…

 

Bret Love Speaking on How to Build a Better Blogging Brand at TBEX Athens

Photo by Laurence Norah

EXPERIENCE

At age 46, I’m considerably older than the average travel blogger. I believe the wisdom that comes from extensive professional experience is CRUCIAL to leading and building a new organization like the PTBA.

 

I’ve been managing businesses since I was 18 years old. I majored in Music Business, so half of my course load was in Business, learning everything from sales and marketing to management and accounting. That foundation of education helped me develop the strategies that wound up making Green Global Travel successful. And I’ll continue to use that knowledge to develop outside-the-box strategies that can benefit the blogging industry on the whole.

 

I became a professional writer while still in college, and I’ve supported my family as a full-time writer for 20+ years now. Working my way up to Managing Editor at my first job, I built up a 15-city network of publications, managing dozens of writers and working with PR people from the entertainment, sports, travel and hospitality fields. I know the ins and outs of the media world as well as anyone, and I’ve shown through my work with GGT how that knowledge can be of benefit in the blogging world.

 

As a blogger, I’ve been devoted to freely sharing information that can build up our industry from day one. After seeing how certain bloggers treated newbies looking for help, we launched the Business of Blogging Facebook group as an educational resource in 2012, when GGT started to take off. We immediately established a database of helpful blogging-related articles there that anyone can access, and we’re constantly adding to it. Through our internship program, we’ve mentored dozens of bloggers on everything from writing and social media marketing to branding and business strategy.

 

Lastly, through Green Travel Media we’ve provided paying work to nearly two dozen bloggers in the first six months, with plans for further expansion of our team of talent this year. Collectively, these nearly 30 years of management, media, blogging, teaching and mentoring experience give me all of the qualifications we need in a PTBA leader. I’ve been leading teams all my adult life. 

 

Green Global Travel's Travel Industry PR Survey

A few of the nearly 200 companies that answered our survey

 

CONNECTIONS

Last year, in anticipation of our “How To Build a Better Blogging Brand” talk at TBEX, we surveyed every PR and Marketing person we knew in the travel industry, including many major DMOs, tour operators, PR agencies, hotel chains and more. We sent the survey out to nearly 2000 industry professionals in our database, and got over 200 lengthy responses.

 

We asked them each 15 questions related to how they’ve worked with bloggers, how they’ll work with bloggers in the future, what they look for in the bloggers they work with, the challenges they’ve faced in the process, and how we, as bloggers, can improve our craft. What we learned is that, while blogger/brand relations have come a long way, there are still a LOT of negative perceptions about bloggers, a lot of unprofessional blogger behavior, and many agencies who don’t work with bloggers much as a result.

 

What I believe the PTBA needs are leaders who are connected with and respected by the travel industry, in order to bridge the gap that divides bloggers from PR/marketing professionals. We need someone who has extensive contacts in the traditional media world, who can be an outspoken advocate for working with bloggers and exemplify the type of professional blogger they’ll want to work with. And we need someone who can reach out to companies who might never have worked with bloggers before and help them understand why and, more importantly, how they should do that.

 

That’s precisely what I’ll be doing during my speaking gigs at Canada Media Marketplace and the New York Travel Festival this month. It’s precisely what I’ll keep doing, whether I’m elected to the PTBA or not. And if you look at GGT’s track record over the past 3 years– during which we’ve worked with dozens of companies who had never worked with bloggers before– it’s what we’ve been doing all along.

 

Bret Love of Green Global Travel at TBEX Athens

Photo by Vera Walters

 

MY STRATEGIC VISION FOR THE PTBA

Below are my primary goals if I’m elected as President-Elect of the PTBA:

 

• Work with Laurence Norah and Craig Martin to understand the challenges the PTBA is currently facing, and develop a strategic plan to overcome them.

Improve communications, both among PTBA board members and with PTBA members, via a monthly newsletter.

• Engage in dialogue with current, past and future PTBA members on how we can make the organization more beneficial to its members.

• Establish a comprehensive resource of educational materials for bloggers to develop their craft, and push for more education for up & coming bloggers who might one day qualify to join.

Double the PTBA’s blogger membership.

Strengthen relationships with major travel industry organizations such as Destination Marketing Association International, the Adventure Travel Trade Association, The International Ecotourism Society, the Society of American Travel Writers, etc. for the strategic benefit of the PTBA.

Improve communications with PR/marketing companies in the travel sphere (many of whom have no idea the PTBA even exists) and help transform how they think of bloggers.

Quadruple the PTBA’s industry membership.

Improve transparency in the PTBA’s finances so that members understand how fees are being used, and why.

Encourage growth and innovation of the PTBA by leading periodic brainstorming sessions amongst board members.

 

I believe we are at a critical juncture in the evolution of blogging, and I believe that my experience, connections and vision make me the perfect candidate for leading the PTBA forward. Our big picture goal is the same as it has always been– to strengthen and improve the blogging industry on the whole, and to create a future in which more professional travel bloggers can make a respectable living doing respectable work for respectable companies.

 

Nobody will work harder to make this dream a reality than Mary and I. We hope we can count on your vote, and are happy to answer any questions you may have in the comments! Thank you for your time and attention.  –Bret Love

 

The Mobile Skyline at Sunset on Mobile Bay

The Mobile Skyline at Sunset on Mobile Bay

Fishing Mobile Bay

& the Mobile-Tensaw Delta

 

Carnival in Mobile, Alabama is over. In this coastal city, where the first American Mardi Gras was allegedly observed in 1703, all the parades and pageantry are done for the year; all the beads have been swept from the streets; all the Kings’ and Queens’ coronation costumes have been put away into storage.

 

But just 45 minutes south of the city, on picturesque Dauphin Island, the Mobile Jaycees are already hard at work planning one of the area’s other major events, the annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. Founded in 1929, the ADSFR has earned the Guinness Book of World Records title as the world’s largest fishing tournament, attracting thousands of fishermen to the area every summer for over 80 years now.

 

For the men who make up the Mobile Jaycees– working class guys who make a living as landscapers, plumbers and police officers– the Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is every bit as important as Mardi Gras, carrying on a rich maritime tradition that dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years.

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Staring at the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia

Staring at the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia

GO GREEN TIP #109: 8 Reasons 

Why Slow Travel is Better

 

I’ve been traveling slowly for the last ten years, so clearly I’m partial to it. But I also believe I’m an astute observer of why it works well. So, at the risk of provoking controversy, I’ll just come right out and say it: I think Slow Travel is the way everyone should see the world.

 

It’s admittedly easier to say this being the homeless drifter that I am, with no mortgage to speak of, no kids to support and nary a “real job” to contend with. But regardless of these financial ties or career commitments, I believe slow travel is generally the best way to go. And I’m here today to give you eight reasons why.

 

Before we start, perhaps a brief discussion of what Slow Travel means is in order? It means not trying to stuff a million activities into an itinerary (or not even having an itinerary). It means not constantly moving from place to place, whether that be sights within a city, cities within a country, or countries within a continent. It also means literally transporting yourself from one destination to the next with no regard for the amount of time it takes.

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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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Destinations We’ve Covered:

• AFRICA
Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Madagascar- Ring-tailed Lemurs at Anja Reserve
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
Borneo- Sabah Ecotourism Attractions
India- Ranthambhore National Park
India- Tibetan Culture In Ladakh
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
Australia-Maria 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
AL- Fishing Mobile Bay
AL- Mobile Carnival Museum
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
FL- Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
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- Lafayette Cajun Food Tour
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
LA- Voodoo Museum
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Asheville's Top Ecotourism Attractions
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
TX- Sea Turtle Rescue, South Padre Island
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