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As the week wrapped up, it was time to gather some thoughts from the participants.  These students had come from all different tourism related fields;  we had private sector tour operators-both large and small, certification specialists, donor representatives, national parks policy writers, grad students, continuing education students, NGO representatives, students just starting to get their feet wet in sustainable development and others who had been on the ground for decades.

It’s been so valuable to hear the perspectives from the different sectors represented in this course.

It’s made me realize that sustainable tourism can be a cornerstone in the development world, instead of an add-on.

-Rani, student & certification guest speaker

After hearing from the students throughout the week, these insightful comments from Rani and Alison, seem to best sum up the overall feeling expressed throughout the week.

The wide range of experience and expertise in this room, the intimate class size, the non-stop interaction, and just this room full of passionate people is very inspiring!

I’ve been re-energized and have gained so much more knowledge.

Thank you to Megan and the EWI team!!!

-Alison, student

Hear what the students have to say!

What the participants thought about the UVM Ecotourism Course July 2010 Click for a direct link to the YouTube video post!

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July 9, 2010

Peter Shumlin Speaks at Event at UVM on Tourism, Agriculture and Local Economies

Burlington, Vermont Gubernatorial candidate and Senate Pro-tem leader  Peter Shumlin will join a discussion at UVM at 5PM in the Billings Building, Marsh Lounge on how sustainable tourism can better benefit local economies.  He will be joined at the podium by internationally renowned corporate CEO, Bruce Poon Tip of Gap Adventures in Toronto, Canada.  Together they will officially launch the new short course, Global Sustainable Ecotourism to be held July 12-16 at UVM as part of the Continuing Education Program.  The session is open to the public.

David Kestenbaum of the UVM Extension Tourism Data Center will facilitate and Meghan Sheradin Executive Director of Vermont Fresh Network will co-host.

Shumlin will discuss his work with his family firm, Putney Student Travel, and the positive economic impacts he has seen from sustainable tourism, both in Vermont and around the world.

Bruce Poon Tip, who launched his innovative firm 20 years ago this year, will discuss how incorporating sustainability into all corporate operations has helped to make Gap Adventures the largest independent adventure travel firm in the world.

Meghan Sheradin, Executive Director of Vermont Fresh Network will provide data on how the tourism and hospitality industry is a primary driver for Vermont’s local food economy

David Kestenbaum will then facilitate questions from the audience.  This will be an hour session and light refreshments will be provided.

This event is being coordinated by Megan Epler Wood, of EplerWood International, a firm based in Burlington, Vermont specializing in the sustainable development of tourism worldwide.  Epler Wood is the lead instructor for the UVM course on Global Sustainable Ecotourism and has 20 years of experience leveraging the positive benefits of sustainable tourism for local economies worldwide.

For more information contact:

EplerWood International, 802-865-3351

369 S. Union St., Burlington, VT  05401

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Sustainable Ecotourism

Lead Instructor: Megan Epler Wood, Lead Lecturer and owner, EplerWood International2

Global Sustainable Ecotourism Development: Achieving Economic Growth, Alleviation of Poverty, and Environmental ConservationA Five-Day, Intensive Summer Program for Professional Development or College Credit

Dates: July 12-16, 2010
Time: 8:00AM – 5:30PM and 6:00PM -8:00PM Monday, July 12, 2010
Location: UVM campus
Registration: Five day intensive either taken as a professional certificate program;
or three college credits.(View enrollment options3.)
Fees: Depend on the enrollment option you select. (View enrollment options3.)
Schedule: Daily program schedule for the week4

imageProgram Description:
In the past 20 years, ecotourism has emerged as one of the most dynamic and discussed tools for sustainable development. In the last 10 years, the field has been much enriched by a broad array of disciplines, particularly economic development and social/pro-poor development techniques. Ecotourism is now broadly and appropriately applied as a rural economic and sustainable development tool. Its successful application is based on a set of methodologies that all students and development practitioners require to be successful.

This course will look at the big picture of tourism development impacts and approaches to deliver low impact development. It will teach a holistic approach to planning and tourism development that reviews governments’ and international donors’ role in rural land development, stressing bioregional planning as a key tool for governments and their donors to move rural areas into a more thorough process for sustainable regional development.

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