Costa Rica Ecotourism & Greenway Nature Tours
. That's how we'd like the world to be. As an environmental leader, Greenway Nature Tours does more than meet industry standards—we seek to raise them. With an unwavering commitment to environmental protection, Greenway Nature Tours
strives to promote environmentally and educational tours.
Greenway Nature Tours is a leader company in nature travel, taking our guests on environmentally responsible expeditions to some of the Costa Rica's most remarkable places. Our goal is to enhance our guests' interest, understanding and appreciation for the natural and cultural wonders of this country.
We are an ECOTOURISM
& ADVENTURE TOURS
company committed to sustainability thought close attention to environment & community impacts.
Our Costa Rica Tours
and Costa Rica Vacation Packages
involve a lot of nature contemplation, education, study field trips, personalized service and high standards of quality for all to our customers.
Generally speaking, ecotourism focuses on local cultures, wilderness adventures, volunteering, personal growth and learning new ways to live on the planet. It is typically defined as travel to destinations where the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, initiatives by hospitality providers to promote recycling, energy efficiency, water re-use, and the creation of economic opportunities for local communities are an integral part of ecotourism.
Many global environmental organizations and aid agencies favour ecotourism as a vehicle to sustainable development. Ideally, true ecotourism should satisfy several criteria, such as conservation (and justification for conservation) of biological diversity and cultural diversity, through ecosystems protection, promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to local populations sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous people by having their informed consent and participation in the management of ecotourism enterprises. Ç
For many countries, ecotourism is not so much seen as a marginal activity intended to finance protection of the environment than as a major sector of national economy and as a means of attracting tourists. For example, in countries such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nepal, Kenya, Madagascar and Antarctica, ecotourism represents a significant portion of the gross domestic product (or in Antarctica's case, economic activity). The concept of ecotourism is widely misunderstood and, in practice, is often simply used as a marketing tool to promote tourism that is related to nature. Critics claim that ecotourism as practiced and abused often consists of placing a hotel in a splendid landscape, to the detriment of the ecosystem. According to them, ecotourism must above all sensitize people with the beauty and the fragility of nature.
They condemn some operators as "Green-washing " their operations — that is, using the label of "ecotourism" and "green-friendly", while behaving in environmentally irresponsible ways. Although academics argue about who can be classified as an ecotourist, and there is precious little statistical data, some estimate that more than five million ecotourists — the majority of the worldwide population — come from the United States, with other ecotourists coming from Europe, Canada and Australia.
What is Sustainable Tourism?
Sustainable tourism is not just limited to areas of ecological significance, but actively aims to reduce negative impacts in a holistic way, in urban, rural, and wilderness areas. Issues confronted include economic viability, socio-cultural sensitivity, and environmental sustainability, at destinations of natural and cultural significance, in both mass tourism and the various niche tourism segments. Sustainable tourism not only examines and responds to the needs of the present, but how current actions will also reduce negative impacts in the long term.
What is Ecotourism?
Ecotourism is a type of sustainable tourism that emphasizes conserving nature and improving the lives of local people in rural and wilderness areas. When we visit beautiful places it's natural to want our holidays to have a positive impact on local people and their environments. Responsible travel is about more authentic holiday experiences that enable you to get a little bit more out of your travels, and give a little bit more back to destinations and local people. All holidays have positive and negative impacts locally. Responsible travel maximises the benefits, and minimises the negative effects of tourism.
Be a Savvy Traveler!
Each Costa Rica Vacation Package
you take is an opportunity to have a positive impact on the places you visit. Anyone can be a responsible traveler! You can get back to nature, or bathe in luxury...hike into the rainforest, or explore the city...stay close to home, or travel to the exotic location of your dreams. Responsible travel provides many options, and is often very affordable.
By using socially and environmentally responsible tour operators, hotels and outfitters, you can ensure that your trip contributes to conservation efforts and to the well being of communities.
Your travel choices make a difference. On this way, Greenway Nature Tours has a selected a group of special suppliers that have an environmental commitment as well. At least 50% of our lodging contractors had been certified as Green Companies by the Costa Rican Tourist Board (Certification in Sustainable Tourism CST). CST is regulated by the Costa Rican National Accreditation Commission and consists of a scale of 5 "levels" of sustainable tourism achievement.
At this time (Aug 2008), Greenway Tours had presented all the documents for get its certification and we hope by June 2009 to have it. In the mean time, we are already working and implementing our own environmental and community support programs.
OUR COMMUNITY PROGRAMS & TRAVELER'S PHILANTHROPY
There are a growing number of conscientious consumers and responsible travel companies who are donating financial resources, time, talent and economic patronage to protect and positively impact the cultures and environments they visit. This voluntary movement is becoming known as Travelers' Philanthropy. Travelers' or travel philanthropy, as it's also commonly known, is helping to support community development, biodiversity conservation, and other environmental, socio-cultural and economic improvements including providing jobs, educational and professional training opportunities, health care and environmental stewardship.
Why Travel Philanthropy?
* Government budgets and international aid is decreasing in some developed and many undeveloped countries, increasing the level of need.
* Protecting the environmental and socio-cultural needs of host countries strengthens relationships and improves business.
* Almost 90% of the U.S. population state that it is important for companies to not just be profitable, but to be mindful of their impact on the environment and society (Source: Corporate Social Responsibility: Consumer Understanding and Influence, Natural Marketing Institute, 2005)
* Industry leaders who have strong environmental and social values and ethics are pioneering the movement.
* Growing movement toward corporate responsibility as it improves market differentiation and increases consumer demand.
Attributes of Travel Philanthropy
Though many Travel Philanthropy programs are unrelated, most have similar attributes. Most Travel Philanthropy programs have a focus on educating travellers about local environmental, socio-cultural and economic issues. They also encourage a constructive interaction between travellers, travel companies and the communities and local people who are being visited. By taking this approach, these programs help to inspire visitors to donate financial resources or time where it's most needed. Successful projects also determine the needs of local and indigenous people while empowering them to help manage funding resources for community development and conservation initiatives.
Often, this means establishing partnerships between travellers and the tourism industry as well as non-governmental organizations and governmental agencies, complimenting their international development and aid programs.
The Importance of Travel Philanthropy
More than 500 million people travel for leisure each year and there is an increasing demand for travel as remote corners of the world become increasingly accessible.
Among the most severe environmental effects of travel are pollution, intensified or unsustainable use of land, the depletion of natural resources, and alteration of ecosystems. Host communities can also be adversely affected. Loss of indigenous identity and values, resource use conflicts, cultural deterioration, and land-use disputes are among the many challenges host communities face. Travel and tourism clearly contribute to globalization. However, if estimates are accurate, charitable giving by Americans alone could exceed $300 billion annually by 2020, providing a real opportunity to reduce the economic inequalities that exist in the world today.
Based on these principles, Greenway Nature Tours has identified several programs that will need your support. Our company will focus on basically two kinds of programs:
Rainforest & Biodiversity Protection
Community Support & Education