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Reimagining North America Ecotourism Conference (2000)

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In order to facilitate networking of professionals working to improve ecotourism in North America, Planeta.com hosted the Reimagining North America Ecotourism Conference which took place online in May 2000.

The May 8-19 conference brought together more than 130 participants, representing Canada, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, and the United States. This event resumed as part of our hemispheric dialogue Reimagining Ecotourism in the Americas.

This was Planeta’s first formal e-conference (see forthcoming index).

Looking back at the dialogue, some of the facilitators committed themselves more than others, some of the participants were more eager to share first-hand experiences. In later dialogues we would expand the time frame, provide more preparatory materials, including resource guides and tutorials. We also shifted the conversation from Yahoo Groups to the Planeta Forum.

Objective
The goal of the conference was to develop networks among professionals.

Facilitators
Community Involvement and Ecotourism
Facilitator: Derek Parent
groups.yahoo.com/group/na_ecotourism_community

Definitions and Applications
Facilitator: Hector Ceballos Lascurain
groups.yahoo.com/group/na_ecotourism_definitions

Financing Ecotourism
Facilitator: John Shores
groups.yahoo.com/group/na_ecotourism_financing

Ecotourism Training and Education
Facilitator: Scott Walker
groups.yahoo.com/group/na_ecotourism_education

Ecotourism Regulation/Monitoring
Facilitator: Mark Spalding
groups.yahoo.com/group/na_ecotourism_regulation

Infrastructure and Appropriate Technologies for Ecotourism
Facilitator: Ron Mader
groups.yahoo.com/group/na_ecotourism_infrastructure

Linking Ecotourism Projects in North America
Facilitator: Ellen Scott
groups.yahoo.com/group/na_ecotourism_links

Marketing North American Ecotourism
Facilitator: Mark Leger
groups.yahoo.com/group/na_ecotourism_promotion

Questions

  • What are some of the best examples of ecotourism in North America?
  • What financing is available to develop ecotourism projects?
  • What are the best marketing strategies and promotion for ecotourism projects and services?
  • What education or training is available for ecotourism providers and guides?
  • How do local communities incorporate ecotourism?
  • What is the role of government in developing ecotourism?
  • What is the role of international institutions — conservation and tourism groups — in developing ecotourism?
  • What are successful strategies for cross-border (regional or international) initiatives?
  • How can travelers support authentic ecotourism programs?

Methodology
As a framework, we used a variation on Open Space Technology (OST) which empowered participants to ask their own questions and share thoughts and experiences with others.

Preparation
Consult the guide – Please review the forum guidelines.

Budget Time – We ask active participants to sufficient time to prepare messages and to read other posts. An hour a week is required of active participants.

Prepare Messages – We suggest a word limit of 250 words or two or three short paragraphs. Instead of posting a long message, offer to email the document or better yet, place it on another website and include the URL in your post.

Introduce Yourself – Your first post should introduce your background and interest in tourism and migration. Let us know where in the world you work. Introduce a few of the talking points you’d like to address in the coming weeks. If your work is documented online, include the URL.

A few words about spelling – If you have software for spell checking, please use this technology and then copy and paste.

Extra Credit – Please read Conferences in the Virtual and Natural Worlds. This will give you an idea how we have conducted online dialogues in the past. That said, each event has it share of wonderful surprises.

Flickr Group
flickr.com/groups/northamericanecotourism

Planeta

Participants of North American Ecotourism Conference (2000)

North America

Exploring Ecotourism

Open Space Technology

Engaging Events: Connecting the Virtual and Natural Worlds

How is your conference green?


Conference Index

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