Ecotourism Planning, Product Development and Marketing

Seven workshops were held for participants from the 11 Commonwealth Caribbean Nations. More than 350 delegates attended including national tourism directors, general managers of major Caribbean Hotel Chains (Club Med., Marriott, Radisson, etc.) secondary and post secondary educators. One session was devoted to a 12-day train-the-trainer program.

In 1998, the series was given the prestigious Green Globe Achievement Award, at ITB-Berlin and in 1999 the series was selected as one of the "Best Practices" by the World Travel and Tourism Human Resource Council.

Following the preparation of the Elizabeth Harbour Marine Resource Management Strategy, a 5-day community based ecotourism workshop was designed and developed for existing and future operators, College of the Bahamas educators, resort owners, University of Florida researchers, environmentalists and residents. The focus was on the planning, development and marketing of ecotourism products identified in the Marine Resource Management Strategy.

ecoplan:net ltd. was commissioned to work with the trainees from the 1994 12-day Ecotourism Train-the-Trainer program to provide an introductory session on sustainable tourism and an advanced ecotourism training program. The course was given to many of the previous students as well as those that had taken the training program offered by the Brazilian trainers and who now have established businesses.

James facilitated an intensive 3-day training session for 50 interpretive officers from across Canada and northern US who were attending the annual Interpretation Canada Conference. Special emphasis was placed on the educational values of ecotourism and the role of interpretive services.

ecoplan:net ltd. conducted a 5-day workshop in Nova Scotia for 130 participants from Atlantic Canada. Emphasis was placed on the relationship between ecotourism product development and the green management of tour operations and facilities. There was a special focus on Marine based ecotourism and resort / ecolodge development.

James designed and directed Madagascar's first 6-day ecotourism symposium and case study analysis. The 100 delegates including several senior government ministers used Ranamafana National Park as an example for ecotourism product development and marketing.

James provided a 1-day workshop on the role of ecotourism and adventure travel on the Labrador economy. Social, economic and environmental impacts were assessed.

For 2 consecutive years, the State of Oregon invited James to conduct ecotourism planning workshops, based on an abbreviated format of the Ecotourism Strategic Planning Workbook.

ecoplan:net ltd. facilitated the first provincial ecotourism workshop which resulted in the identification of new product as well as the preparation of the first provincial level ecotourism definition in Canada.

ecoplan:net ltd. worked in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Biodiversity Management to conduct several workshops on the role of ecotourism in the protection of biodiversity resources in Costa Rica. Emphasis was placed on developing products that provided environmental education and contributed to minimizing the impact of tourism on Costa Rica's resources.

James conducted workshops on ecotourism planning for remote and northern regions with a particular emphasis on aboriginal tourism opportunities.

The 1992 National Philippine Tourism Congress focused on the ecoplan:net ltd. Ecotourism Strategic Planning Workshop which was facilitated by James and Leslie Jarvie. More than 175 people attended the program. A parallel workshop on 'Green Management for the Travel Industry' was facilitated by Robert Boyle.

James was commissioned in 1989 to design and deliver Canadas' first ecotourism training program which attracted participants from across Canada, the US and South/Central America. During the 5 years the program grew from a 2-day session, given once a year to a 5-day program offered twice annually. More than 300 participants attended the series and many developed their own tourism businesses as a result of the training process.

ecoplan:net delivered a weekend workshop on ecotourism development as a component to the Saskatchewan Ecotourism Development Strategy. The workshop emphasized the values of market analysis and the use research to develop ecotourism product. Participants represented numerous sectors including hoteliers and sport fishing and hunting outfitters.