Exploring Local Travel – An Online Interview with Ethan Gelber

  • WHL Group
  • 27 August 2010

What does travelling locally and responsibly mean to you? On Friday 20 August, the WHL Group’s media and communications manager chatted about this and other issues related to Local Travel with Ron Mader of Planeta.com, a global journal of practical ecotourism and an active Local Travel Movement partner.

As one of the initiators of the Local Travel Movement, Gelber shared his thoughts about it and how it helps rally anyone interested in fostering the idea of ‘local travel’ as a means of helping travellers engage with the planet in a more meaningful way – one that enhances their travel experiences and provides substantial benefits to the locals welcoming travellers to their destinations.

The WHL Group, the world’s largest local-travel company, incorporates these ideas into its business model: the network helps travelers escape the constraints mainstream tourism by connecting them with responsible local travel experts.

“We want to encourage people to be more mindful of, for example, people local to destinations in which they travel, to the environment local to destinations in which they travel, to the culture that gives so much meaning to the destinations they travel to and of course to the economies in which they travel and where they spend their money,” Gelber explains. Here is the full interview:

This online get-together was in anticipation of two real-world workshops scheduled in conjunction with The International Ecotourism Society’s (TIES) upcoming Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC).

A “Global Perspective Workshop” on Biodiversity and Our Lives is slated for Wednesday, September 8th, 2010, from 12:30-2:00pm at Hilton Portland (Galleria South). The event will celebrate the roles of biodiversity in our lives during 2010, a year which the United Nations has dubbed the International Year of Biodiversity. The free workshop is open to the public and will highlight important initiatives of wildlife conservation and environmental education.

A separate one-day ‘Biodiversity Workshop’ highlighting New Information and Web-based Technologies takes place September 11 from 9am-5pm at the Hilton Portland, Cabinet Suite. Facilitated by Ron Mader, the workshop will help participants gain hands-on experience in using Web 2.0 channels for immediate and inexpensive communication for small- and medium-sized operators in the markets of ecotourism, indigenous tourism, responsible tourism and the growing Local Travel Movement.

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WHL Group

WHL Group is the largest local-travel company in the world, a global network of companies that help travellers find unique ways to experience a destination through local tourism professionals. WHL Group companies empower local partners who have practice in experiential and mindful travel and a local's knack for identifying, explaining and sustaining the distinctive qualities of a place. Visit the WHL Group website.
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