The Prospect of Ecotourism Business
in Asia Pacific ~
TIES’ Perspective on Responsible
Tourism and Business Opportunities
Ayako Ezaki, Asia Pacific Coordinator
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)
What is TIES?
Trends in Ecotourism
1) Strong Consumer demand
2) Travelers’ Philanthropy
3) Setting Standards: Certification
Founded in 1990.
Largest and oldest ecotourism organization in the world.
Offices: Washington, DC; Costa Rica; Australia
Umbrella for 3 dozen national ecotourism associations.
Mission: Unite Conservation, Communities and Sustainable Tourism
TIES’ Presence in Asia Pacific
Ecotourism Measuring Its Importance
1990s: fastest growing sector of tourism industry ~ 20–34%/year
2002: International Year of Ecotourism
Some 3 dozen ecotourism societies around the world
Efforts to promote ecotourism on national level – e.g. National
ecotourism conferences in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam
Trends in Ecotourism
(1) Strong Consumer Demand
Consumer Demand for Ecotourism
- 3/4 say their travel should not damage environment.
- Majority say they want to learn about customs, geography, and
- At least 1/3 say they are willing to pay more to companies that
benefit local communities and conservation.
(2) Travelers’ Philanthropy
What is Travelers’ Philanthropy?
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR) within the tourism industry
- New source of development aid to host communities
- “Time, Talent & Treasure”
Why are Companies Involved?
Vanguard are ecotourism companies with strong social & environmental
“Insurance policy” ~ easier to network and do business in host
Increases staff pride and commitment
(3) Setting Standards ~ Certification
Purpose of Green Certification Programs
Provide tourists with environmentally and socially responsible
Raise business performance
Protect resource base for tourism
Protect country’s image/reputation
Provide marketing advantage to certified companies and operators
Prospects for Ecotourism Bright
Consumer demand strong
Recognized as sound model for development
New movement towards corporate social responsibility
Growth of ‘green’ certification
Ayako Ezaki Asia Pacific Coordinator, TIES