San José, Costa Rica – The entire Advisory Committee of the TIES program of the International Tourism Collective (ITC) has resigned from the ITC and is calling for global participation from members within the international ecotourism and sustainable tourism community to join in a transition to a new, positive, transparent and accountable global association to support the growth of authentic ecotourism and sustainable tourism around the world. This new organization is called the Global Ecotourism Network.
Chairing the transition team is Glenn Jampol. Jampol is based in Costa Rica and has participated as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and then the Advisory Committee of the ITC’s TIES program for over 11 years. During much of that time he was also the president of Costa Rica’s widely recognized National Association of Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism (CANAECO).
“As an Advisory Committee, we had worked diligently and tirelessly, and in some cases we invested our own money to support the advances and survival of The International Ecotourism Society and subsequently, the ITC’s TIES program. We reinforced the initial vision and fundamental work of the founding members and more recently of the chair, Dr. Kelly Bricker. We are honored to have participated in the growth and past success of this important global organization that began in 1990.
However, in recent years we have had concern regarding access to important ITC held information. Despite numerous requests over the years by the ITC’s TIES Advisory Committee for information about the organization’s status (complete financials, accounting, operations, etc.), the ITC has been unwilling to share what we consider essential information we had a right to see as members of the organization. In 2014, the ITC removed, without notice or explanation, the TIES program Advisory Committee’s involvement and participation in ITC’s programs, by among other things, removing each of the below identified members from the ITC/TIES website. As a result, the entire Advisory Committee of the ITC’s TIES program decided unanimously that resignation from the ITC was the appropriate response to our current situation, consistent with our belief about the ethical and fiduciary responsibilities that we bear. We remain however, committed to supporting the global growth and evolution of authentic ecotourism and sustainable tourism”, says Jampol.
All the current committee members will be joining Jampol in leaving the ITC to start the Global Ecotourism Network; a group who have over 100 years combined of Ecotourism Board experience:
Glenn Jampol, USA, Costa Rica (2005)
Karen Lewis, USA, Costa Rica (2005)
Hitesh Mehta, USA, Kenya (1999)
Tony Charters, Australia (2000‐ 2009, 2012)
Ariane Janer, Brazil, (2010)
Judy Kepher‐Gona, Kenya (2009)
Masaru Takayama, Japan (2005)
Albert Teo, Malaysia (1996‐2004, 2010)
Nabil Tarazi, Jordan (2014)
Rob Holmes, USA (2014)
Deirdre Campbell, Canada (2009)
Palitha Gurusinghe, Sri Lanka (2007)
Rick MacLeod Farley, Canada (2010)
Julio Bin, New Zealand, Brazil (2014)
Supaporn Prachumpai, Thailand (2014)
(Note: dates indicate year members began volunteering at the board level)
The Global Ecotourism Network has begun working on a contemporary and functional model for its governance, and to facilitate this evolution, it invites and welcome any additional participants who wish to share their time and expertise in this new endeavor. The goal of the Global Ecotourism Network (GEN) is to create a professional, accessible, accountable and sustainable organization that supports ecotourism and sustainable tourism, best practices and innovative experiential leadership. The Global Ecotourism Network strives to be an advocate for the industry, utilizing the unparalleled experience of its institutional and professional members and commit to the development of the industry and its people.
“Tourism continues to be the world’s fastest growing industry, and today one in 12 people is employed in tourism around the globe. There are many organizations working to create a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry, yet rather than overlap existing organizations we would like to expand the conversation with expertise and experiential knowledge. Voices from the global community as well as national and regional ecotourism bodies will participate and be heard, playing a key role in this truly international umbrella group”, says Karen Lewis, who joined the board of TIES in 2002 and founded Costa Rica’s award winning Lapa Rios Ecolodge in 1990. “The field of ecotourism and sustainable tourism is a very important driver within the tourism industry and we believe it deserves a stronger voice on the global tourism stage where we would like to disseminate authentic ecotourism and ecolodge trends and innovations.”
People interested in joining in the conversation and transition to a new organization, may ask to join the Global Ecotourism Network’s Facebook Group; https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlobalEcotourismNetwork/