Evaluating Ecotourism in New Hampshire . By: Jennifer Aldrich and Kelly McCusker. By: Kelly McCusker and Jennifer Aldrich . http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/whitemountains/huts/huts-lonesome.cfm. http://nhnature.org/who_we_are.htm. http://www.dogslednh.com/gallery/dogsled.
Evaluating Ecotourism in New Hampshire By: Jennifer Aldrich and Kelly McCusker By: Kelly McCusker and Jennifer Aldrich http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/whitemountains/huts/huts-lonesome.cfm http://nhnature.org/who_we_are.htm http://www.dogslednh.com/gallery/dogsled http://www.outdoors.org/lodging/whitemountains/huts/huts-lakes.cfm
Background • A number of businesses in New Hampshire are using the term “ecotourism” incorrectly; therefore, there isaneed fora “tool kit” for businesses to evaluate themselves on an ecotourism scale • The tool kit should contain guidelines toevaluate and improve the qualities of the accommodation or attraction that would make them true ecotourism businesses. The tool kit will contain elements to educate the public about quality ecotourism establishments in New Hampshire.
Purpose • The purpose of this project is to evaluate ecotourism in New Hampshire: • Design a “tool kit” to evaluate tourism businesses on an ecotourism scale. • Apply this tool kit to ecotourism attractions and accommodations in New Hampshire.
Methodology • Steps: • Researched ecotourism to form a strong definition of what it is. • Researched New Hampshire attractions and accommodations to find businesses that claim to take part in ecotourism. • Created an evaluation form for businesses to launch, improve, or evaluate themselves as an ecotourism establishment. • Used the evaluation form to determine if businesses found in step 2 are truly “ecotourism.” • Created a list of quality ecotourism attractions and accommodations in New Hampshire. • Provided an example of a quality ecotourism attraction and lodging facility in New Hampshire, and showed how they qualify on the evaluation scale. • Created a tool kit, compiling the research gathered from steps 1-6, to educate businesses and the public about ecotourism in New Hampshire.
Table Of Contents • What is ecotourism? • Refer to Definition slide • How can my business become an ecotourism establishment? • How can I improve my ecotourism “level”? • Are there guidelines I can use to evaluate whether I am an ecotourism business? • Refer to Evaluation slides • Are there ecotourism attractions and accommodations in New Hampshire? • Refer to New Hampshire Ecotourism Lodging and Attraction slides • Are there examples of quality ecotourism attractions and accommodations in New Hampshire ? • Refer to Quality Ecotourism Lodging and Attraction slides
Defining Ecotourism Ecotourism (def.) is responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. Ecotourism unites conservation, communities and sustainable travel. Businesses that take part in ecotourism should adhere to the following principles: • Minimize the negative environmental impacts on host communities • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation • Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
Evaluation • We have developed an evaluation form for businesses to: • Become ecotourism establishments • Improve their ecotourism “level” • View steps and guidelines to evaluate whether they are ecotourism businesses
Evaluating your business on the Ecotourism Scale An Evaluation of Ecotourism Businesses in New Hampshire • Directions: Read each lettered category and check all boxes that apply to your business. • Your business must have at least one check under each lettered category to qualify as an ecotourism business. The more checks under each category, the higher quality ecotourism business you will have.
My Business: • A) Minimizes the negative environmental impacts on host communities □ Is one or more of your activities low impact? □ Do you make efforts to conserve the land for your business and host community? □ Do you make efforts to develop and implement a carrying-capacity for your site?
My Business: • B) Builds environmental and cultural awareness and respect □ Do you provide written information for your guests to inform them on the environmental and cultural issues in your host community, providing them with examples of how they can benefit the environment and community? □ Do you have face-to-face discussions with your guests about awareness and respect for the environment and cultural practices? □ Do you host classes to educate guests on environmental and cultural issues in your host community and how they (the guest) can make a difference?
My Business: • C) Provides positive experiences for both visitors and hosts □ Do you provide opportunities for hosts and guests to interact in a positive way? □ Do you give out surveys to the local population asking their opinions on the visitors you attract to the area and their suggestions for change or improvements? □ Are you gathering visitor feedback on the quality of their experience?
My Business: • D) Provides direct financial benefits for conservation □ Do you offer volunteer opportunities (for guests, locals, and employees) to help with conservation efforts? □ Do you donate a percentage of your profits towards conservation efforts? □ Do you invest in technology which provides conservation benefits for energy, water or land?
My Business: • E) Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people. □ Do you carry and sell local products (NH Made)? □ Do you provide a list of locally owned business for your guests? □ Do you hire locals (within your town) to work in your business? □ Do you provide discounted services to the people of your host community? □ Do you participate in town meetings or the local chamber of commerce?
What NH has to offer for Ecotourism Lodging and Attractions • These facilities were all evaluated using the evaluation form and are considered ecotourism establishments. Ctrl (Control) Click the links below to open the PDF • List of Ecotourism Businesses: • Lodging:ECOTOURISM LODGING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.pdf • Attractions: ECOTOURISM ATTRACTIONS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.pdf
A quality Ecotourism lodging/Attraction in New Hampshire D’Acres Organic Permaculture Farm & Educational Homestead http://www.dacres.org/images/Gardens/clay%20working%20in%20lower.JPG http://www.dacres.org/images/On-FarmEducation/Miriamteachingweb.jpg
Sample Evaluation: D’Acres • D’Acres minimizes the negative environmental impacts on host communities by: • Offering low impact activities such as hiking , gardening and making crafts • 2) They build environmental and cultural awareness and respect by: • Offering tours of the property to visitors • Traveling to communities and presenting on horticulture design • They provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts by: • Hosting events such as open mic and potluck nights where community members are encouraged to attend • Offering a survey on the organization’s website which attempts to get feedback to improve D’ Acres community service • 4) They provide direct financial benefits to conservation by: • Using renewable energy, such as solar panels to heat water and a composting toilet • Making an effort to use non-fossil fuel based sources of energy • Using the food from the farm to feed the staff and interns as much as possible which reduces their carbon footprint • 5) They provide financial benefits and empowerment for the local people by: • Offering discounts to local residents for their workshops, these discounts can be up to 50% • Making sure to support local businesses by offering a tab on their website where visitors can find tools such as the 2010 Pemi Baker local food guide.
A Quality Ecotourism Attraction in New Hampshire Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel http://www.dogslednh.com/gallery/dogsled
Sample Evaluation:Muddy Paw 1) Muddy Paw minimizes the negative environmental impacts on host communities by: • Offering low impact activities, such as winter dog sledding and rolling dog sledding 2) They build environmental and cultural awareness and respect by: • Educating the mushers about staying on the groomed trails as to not harm the natural environment • Promoting mushing as “safe for the environment” because it uses non motorized vehicles and avoids noise pollution and air pollution 3) They provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts by: • Collecting visitor reviews of their experience with Muddy Paw and posting them on their website 4) They provide direct financial benefits to conservation by: • Donating 10% of their proceeds to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests • Donating money to maintain the trails • Offering volunteer opportunities for employees and locals 5) They provide financial benefits and empowerment for the local people by: • Hiring locally whenever possible • Supporting local NH businesses on their Facebook page
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