Hawaii Hospitality - March/April 2014 - (Page 6)

PHOTO COURTESY BIKE HAWAII PHOTO COURTESY HAWAIIAN PADDLE SPORTS TRA VEL PONO Ecotourism in Hawaii Few vacationers travel to Hawaii just to sit indoors. Our Islands beckon fun-in-the-sun lovers. But how do we protect what attracts so many? BY PRISCILLA PÉREZ BILLIG 6 Hawaii Hospitality ■ March/April 2014 Show wildlife aloha. That's what marine biologist and certified ecotour operator Tori Cullins promotes at Wild Side Specialty Tours. The awardwinning charter boat company's motto is "Life Uncaged-In Their World, on Their Terms." In a global climate of "loving nature to death," ecotourism steps in to make travel green. It's meant to expose travelers to environmental conservation, meaningful interpretation, and authentic and respectful cultural experiences. But are ecotour and green labels mere marketing spins meant to keep pace with increasing public awareness of sustainability initiatives and human impacts on natural resources? "There is growing awareness of greenwashing-just labeling yourself as an ecotour," Cullins says. "I wish awareness was more widespread. I see a lot of reviews on websites about how sensitive a particular snorkel tour company is and, in the same review, read: Be sure to buy the fish food! Yet, it is illegal and unethical to feed fish in Hawaii." It is no secret that Hawaii's spectacular wildlife, beauty and distinctive culture are its most appealing attractions. As one of the world's top tourist destinations, Hawaii hosted more

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality - March/April 2014

Marketplace
Walk the Talk
Na Poe Paahana Awards
Travel Pono
News Briefs
HRA Employee Excellence Awards
New Restaurants
Big Island Hospitality
Talk Story with GEORGE SZIGETI
Association News
Food & Beverage SuperStars, Part two
Featured Department: Food & Beverage

Hawaii Hospitality - March/April 2014

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