Posted tagged ‘Asia’

The Phillipines gets four new zip lines and ecotourism efforts continue

February 23, 2012
Map of the Philippines with Pampanga highlighted

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High in the hills of Floridablanca, in the Phillipines, is a blooming haven of nature and man-made structures in a domain preserved and nurtured by Aetas, an upland blend of ecological and tourism adventure that is Nabuclod.

Much has been written and heard of the once untapped spot — except maybe its people in the resettlement site — until Governor Lilia Pineda and Second District Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo teamed up to harness its potential, so indigenous people there could reap the benefits of what is now known as the Nabuclod Upland Eco-Tourism Adventure.

On dawn Saturday, the governor led the Capitol horde, along with friends and representatives from Pampanga media, in planting hundreds of trees as a prelude to her 61st birthday on February 21. The gift was meant to breathe greater life to the 5,000-hectare development project where now stand two of four zip lines and cable cars.

“By the summer season, we would have completed the zip lines as well developed a large part of Nabuclod for eco-tourism. Our desire is for it to be self-sustaining, especially its agricultural part where Aetas would be able to supply the province and even Manila with vegetables of all kinds. We are almost there,” shared Governor Pineda.

The Nabuclod Upland Eco-Tourism Adventure, she said, features two viewing decks where the splendor of Pampanga meets the eye; the thrilling zip-lines and cable cars Second District Board Member Olga Frances David-Dizon described as amazing and enjoyable; the bike and ATV [all-terrain vehicle] trail frequented now by mountain riders; the stairway to Bolben; the camping site where members of the National Movement of Young Legislators led by 3rd District Board Member Trina Dizon would pitch their tents on February 25 for their own tree planting day; the very green agri area and the proposed Grotto on the religious side.

Added 4th District Board Member Nestor Tolentino, chair of the Nabuclod Project technical working group: “This upland eco-tourism project is actually a build-operate-transfer with investors. Capitol’s expense on this is very minimal. The potential is so big that in the near future, Nabuclod would be one of the favorite tourist spots in Pampanga. The people here are assured that nothing will be destroyed and their natural environment preserved and protected.”

First District Board Member Tarcicio “Tars” DC Halili– who described his first-ever zip line ride as very good — readily agreed and noted that he will file a resolution calling for the creation of a Nabuclod Tourism Council which will complement the technical working group on the master plan.

“The Nabuclod Tourism Council could then manage the project and see to its efficient operations,” he said.

Going to the top of Nabuclod is already an adventure in itself. Along the zigzagging paved roads, Aeta kids greet and wave to passersby, welcoming them warmly into their haven. The less than hour’s drive upon entering the main street past Basa Air Base is never boring with greeneries all around and scenes of human interests, of daily life that is Nabuclod for the keen-eyed photographer.


Ecotourism visits the Bataan Rainforest

February 22, 2012
English: Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary is a pro...

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The 218-hectare idle lot called Roosevelt Protected Landscape in Barangay Roosevelt will be developed into an Integrated Ecotourism Development project by a private investor.

Based on the Memorandum of Agreement entered into between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 3 office through the Protected Area Management Board-Roosevelt Protected Landscape (PAMB-RPLS) and Green Asia Construction and Development Corp., the 218-hectare will be developed by a private investor in order to “provide the public better and ecologically aesthetic recreational, educational and tourism- related facilities.”

The pouring in of investment by a private company, headed by Renato P. Legaspi, Sr., Green Asia president and chief executive officer, will not only create jobs for people here and additional income to government coffers but also protect the area from informal settlers.

The DENR assured that the area will be protected by Green Asia, in compliance with Republic Act 7586 or National Integrated Protected Areas Act of 1992 enacted to establish the National Integrated Protected Areas System.”

Police and local authorities , armed with an order to demolish the more or less 400 shanties and temporary houses made of light materials, cracked down on illegal settlers who occupied protected and watershed areas in Roosevelt.

In the agreement, the PAMB-RPLS and Green Asia “mutually acknowledge the vital role of ecotourism development in nation-building and mutually recognize the authority of PAMB to decide/approve matters related to the Protected Area of Management of the Roosevelt Protected Landscape.”

Under DENR Administrative Order No. 2008-26, the PAMB shall approve policies, guidelines, plans and programs, proposals and agreements for the management and protected areas. The PAMB is headed by the incumbent Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, Amado Villanueva, a veteran in the region.

The Green Asia shall secure the 218 hectares and be responsible for its protection to prevent encroachment of other individuals into the protected area in accordance with the required Comprehensive Development and Management Plan.

Tasmania releases plans for eco-tourism

November 1, 2011

Aiming to compete with Australian eco tourism efforts from Queensland, Tasmania’s State Government has released plans to relaunch the region as a eco-friendly based tourism destination.

Working with Melbourne, Global Eco Asia Pacific Tourism Conference convener Tony Charters explained the two states would team up to build tourism to southern Australia.

“Going on current form, that will pair Melbourne as the lead tourism city with Tasmania as the heartland of ecotourism, making southern Australia a formidable destination,” Mr Charters said.

Mr Charters said the benefit of building an eco destination had fallen short with many Governments down under while locations in Asia are “running at 100mph” with the sector.

He explained that while establishing the state as an eco-destination, the long term benefits would more than cover the efforts.

“Ecotourism is not a ‘quick fix’ option for governments to plug the holes after a resource boom, for example,” Mr Charters said.

“It is a very logical and forward thinking choice for Tasmania, but it will take 15 years to bed the industry in.

“Once that is done, ecotourism will provide more jobs than logging, be sustainable and form an important plank of an export oriented economy.”

Mr Charters added that as a whole the country needed to invest more into its natural attractions and utilise them to increase visitor numbers.

According to the convener, the Great Barrier Reef’s figures are sitting around the same as 20 years ago while Kakadu numbers fell compared to visitors in the early 90s.

“National parks for example need ongoing support from government, not just a one-off injection of funds,” he explained.

“Other states can take the lead, with long term vision and investment roughly equivalent to one sports stadium each year, but spread across the state’s protected areas.

The Global Eco conference is being held in Sydney from November 7th to 10th.

Cambodia holds Third World Ecotourism Conference

October 5, 2011
Angkor Wat temple, by Andrew Lih

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Cambodia on Monday hosted the 3rd World Ecotourism Conference, aimed at developing Asia Pacific region as a leading ecotourism destination.

The three-day conference, under the theme “Charting the Future of Ecotourism in Asia: Asia will dominate global tourism in future, ” attracts some 300 governmental officials, tourism ministers, deputy ministers, ecotourism specialists, businessmen, representatives from national and international ecotourism associations and communities from 23 countries, mostly in Asia Pacific region.

“The conference will be a good opportunity to establish and boost relationship and cooperation on the development of ecotourism in the region in a sustainable and responsible manner,” said Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon at the opening ceremony.

“Also, it’s time to exchange the best experience and practice related to the ecotourism development in order to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of natural and environmental conservation.”

“In the future, we want to make the Asia Pacific become a leading attraction for the development and investment in ecotourism,” he added.

The minister said that at the end of the conference, there would be “Sihanoukville Declaration on Multilateral Cooperation for Ecotourism Development.”

The declaration would be submitted to the United Nations World Tourism Organization for the final approval.

“The declaration would be a roadmap for the ecotourism development in a sustainable and responsible manner in the whole Asia, particularly in Cambodia,” he said.

During the conference, there was also ecotourism exhibition with the participation of ecotourism communities and private investors in ecotourism with 23 booths.

Preah Sihanouk is a coastal province in southwestern Cambodia. It’s the country’s third most popular tourism destination after Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat temples and Phnom Penh.

Malaysia Tourism Minister Yen Yen says eco-tourism is all about the bucks

November 12, 2010
Tour guide in the Cango Caves.
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Malaysia needs to produce more specialist guides to provide quality tourism service and boost the eco-tourism industry.

Currently, the country has 4,000 general tour guides, some of whom are not professionals, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said.

“We want more specialist tour guides who can tell stories about our tourist attractions,” she said during a visit to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) here yesterday.

Dr Ng said the ministry had set up a joint committee with UKM and the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to develop modules aimed to train and produce more expert guides.

“Locals who are familiar with their home area in tourist destinations such as Fraser’s Hill, Tasik Chini and Lata Jarum should be trained to be specialist guides because they are the experts who can explain the tourist attractions,” she said.

Dr Ng added that the ministry was looking forward to collaborating with related ministries and agencies like UKM to develop eco-tourism to generate more revenue.

Ecotourism in Nepal

November 11, 2010
Mount Everest from Kalapatthar.
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There was news this week from KATHMANDU regarding ecotourism.   Targeting the Nepal Tourism Year 2011 campaign, Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) and Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) jointly unveiled two eco-tourism products amid a program here Wednesday.

The new destinations are Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in eastern Nepal and Ghodaghodi Lake in the far western region.

“Though these destinations were already popular, they were attracting only a few visitors,” tourism expert Rabi Jung Pandey said. “Koshi, being the largest river of Nepal, can be developed as a riverside tourism product.”

Only 238 foreigners and 3,000 Nepalis visited Koshi Tappu in 2008.

“We can develop special packages to these destinations to extend tourists´ length of stay,” he added.

Addressing the program, Subash Nirola, senior director of NTB, said ownership identification along with product and site identification was important for sustainable tourism development. “Since it is not possible to build hotels everywhere, we can promote the home stay concept there,” he added.

Laxman Bhattarai, joint secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, said the government was positive about promoting the concept of eco-tourism and expressed hope that newly launched products would help attract more visitors to Nepal during NTY 2011.

Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, which is popular for bird watching, covers 16 VDCs in Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur districts.

Number of tourists to SNP up

SOLUKHUMBU: The number of tourists visiting Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) hit 12-year high of 9,407 in October.

According to SNP´s office at Jorsalle, the number is the highest after 1998 when the country had celebrated Visit Nepal Year. October-November is regarded the peak season in Nepali tourism.

“The number was only 8,839 last year,” said Bikash Koirala, game scout at SNP. The number of tourists visiting the national park was 9,260 in the same period in 2008. Only 3,530 tourists had visited the area in October, 2002.

“The number of tourists visiting the area has increased as we are seeing increment in the number of tourists from both air and land route after the beginning of peace process,” Koirala said. “The area was safe for tourists even during insurgency.”

Sagarmatha National Park is famous for Mt Everest – the tallest peak on earth, other mountains, beautiful Sherpa villages, Sherpa culture and tradition, different wildlife species and Tengboche Monastery.

Ecotourism to be focus of Rajasthan

September 17, 2010
Logo of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee
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In India, Rajasthan tourism has chalked out new defined tourism projects to further enhance the tourism experience in the state. The state is set to offer its special products for the Commonwealth Games 2010 and a 14 day long fair is being organised in Jaipur for tourists with an aim to promote cultural tourism.

In line with the promotion of cultural and heritage tourism, the state aims to promote Shekhawati on the lines of Hampi in Karnataka. Speaking about their plans and projects, Usha Sharma, principal secretary to the government, department of tourism, and chairman, Rajasthan State Hotels Corporation, in an exclusive with Express TravelWorld, said, “Apart from the well known splendours of Rajasthan, which are its forts and palaces, Rajasthan has a lot to offer in the area of heritage and culture. We are keen to offer our tourists a unique experiences such as Ghat ki Ghuni, which is a special attraction on the Jaipur-Agra road. This place has remarkable heritage attractions and will be promoted for night tourism. Rajasthan is also home to picturesque lakes, hence promotion of lake tourism is also on the anvil.”

She further added that the state is looking to promote lake tourism as an experience. “But amongst all this, we will continue to focus on rural and eco-tourism as one of our primarily aspects for tourism promotion,” she said. Jantar Mantar in Rajasthan has also been listed in July 2010 as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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