Monday, February 21, 2011

Travelers’ Philanthropy Handbook Issued by Center for Responsible Travel

A new how-to guide, “The Travelers Philanthropy Handbook,” created by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and written by 30 experts in the field, promises to bring new efficiencies to the important world of travelers’ philanthropy.

“Over the last decade, a growing number of travel companies have begun to channel corporate and guest contributions into local community and conservation projects,” said Martha Honey, co-director of CREST, the policy-oriented research institute based in Washington, D.C., and at Stanford University. “Yet many of these give-back initiatives are frequently ad hoc, uncoordinated, and unmeasured. Done effectively, travelers’ philanthropy can raise significant funds and have a considerable impact on a region, while making the donor feel better about their footprint and the company they traveled with. It’s a win-win.”

The purpose of the handbook, according to Honey, is to provide best practices, share success stories and realize the full potential of travelers’ altruism. With a foreword by Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai, the 250-page handbook includes original essays, case studies, and surveys by some 30 experts, including Toni Neubauer, founder and president of Myths and Mountains; Lars Lindkvist, director of Basecamp Explorer; Julie Klein, environmental affairs director at Vail Resorts; and Jane Crouch, responsible travel manager for Intrepid Travel. Other experts include tourism professors Sam Ham and Kristin Lamoureux; David Western, former Kenya Wildlife Service director; Mark Spalding, president of The Ocean Foundation; and David Abernethy, professor emeritus in political science at Stanford University. These writers describe the evolution of travelers’ philanthropy, and explore a wide range of success stories, challenges, lessons learned, and best practices.

The first study of its kind, the handbook has been praised for its timeliness and practicality by critics from the World Bank, Condé Nast Traveler, United States Institute of Peace and Tourism Cares. “It’s an excellent compendium of sound practical advice and should be considered essential reading for all of us concerned about maximizing the benefits of tourism for local communities and conservation,” said Erika Harms, executive director of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and senior advisor on tourism at the United Nations Foundation. Kevin Doyle, Condé Nast Traveler news editor, said he considers it to be “the most user-friendly and comprehensive assemblage of information I’ve seen on how the travel industry and travelers themselves can give back to the communities they touch.”

Travelers’ philanthropy has been one of CREST’s core focuses since 2003, when it launched, a website that accepts donation on behalf of travel companies looking for guidance, community and 501c3 tax-deductible status. CREST’s Travelers’ Philanthropy “tool kit” also includes a video documentary, training courses and an experts’ bureau. CREST is hosting its Third International Travelers’ Philanthropy Conference in Costa Rica, July 20 to 23, and is currently involved in two field projects in Costa Rica designed to strengthen travelers’ philanthropy in Monteverde and the Osa Peninsula. The handbook is available in a free, downloadable format on the CREST website, It can also be purchased in CD-ROM and book format. For more information, visit

Source: Travel Pulse

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spacation Anyone...It's Imperative that you Treat YOU!

Unfortunately there are moments when the ills of the world get the best of us.  It can be work related, a family or medical crisis, or even the results of another’s actions imposed upon us.  Sometimes these events get the best of us and knock the wind out of us.  I can definitely relate to this feeling.  Recently I was involved in a pretty bad hit and run car accident.  Though I can’t remember too many of the details involved, my body and mind can feel the results.  Unfortunately, it is paying a toll on my soulfulness.  L  Yeah I know.  I shouldn’t allow such things to get me down.  I won’t.  In fact I was just thinking, while resting at home, that it would be lovely to just book a flight and take a spacation.
I may be unable to take advantage of a spacation immediately due to physical therapy sessions but a date has been marked off on my calendar.  If you’re able bodied, why not take one yourself. 
Spa vacations, or spacations as I call them, are refreshing.  They renew the spirit and mind.  The primary purpose of a spacation is to feed one’s soul and rehabilitate one’s health.  There are over 12,000 locations within the United States in which you can take advantage of a spacation and even more abroad.  There are spas all over the world that can cater to your specific needs and desires.  From yoga and meditation to mud baths and massages; take your pick.  We are more than excited to get you there.
During the beginning stages of planning a spacation, consider your interests and what you would like to achieve.   Consider the location as well.  Together we can work on narrowing down your choices and begin to research locations and prices.  Our goal is to get you reacquainted with your peace of mind while also giving you the biggest bang for your buck.
It is imperative that you take a holistic approach in taking care of your wellbeing.  You will come out refreshed, energized, sharp, and happier.  Many nations are plagued with unhealthy bodies that have succumbed to stress related illnesses.  Please do yourself a favor and love yourself enough to take a break.
Feel free to visit us at or contact me directly at so we can begin designing your next travel experience.