Travelocity Encourages Globetrotters to Go Green in Honor of Earth Day; Travelocity Industry Pro Names Top Eco Travel Destinations around the Globe, Promotes Growing Need for Environmental Awareness When on the Road

SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–April 18, 2005–Leave your mark on the Earth, but only if it’s the color green! Call us globetrotting tree huggers if you must, but travelers devoted to a green-sensibility can make a big difference. As our planet celebrates 35 years of environmental friendliness this Earth Day, April 22, Travelocity’s industry resource recommends destinations committed to eco-friendly travel.

“Ecotourism has become a major trend in travel,” said Amy Ziff, Travelocity(R) editor-at-large. “Destinations around the world have embraced this concept, and are encouraging travelers to minimize their environmental impact while on the road.”

In conjunction with WildAid, a leader in the fight to end illegal wildlife trade, Travelocity has compiled information on dedicated eco destinations to explore. Following are some of Ziff’s tips, specific to different regions, to help travelers ensure they’re serving as friends of the environment, as well as her top eco travel destinations:

SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA and CARIBBEAN: Avoid any products that may contain: sea turtles (all species are endangered), sharks or shark fin, birds (for the pet trade), reptiles (live for the pet trade or their skins, which are used in belts, handbags and shoes), jaguars, or marine mammals (whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions).

    --  Ecuador/The Galapagos Islands - The "Laboratory of Evolution":
        The Galapagos Islands are home to a stunning variety of plant
        and animal species. Visit this spring as sea turtles and
        marine iguanas hatch, storm petrels nest, and albatross lay
        eggs on this fragile natural wonder. Some tours include talks
        by island-based biologists from the renowned Charles Darwin
        Research Station.

    --  Costa Rica - Help Protect Playa Grande: October to March, Las
        Baulas National Park is one of the most important remaining
        nesting areas for the highly endangered leatherback sea
        turtle. During daylight hours, hiking is allowed on this
        hallowed beach. Nighttime tours are conducted with a goal of
        minimal impact to the animals.

    --  Belize - It Oughta Be in Pictures: The million-acre Maya
        Mountain Marine Corridor is one of most biodiverse spots on
        the planet, including tropical rain forests and pine savannas,
        intact watersheds, coastal wetlands and mangrove forests,
        spectacular coral reefs, and more than 100 offshore cays.
        Francis Ford Coppola's eco-friendly and movie-flavored
        Blancaneaux Lodge is located here, within the 300-square-mile
        Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.

    --  Mexico - A Water Park Like No Other: The protected marine life
        habitat of Xel Ha in the heart of the Mayan Riviera is teeming
        with wildlife and natural phenomena. Visitors can swim,
        snorkel, go tubing, and wonder at the spectacle of this
        tremendous ecopark.

    U.S. and CANADA: Even in the United States, travelers should
exercise caution when purchasing wildlife products. Urban ethnic
neighborhoods are often hotspots for endangered species products such
as bushmeat and ivory. The United States is home to its share of
threatened species: mountain lions, bears, bison, Florida panthers,
desert tortoises and manatees are just a few. All hunting, boating,
and camping regulations are important and should be obeyed at all

    --  Maine - Wildlife Wanderings: Tour Moosehead Lake via canoe or
        kayak and be on the lookout for the region's namesake animal
        as well as endangered lynx dens. Help conduct bird counts off
        the coast of Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island on
        eco-friendly Wanderbird Cruises. Pay a visit to Machias Seal
        Island at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy, a nesting territory
        for thousands of seabirds each summer, including about 1000
        pair of Atlantic puffins.

    --  Wyoming - Expeditions with Ethics: Hear the magnificent bugle
        of a bull elk at the National Elk Refuge and view herds of a
        dwindling bison population in Jackson Hole and Yellowstone
        National Park. Wildlife Expeditions is a company that leads
        wildlife watching tours in Grand Teton and Yellowstone
        National Parks, as well as throughout the Jackson Hole valley.

    --  Alaska - Pristine Wilderness: The 6.8-million-hectare Tongass
        National Forest, is one of the planet's largest temperate
        rainforests. It has extensive old-growth stands of hemlock,
        cedar, and spruce, and is home to brown bears, black bears,
        wolves, deer, mountain goats, moose, bald eagles, five types
        of Pacific salmon, and flying squirrels. Tongass National
        Forest offers limitless opportunities for magnificent hiking,
        fishing, birdwatching, and sightseeing.

    --  Minnesota - An Unforgettable Howl of a Wolf, the Haunting Call
        of the Loon: Northern Minnesota's International Wolf Center
        sponsors learning adventures and environmental education
        opportunities in the heart of Minnesota wolf country. The
        Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a mecca for
        paddling enthusiasts. Over one million acres in size, the
        BWCAW contains hundreds of lakes and rivers and is home to
        abundant plants and wildlife.

ASIA: The illegal wildlife trade is most prevalent in Asia. Tigers (furs and parts sold as souvenirs, traditional medicinal products containing blood or bones) are being pushed to the brink of extinction. Elephant and rhino (the horns and tusks are used in medicines and as souvenirs) populations are plummeting. Other species threatened by the trade are primates (most species of monkey are endangered), bears (harvested for their gall bladders and paws), pangolins, birds, and reptiles (feather, skin, and pet trades).

    --  Cambodia - Rebirth of a Nation: After years of war and civil
        strife, Cambodia has entered a period of renewal with
        ecotourism at the forefront (35 percent of its land is forest
        cover). This vital habitat includes more than 74 critically
        endangered wildlife species, including tigers, sun bears,
        Asian elephants, and the Siamese crocodile. WildAid is helping
        lead this charge, training and equipping rangers in key
        national parks, operating a special patrol unit to stop
        illegal trade throughout the country, and conducting a
        national campaign to reduce consumption of threatened

    --  Thailand - Surviving Together: Another of WildAid's projects
        focuses on Thailand's first national park, Khao Yai. WildAid
        and Thai officials, in collaboration with village leaders,
        designed a comprehensive management system to reduce illegal
        use of the park's resources while addressing needs of
        impoverished communities surrounding the parks, reducing
        poaching by up to 70 percent. The mountainous area of Khao Yai
        contains streams and waterfalls, and conserves a large
        population of mammals such as elephant, gibbon, guar, samba
        deer, barking deer and tiger, as well as over 300 bird

    More About Ecotourism

According to the International Ecotourism Society, Ecotourism is defined as responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and preserves the well-being of local people. Accordingly, ecotourism should minimize environmental impact; build cultural and environmental awareness; offer financial benefits for conservation; contribute to the local economy and support indigenous people; raise awareness about a destination’s political, environmental, and social climate; support international human rights and labor agreements; and it should be a positive experience for both visitor and host. To learn more about ecotourism and for other eco friendly destinations, visit Amy Ziff’s monthly column at


    --  Costa Rica: In the Guanacaste area, visit Bahia Pez Vela
        Resort Playa Ocotal from $265 per night or Casa Caletas Coyote
        Beach from $93 per night.

    --  Belize: Windy Hill Resort, in the Maya Mountain foothills,
        from $80 per night.

    --  Mexico: Sunscape Tulum Riviera Maya All-Inclusive from $184
        per night or Hacienda San Jose, in the northern Yucatan
        peninsula, from $192 per night.

    --  Maine: Asticou Inn on Mount Desert Island from $130 per night.

    --  Wyoming: Snake River Lodge & Spa from $289 per night.

    --  Alaska: Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge from $99 per night.

    --  Minnesota: Grand Ely Lodge Resort from $175 per night.

    --  Canada: Rodd Colony Harbour Inn Yarmouth, Nova Scotia from $95
        per night.

    --  Thailand: Four Seasons Chiang Mai from $375 per night.

(a) Please note that these sample prices were gathered on 04/12/05 for travel from 06/22/05 to 06/26/05. Our booking engine is constantly updating prices and availability. Please check pricing and availability for your travel dates and destination at

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Amanda Borichevsky, 972-488-4790

SOURCE: Travelocity