MASARU TAKAYAMA

Japan

Chair

ALBERT TEO CHIN KION

Malaysia

Vice Chair

SUPRAPORN PRACHUMPAI

Thailand

Secretary

ALAN WONG

China & Hongkong

Member

SAMIR THAPA

Nepal

Member

SUSAN SANTOS DE CARDENAS

Philippines

Member

PALITHA GURUSINGHE

Sri Lanka

Member

TONY CHARTERS AM

Australia

Member

AGHA IQRAR HAROON

Pakistan

Member

RAJASHREE AJITH

India

Member

DAMBA GANTUMUR DAMBA

Mongolia

Member

MIHEE KANG

South Korea

Member

SOULINNARA RATANAVONGS

Laos

Member

KARMA TSHERING

Bhutan

Member

VICTOR YU

Taiwan

Member

MONZURUL HUQ

Bangladesh

Member

ARY SUHANDI

Indonesia

Member

BIJAYA PRADHAN

Nepal

Member

ZANE SMITH

New Zealand

Member

Johnny Orn

Cambodia

Member 

Kazuhiro Arai

Japan

Member

Xiaomei Liu

China

Member

CT  Wu

Taiwan

Member

MASARU TAKAYAMA

JAPAN || CHAIR

Mr. Masaru Takayama founded the defunct Japan Ecolodge Association (2005-2017) and Japan Alliance of Responsible Travel Agencies (JARTA) in 2018 to promote ecotourism and responsible tourism in Japan. Working as a ecotourism consultant, sustainable tourism auditor/advisor for Green Destinations and Travelife, and responsible tour operator ‘Spirit of Japan Travel’ in Kyoto, Masaru serves a number of key positions in the organizations both home and abroad pertinent to ecotourism and protected areas. His latest passion is Shunyoso, a Japanese national cultural property converting into a responsible inn and a restaurant in a beautiful island of Awaji.

 

COMMITMENT

The biggest reason why I have come to found AEN with my colleagues is to first, identify the existing ecotourism projects and organizations throughout Asia and second, promote them to the rest of the world with an external audit/benchmarking structure that works in Asia through one window, AEN. The information we receive and share should not be limited in English and other main languages, but also should be made available in Asian local languages. I will exert my utmost effort writing a new chapter in sustainable Asia with AEN.

>>Read Masaru's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

ALBERT TEO CHIN KION

MALAYSIA || VICE CHAIR

A graduate in Economics (Honours) from the University of London in 1977, Albert Teo has been in the tourism industry for the last thirty seven years. A keen photographer, he has trekked over 1,000km in Borneo, published ten books including the best selling Sabah -Land of the Sacred Mountain, Journey through Borneo, Saving Paradise-The Story of Sukau Rainforest Lodge authored with Carol Patterson and the latest book, A Souvenir of Sabah Malaysian Borneo.

 

His companies Borneo Eco Tours and Sukau Rainforest Lodge have won numerous international ecotourism awards including Asia’s Leading Green Hotel at the 17th World Travel Award 2010 and the 2012 SKÅL International Sustainable Development in Tourism Award for Tour Operator at the 73rd SKÅL International Congress in Korea. http://www.borneoecotours.com/about-us/awards.php

 

Albert is presently focusing his energy on developing social entrepreneurship through his community/environment foundation, Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies or BEST Society. www.bestsociety.org . In 2014, BEST Society received the UNWTO Ulysses Award for excellence and innovation in tourism in NGO category at Madrid, Spain.

Albert has served in various positions in the tourism industry including Sabah Chapter Chairman of Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents MATTA, Chairman of Sabah Tourist Association 1985/86, Board of Advisor of The International Ecotourism Society TIES, USA, Marketing Committee, Rural Tourism product development committee of Sabah Tourism Board. Albert was also a member of the finalist selection committee for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards of World Travel and Tourism Council WTTC for five years.

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to contribute to the promotion and growth of ecotourism network in and across Asia and use ecotourism as a tool for social entrepreneurship and poverty eradication /alleviation.

>>Read Albert's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

SUPAPORN PRACHUMPAI

THAILAND || SECRETARY

Thailand is rich of nature and culture which deserve to be used in a sustainable way, the same to all countries in Asia and other countries on earth. Being in tourism business, we do consume lots of natural and cultural resources for our benefit , hence it is our responsibility to conserve for the next generations by creating awareness to all stakeholders and put it into practice. As President of Thai Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (TEATA) in 2002-2006 and Vice President from 2010 till now, I have actively joined force with our members in developing GSTC-based sustainable tourism standards for supply chains in Thailand with several trainings and workshops, in cooperation with our government, NGOs and international tourism organizations.  Our CSR-Map Project  (2009-2010) won PATA Gold Award in 2010 in education and training category which proofed successes for our hard work and efforts.  Under my management are Royal Silk Holidays since 1987 and the Country Lake Nature Lodge since 2000, the company receives Travelife Partner status which indicates our working concept and quality of work towards sustainability.  

 

COMMITMENT

It’s my honor also to join the Asian Ecotourism Networks recently on behalf of TEATA to co-operate with friends in ecotourism business to exchange knowledge and promote ecotourism within Asia and worldwide. 

ALAN WONG

CHINA & HONGKONG || MEMBER

Dr. Alan Wong received his PhD from the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2008. He is currently teaches there for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. His main research interest is in leadership in the hospitality and tourism industry with the cross-cultural perspective. He also interested in researching tour guiding and ecotour guiding. He is an Honor Advisor of Hong Kong Association of Registered Tour Co-ordinators (HARCOT) and he runs different workshops for tour guides in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region. He is also an Honor Advisor for The Tai Po Environmental Association and Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong. Lately, he initiated a Service Learning subject in the university, entitled “Ecotourism in rural and developing regions” which provided an excellent opportunity to educate young people on the ecotourism principles as well as helping different local communities. In 2002, Dr. Wong received the first Teaching Excellence Award from SHTM in recognition of his superior classroom teaching and significant contribution to the enhancement of teaching and learning. Alan is committed to contribute in promoting ecotourism through education and training to young people and different stakeholders in the ecotourism context.

 

For Alan, ecotourism means as a kind of responsible travel and environmental friend. It should be educational and contribute to the local community as well. He sees that there are challenges and opportunities for the future of ecotourism and tourism in Asia overall. The trend for ecotourism and tourism demand are growing, even much faster than general tourism as tourists are more aware of the environmental issues. In Hongkong, he explained that one of the key challenges to implement ecotourism is lack or insufficient government support. Another key issue is the destination image of Hong Kong as a shopping paradise and other city life activities. It is difficult to change tourist mindset for coming to Hong Kong ecotourism activities, despite Hongkong has plenty potential for ecotourism development and good ecotourism products. (See Alan’s paper on the Ecotourism in Hong Kong for reference)

 

Alan engages with AEN communities to make Asia a better and more sustainable place to visit by helping with his expertise to provide more training to government officials and industry practitioners to manage and organize better or sustainable products. For example the training for ASEAN-ROK Forest Cooperation (AFoCo)/AFoCo LANDMARK PROGRAM TRAINING COURSE ON FOREST-BASED ECOTOURISM in Malaysia in Nov/Dec 2015.  Lastly, New Zealand, Australia and China, travel and reading, Chinese food are his favorite places to visit, things to do, and favorite food.

>>Read Alan's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

 

SAMIR THAPA

NEPAL || MEMBER

He is an entrepreneur with an International level exposure in terms of Academic achievement and Professional experience in the Hospitality Industry for last 15 years, presently serving as a Executive Chairman of Silver Mountain Group.

 

First Certified Hospitality Educator of Nepal  & Founding Partner & Director of American Hospitality Academy of USA which has got Seven Hotel Management Schools running in USA, Nepal, South Africa, Philippines, Turkey, India and recently opened a school in Bhutan. Board of Director, Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (CHRIE) of Asia-Pacific)

 

For Samir Thapa, ecotourim means to save the nature by promoting and creating the awareness of ecology of Livinghood. It is directly related to the human life and how it is existing because of eco system of the world. He see that Asia is very much rich on its natural resources of ecology with vast diversion of each region. mso it's very important to save it and in the meantime to promote it. This continent is very fragile due to lack of awareness and education, we really need to promote it without exploring it. The challenges to implement ecotourism in Nepal is keep the ecology intact by creating the awareness and maintains the rich cultures of people because this country has diversified in geography with cultures and languages. The literacy rate is not high so there is very high chance to exploration. Also in the name of development, we are not thinking in details to save it's natural essence. 

 

Samir engages with AEN communities to make Asia a better and more sustainable place to visit by sharing the best common sustainable practice and experience of Ecotourim trends have to be must among all. AEN could be the connecting point for all these communities and play a vital role to exchange the model to another community via its members in various regions. His favorite place is always Nepal to visit all different Mountainous regions where large numbers of communities are based on ecotourism and its century practice to save it.

 

Let's to explore here and would love to see the Amazon forest of Malaysia. Anything organic food as a by product of Ecotourism would be great for me.

 

SUSAN SANTOS DE CARDENAS

PHILIPPINES || MEMBER

Specializing on Sustainable Development projects - Tourism, Hospitality, Events, with Corporate and Community Social Responsibility (CSR) at grassroots application. A savvy hotelier with more than 20 years experience managing sales, marketing, operations, events and personnel for startup and established hotels, eco lodges, tour operators, travel agencies, lifestyle events and publications, in the Philippines, Singapore & Peru.

 

Volunteer-works for Local Government Units (LGUs) and NGOs in the Philippines for Sustainable Development: good governance, poverty alleviation, food security, disaster preparedness and management. Key note speaker & presentation specialist; Resource person for Capacity Building & Training workshops for Sustainable Tourism product development and promotion; Best Green Hotels practices and Sustainable Events management.

 

COMMITMENT

I support AEN in education and capacity building of not only its members but also the host communities, and the promotion of sustainable ecotourism in the region and beyond, confirming that it is our responsibility as Tourism stakeholders to achieve sustainability and resilience in these times of global warming and climate change.

>>Read Susan's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

PALITHA GURUSINGHE

SRI LANKA || MEMBER

He started his career as a teacher in high schools and Universities in Sri Lanka from 1970-1979. Since 1975, he has been actively occupied in Sri Lanka Tourism holding of top management positions. He has been working as a Tourism Consultant for the, Tourism Resources Improvement Project (TRIP) and several other Ecotourism Projects initiated by the Ministry of Tourism, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, and Japanese Bank for International Corporation (JBIC), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and several other public, private sector and international organizations. Presently, Palitha is the Managing Director of Sri Lanka Eco Tours, a model travel agency dedicated to promote genuine eco and sustainable tourism programmes in Sri Lanka.

 

Palitha is the founder President of Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation (SLEF), the pioneer National Ecotourism Society of Sri Lanka that was established 16 (sixteen fifteen years ago) At present he is the Director of the Research and Training Institute on Sustainable and Ecotourism, managed by Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation. He is also an external Board Member of the Faculty of Tourism Studies, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka and a Visiting Lecturer in Ecotourism at the Travel and Tourism Institute (Hotel School) of Sri Lanka managed by Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Palitha was the founder General Secretary of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism Sri Lanka (ASMET), the pioneer SME Tourism Association in Sri Lanka. At present, he is one of the Directors of Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism Sri Lanka (ASMET), 

>>Read Palitha's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

TONY CHARTERS AM

AUSTRALIA || MEMBER

Tony has over 20 years experience in tourism planning, development and management. He was a founding director of Ecotourism Australia and has served continuously on the Board since 1991. He has also served on the Board and Executive of The International Ecotourism Society for many years. An environmental scientist and urban and regional planner by profession, Tony entered the tourism industry after a senior executive career in World Heritage Area and protected area management. He has worked variously as tourism operator, policy developer and tourism agency executive director.

 

Principal of Tony Charters and Associates, he advises leading industry operators and government on planning, destination development, sustainable management and tourism investment. In 2014 he was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) by the Governor-General for his services to the ecotourism industry, nature-based recreation and environmental education. 

 

>>Read Tony's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

 

 

AGHA IQRAR HAROON

PAKISTAN || MEMBER

Agha Iqrar Haroon is an international and national tourism consultant and has been working with national and international tourism organizations for the last 32 years. He started his career as a tourist guide at the age of 17 while working with Pakistan Tours Limited (PTL) that is subsidiary of Government of Pakistan. He formed Ecotourism Society of Pakistan (ESP) in 1997 and manned its team as president for 10 years. He formed The Region Initiative (TRI) in 2009 for connecting South Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. He is President of TRI.

Having Master degrees in Group Philosophy and History, he has been teaching group development, ecotourism and responsible tourism in state run institutions including Pakistan Austrian Institute for tourism and Hotel Management (PAITHOM) Swat and Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management (ITEM) of Government of province of Punjab.  He is registered scholar for Ph.D in Anthropology. He worked as Consultant with Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), Ministry of Tourism Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Austrian Institute for tourism and Hotel Management (PAITHOM) and Regional Development Society, (RDS) Austria.

 

He had been on board of several international and national tourism bodies as member. His academic work and research papers are cited as the "reference" in many national and international publications including:

  1. Tourism and sustainability: development, globalization and new tourism. ISBN: 978-0-415-41403-6. Date of publication: 29th September 2008.

  2. Himalayan perceptions: environmental change and the welfare of the people who live in the mountains. Rector of the United Nations University. ISBN: 978-0-415-31798-6. The second issue of 2006.

  3. Local people and environmental issues: An Encyclopedia.ISBN: 0-313-32398-4.12/30/2003.

 

COMMITMENT

I believe “Human” is the Core component of environments and his interest must be safeguarded while planning environmental protection.

I believe that Ecotourism is a mode that ensures ecological and economical wellbeing solutions better than anyone who do not live there but communities need support and resources to fight out their economical, social and ecological degradation.

RAJASHREE AJITH

INDIA || MEMBER

She is currently the Director at the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies,an autonomous institution under Tourism department of Government of Kerala, India. She has almost 20 years of experience in top level management in Government administration. She is a Post Graduate in Management, Computer Science, Human Resource Management and took PhD in Management from the University of Kerala. She has graduated in Civil engineering (B Tech). By being the Managing Director of KTDFC at the age of 28, she was the youngest ever Managing Director of a PSU under Government of Kerala. She has worked with various Government departments like Transport as well as Higher Education of the Government of Kerala as Chief Executive and now is in the Tourism Department. As an administrator she has achieved many goals and is highly regarded for her services towards the State in matters of development and in overall progress in related fields.

 

Under her leadership KITTS has become an affiliate member of UNWTO and member in the Knowledge Network of UNWTO. Because of the efforts taken by Dr.RajashreeAjith, KITTS is the Vice President of Affiliate Members of UNWTO in Asia Pacific Region. Moreover, KITTS has become the Kerala Chapter of Internatiional Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT). KITTS has also become an Organisational Premier Plus Member of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) during her tenure. She is playing a key role in placing KITTS as a leading tourism educational institute at international level. 

DAMBA GANTUMUR DAMBA

MONGOLIA || MEMBER

He has started his tourism career on tourism academic works since 1995 and then has established one of leading tourism companies in Mongolia, “Active and Adventure Tour Mongolia”. After his professional education on tourism and sustainability completed in the Netherlands, Wageningen University and Konstanz University, in Germany, he focused on developing as tourism would be the core engine of the competitive economic diversity, supportive local livelihood and conservative natural and cultural resources of the country. “Sustainable Tourism development Centre” NGO is leaded by him together with other leading practitioners of the country whose mission is directed to strengthen its contribution for designing, monitoring, evaluating, and improving sustainable tourism practices and principles in Mongolia and neighborhood regions. He has wide range of experiences on working with international aid organizations such as GIZ, UNDP, World Bank and USAID on tourism and development missions not only in Mongolia also in Russia, China, Kirgizstan, Nepal, Cambodia and so on. Several of his articles regarding with tourism development and sustainability have published by UNWTO and International tourism research books and journals.

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to support the ecotourism development would be the bridge among Asian nations where their natural and cultural resources are unique and diversified by collaborating on the competitive entrepreneurs whose passion directs to support the sustainable livelihood practices.   

MIHEE KANG

SOUTH KOREA || MEMBER

Dr. Kang is a research professor at Seoul National University, researching topics related with protected areas management and sustainable tourism. She received her Ph.D. degree at Seoul National University in 1999 and became the first Ph.D. in the field of ecotourism in South Korea. She serves as an executive board member of Ecotourism Korea and as a consulting fellow of Ecotourism Consulting Committee organized by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. She is appointed as a GSTC trainer and the first Country Representative for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council(GSTC). She has actively participated in numerous ecotourism and protected area projects in Korea and abroad such as Australia, China, Indonesia, etc. She published many articles and books including the first ecotourism book in Korea titled “Ecotourism: Guidebook for Alternative Development and Management of Ecologically Sensitive Local Area” and the recent one titled “Opportunities and Challenges of Ecotourism in ASEAN Countries”. She was also the winner of “UNESCO 2000 Young Scientists Awards”.

 

>>Read Mihee's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

SOULINNARA RATANAVONGS

LAOS || MEMBER

Soulinnara is a young professional who graduated her Master Degree in Hospitality Management from Paris, France. She started her career as independence consultant for a small hotel in Vientiane Capital before moving to Agoda Hotel Reservation Online Company as a Market Executive fro Business Development Sector. After working for Agoda for a year, she found out that to develop tourism industry, we have to start by developing human resource, so she applied for a teacher position in Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (Lanith). Now she works at Lanith as a core team teacher specialize in Food and Beverage Service Operations along with administrative work. As Lanith is one of the organizations that pay attention to Responsible Tourism, Soulinnara has spent sometimes to translate GSTC Booklet into Lao language by the supporting of Lanith Team and providing that booklet to students, private and public sectors in the tourism prospective. In 2014, she won a prestigious award from Pacific Asia Travel Association under the title “PATA Face of The Future” as the recognition of young professional who shows highly interest and support to Tourism Industry. 

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to contribute to promote Ecotourism in Laos with real understanding of what is Ecotourism and how we can apply it into Lao tourism as a whole. 

>>Read Soulinnara's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

KARMA TSHERING

BHUTAN || MEMBER

Karma works as a freelance consultant for the company he founded called Eco-Call (www.ecocalling.com) specialized in tourism planning and management besides others. He previously worked for the Government of Bhutan as a specialist for Nature recreation and ecotourism under Department of Forests and Park services. He started his career in the conservation sector as the National coordinator for the Tiger Conservation Project. It was during those years of conducting tiger surveys which further affirmed his conviction that addressing community concerns was a critical link to conservation. He completed his masters in resource management from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and obtained his Doctorate from the University of Sydney looking at community based tourism as a positive force for the protected areas of Bhutan. Through his many years of experience both in the field and in planning he takes a practical approach to conservation and a firm believer of incentive based conservation. He has been instrumental in promoting community based eco-tourism within the extensive network of Bhutan’s protected areas. With the rapid urbanization of Bhutan he shares great concern in the future development of Bhutan’s tourism. He is a passionate conservationist and remains hopeful that tourism will be the most important sector in Bhutan to make significant contribution to the country’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness. He also serves as an evaluator for the Nat Geo Unique Lodges Program. Besides his work he enjoys engaging himself in social work to help the underprivileged.

>>Read Karma's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

VICTOR YU

TAIWAN || MEMBER

Victor Yu is the President of Ecotourism Taiwan which established in 2014. He has been the CEO of Chinese Wild Bird Federation(BirdLife Partner in Taiwan) for 10 years since 2002. He is still a board member of CWBF. He has also been the Secretary General of Taiwan Ecotourism Association in 2011 to 2014. He is an Ecotourism consultant to an Ecotourism project of Taiwan Forest Bureau. He is a Lecturer of university level certified by Ministry of Education, Taiwan and an Environmental Educator certified by Taiwan Environmental Protection Administration.

Victor holds a Master degree on International Relations in The American University, Washington DC, USA in 1988 and an MBA at National Taiwan Sports University in 2008.

 

He has a wide range experience on adventure and ecotourism. Most of all, he is an avid birdwatcher. He has dedicated much effort on promoting Taiwan birdwatching tourism as well as wildlife conservation. He has been one of the organizers of the Taipei International Birdwatching Fair for 6 years which started in 1999. He has organized many events regarding wildlife conservation, birdwatching tourism and ecotourism, the first International Conference on Birdwatching Tourism in Taiwan in 2009, Taiwan Ornithological Forum in 2007-2010, International Conference on Wildlife Tourism and Conservation in 2012 and 2013 in Taiwan, International Conference on Wetland Conservation, Education and Tourism in 2014, International Conferences on Water-based Tourism in 2014 and many others. He is the main organizer of an annual event, Taiwan Birdathon since 2012. He is also one of the founders and an Executive Committee of Asian Bird Fair which started in 2010. He has been invited by The Department of Ecotourism of Taiwan Tungnan University as a guest lecturer teaching courses of Ecotourism, Nature Interpretation and Environmental Ethics since 2012. Currently he is working with Wild Bird Society of Japan on Green Holiday in Taiwan, working with SEN Travel on Voluntourism in Taiwan, and several international tour agents on birdwatching tours and ecotours.

 

COMMITMENT

I 100% support AEN and would like very much to dedicate my experience and effort for the growing of sustainable tourism in the region and to the world. I believe NGOs should wisely use their knowledge and expertise to help tour business gaining profit from ecotourism in order to maintain the environment, community livelihood and tour business sustainable.

MONZURUL HUQ

BANGLADESH || MEMBER

Professor Sheikh Md. Monzurul Huq graduated in Geography (with a special focus on Recreation and Tourism Geography) from the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Durham, England. He is currently the Chair of the Department of Geography and Environment and Dean of the Faculty of Law, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Previously he was the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. His fields of research interest are: Recreation and Tourism, GIS applications, Medical Geography, Spatial Epidemiology and Ecology. Professor Huq published more than 40 articles and chapters in various national and international journals and books. He presented more than 50 papers in various national/international seminars and conferences. He is married and father of two daughters.

 

COMMITMENT

Raise sensitivity to host communities’ environmental and social climate through education.

>>Read Monzurul's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

 

ARY SUHANDI

INDONESIA || MEMBER

Executive Director of the Indonesian Ecotourism Network (INDECON http://www.indecon.or.id) since 2002, Ary Suhandi earned his degree in biology at the National University (Jakarta, Indonesia). Considered a “Ecotourism enthusiast” by the Indonesian Ministry of Culture and Tourism , Ary has been a leader of nature-based tourism in Indonesia since 1987. His work has involved establishing and supporting ecotourism, community-based tourism, and conservation education programs in 15 of Indonesia’s 36 provinces.

Ary’s career history includes tourism enterprise development, program management, site monitoring and evaluation, field research, and tour operations for international agencies including Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy, the Asian Development Bank, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Japan). As a nationally and internationally recognized expert in nature and community-based tourism, Ary has served on the selection committees for international tourism awards administered by National Geographic Travelers (USA), and the World Travel and Tourism Council (UK).

 

COMMITMENT

Promote ecotourism development in Indonesia and increase people's respect on others, culture, and living environment.

>>Read Ary's interview article by Sustainability Leaders

BIJAYA PRADHAN

NEPAL || MEMBER

Bijaya Pradhan said ecotourism means the combination of culture, nature, and environment and with this three things combined together then there is a blend of Ecotourism which helps in the protection of the local culture, nature and the environment. It also helps in income generation for the local people of that particular area or region. He added that There is a high potential of Ecotourism Development in the Asian region, though back in his days in Nepal there were challenges to overcome, such as let the people know what Ecotourism means and what are the benefits once they go through it and also to convince the local as well as the central government, which is time consuming. Fortunately, in 1998, he talked with the Nepal Tourism Board and SNV - Kathmandu and came up with an idea of establishing Sustainable Tourism Network. He said by engaging with AEN, he could also engage in sharing his experience and knowledge with other companies, organizations, people, institutions, and would love to make the best destination in the world. For this, he added, we all have to join hands in developing a policy recognized or indorsed by the state government. Together we all can make the development of Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism here in the Asian region so we as an AEN member should come up

 

Zane Smith

New Zealand || MEMBER

Zane’s Eco and Adventure Tourism career has spanned more than 20 Years. Starting as a teenager in New Zealand’s Adventure Tourism sector he found his passion for the environment had a strong voice in the interpretation of natural history, ecology, culture and environmental science. During the 1990’s and the early 2000’s Zane owned and operated some small adventure tourism companies in New Zealand and traveled widely working in Adventure Tourism operations around the world. In 1997 he aptly named his whitewater rafting company ‘eco rafting’ and used the rafting journey to bring out the stories of nature's surroundings. He has been actively engaged in bringing the theory of Ecotourism to practice and thus working in the tertiary education sector for the past 20 years in tandem with his operational workload. This work has taken him many places and had him involved in a variety of tourism and education operations in Australia, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, China, Philippines, Malaysia, USA, Hawaii, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Scotland. Zane is a dedicated communicator and shares his enthusiasm openly for sustainable tourism across all sectors. He operates a tourism consultancy business and is Development Manager - Ecotourism New Zealand and Lead Innovation Consultant - Tai Poutini Polytechnic New Zealand.  He is currently completing a Masters in Science (Entrepreneurial Leadership) at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland.

 

COMMITMENT

To assist AEN’s scope in future development and the inclusion of a wider geographical and international view on Ecotourism, bringing ideas, experiences, and insights to the AEN governance team, doing so by bringing my practical and academic skills to the table.

Johnny Orn

CAMBODIA || MEMBER

Sambovannak ORN known as “Johnny ORN” is a conservationist and a sustainable ecotourism developer inside protected areas of Cambodia with 8 different communities across two landscapes. He served as a Managing Director of a local NGO called Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation based in Siem Reap and a consultant for community based ecotourism for last 5 years of his career life. He has actively participated in numerous ecotourism and protected area projects in Cambodia and abroad such as Malaysia, China, Indonesia, etc. and different seminar in sustainable development within protected areas and alternative projects for the grassroots. He lead his last organization to win the Gold World Responsible Tourism Award in “The Best Contribution to Conservation” and the “Country Sponsor Award” from the Royal Government of Cambodia.

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to share my experience in ecotourism development and its benefit as a model to all Asian countries where there are rich natural heritage and culture and to support both conservation and people.

Kazuhiro Arai

JAPAN || MEMBER

Following a degree in national park management from Lincoln University New Zealand and a master’s degree in tourism from Hokkaido University in Japan, Kazuhiro (Kazu) established Daisetsuzan Nature School in 2001. The school is based in Daisetsuzan National Park in Japan and provides eco tours, environmental education, and nature conservation programmes with the concept of “conservation by users”. Kazu tries to create a system of “wise use” with the local community towards a sustainability management.

 

Kazu is also a board member of Ecotourism Japan, and works as a Japanese GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) project member and a GSTC trainer, as well as a board member of WIN AINU (World Indigenous Network-AINU) which encourages AINU culture to be handed down for the future generation.

 

COMMITMENT

I would like to promote sustainable tourism in Japan through ecotourism practice as a tool for community development. I am interested in developing effective methods of encouraging tourists and locals to be happily responsible with their respect on others, culture, and environment. These should be achieved by many types of communications that are fun and neat rather than just putting signs up.

XIAOMEI LIU

CHINA || MEMBER

Xiaomei is the Operation Manager of Dragon Expeditions, the only Chinese member of Responsible Tourism Association in UK. Dragon Expeditions aims to explore the great outdoors in western Sichuan. Who earned rich experience of hosting national and international travelers (both adults and students) on trips and expeditions to remote and stunning mountain regions. In 2015 Dragon teams established a center for nature-based learning and community development called Yunhe (Forest School) on the plateau, as a platform for the global students to pursue, impart and exchange ideas of environmental awareness, responsible tourism and restore local unique diminishing culture and traditional ethics in Danba, Zhonglu from over mass rapid tourism development.

 

Xiaomei is the first Chinese winner of Rotary Foundation World Peace Fellowship and is working on the strengthening of Chinese local communities and grass-root NGOs, supporting their cultural and environmental conservation. Xiaomei has over 6 years of work experience in environmental protection and non-profit organization development. She has a passion for promoting nature education and workshops on community sustainable development.

 

COMMITMENT

I believe once the local community finds their confidence of their own culture, which has been living peacefully and harmonies way with nature and their neighbors, the ecotourism will be the best way to develop their livelihood and mutual understand between tourists and locals.

CT Wu

TAIWAN || MEMBER

CT Wu had started the nature adventure since 1985 while lived and worked in Indonesia. In 1991, CT Wu joined to the Wild Bird Society of Taipei (WBST) as a volunteer after relocated back to Taiwan.

 

In 1992, the very first leading oversea birding experience to Nepal and successfully organized four Borneo birding tour. In 1995, built up the Natural Kingdom Inc Eco-tour company aim to bring local people to visit the most popular nature hot spot around the world as Masai Mara, Amazon river, Pantana wetland.., and etc…

 

In 2000, he became the member of TIES and participated the initiation of Taiwan Ecotourism Association.

 

In 2008, he has involved with a project to develop Eco-tour for Taiwan aborigines (Indigenous peoples in Taiwan), and launched the official Facebook", 【wulai Ecotourism & Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge】in 2009.

Currently, C T Wu is one of 20 board members of Taiwan Ecotourism Association (TEA) and try to devote to deliver the Eco-beauty of the world.

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