TRAVEL HAS ALWAYS HAD A WAY of connecting people to the land, literally stepping us out of our comfort zones and onto an entirely new terrain with different sights, sounds and adventures. Exploring makes the world seem both bigger and smaller at the same time, and now, with more ecotourism options than ever, we can expand our horizons without widening our footprint.
Ecotourism is a term coined back in 1990 by what has today become known as The International Ecotourism Society, a nonprofit organization that defines ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the wellbeing of local people.” Ecotours today range from off-the-grid luxury retreats with bespoke itineraries to adventurous daytrips designed with sustainability in mind.
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures operated out of its Alberta home outside of Banff National Park in Canada for more than 40 years, maintaining a focus on sustainable tours since its inception. Today it continues to specialize in self-propelled mountain experiences like ice climbing, trekking and mountaineering. The eco-focused company is a member of Leave No Trace, and its deep respect for nature and the environment is seen in its partnerships with local nonprofits working to create safe climbing environments with projects like implementing natural erosion protection measures at the base of cliffs.
Many tour operators, like Kind Traveler, adopt a Give + Get platform where simply booking a vacation through that company unlocks an exclusive rate while also donating a portion of profits to a local charity or community close to the destination. Along with offering a full range of amazing ecotours that support wildlife conservation efforts, Responsible Travel offers a Trip for a Trip program that allows travelers to opt in when booking a vacation so the team at Responsible Travel can in turn organize a daytrip for a disadvantaged youth.
The Australian travel operator Intrepid Travel has long been a leader in offering ecotours around the world, operating as a carbon-neutral business since 2010. Today the business operates 27 carbon-neutral offices around the world and offers more than 1,400 carbon-offset trips made possible by the company’s investment in renewable energy projects like reforestation programs in Kenya and Australia, wind turbine projects in Turkey and the United States and water filter initiatives in Cambodia.
In 2002 Intrepid Travel also began giving back to the communities it serves and today supports more than 50 local grassroots projects ranging from improving sustainable development to protecting the rights of children and women in impoverished areas and working to improve education and health care.
One of Palm Desert, California’s, signature hotel properties recently finalized its biggest-ever redesign. The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa is home to 884 guestrooms and nearly 250,000 square feet of event space. Every facet of the property has been redesigned ahead of the property’s grand re-opening in January.
Get to know Mexico with ONE FREE NIGHT With Fiesta Americana Get to know Mexico with the largest hotel company in the country, offering more than 185 options in the best city and resort destinations. Book at any of our hotels with the best available rate at the time of booking and get one night free.
CRUISING HAS CHANGED DRAMATICALLY over the past century, first providing travelers with a means of transportation and then ushering in a new era that attracted leisure travelers looking for variety in the midnight buffets and activity on the shuffleboard courts. The new generation of cruisers takes cruising to an entirely new realm, where passengers split their time on and off the boat for an equal mix of time on the water and on the shore.
IT IS IN THE NATURE OF THINGS we love to want to trace them to their beginnings. It is also in the nature of things we love to enjoy sharing them with others. Put the two together, add a ship, and that is what wine enthusiasts can expect on a wine cruise. Sail along historic rivers, disembark to visit wineries, walk the vineyards, taste the wines and later, on the ship, enjoy dinner with other wine lovers while sipping wines highlighting your meal. A wine-rich day ends with a peaceful night’s sleep as the ship sails on to tomorrow’s vinous treat.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.
TIME IS NOT ON THE SIDE of taxpayers who failed to report their Bitcoin and other virtual currency transactions to the IRS. The IRS recently announced it is sending letters to virtual currency owners who have not reported transactions on income tax returns. By the end of August, more than 10,000 taxpayers received these letters.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.
Alaska Airlines recently debuted its new Pixar-inspired, special-edition aircraft livery. On both sides of the Pixar-themed Boeing 737-800 aircraft, travelers spot recognizable faces from the Toy Story franchise, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie. Rex the Tyrannosaurus appears on the boarding door and the little green aliens show up on the aircraft’s winglets.