Best Support Services For

Ecotourism and Sustainable Development

 

 

Excellent track record in ecotourism and environmental care ensures we are the best team for achieving the highest sustainability standards.

 

 

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Ecotourism Challenges

Your biggest challenges are to protect natural features and provide excellent visitor experiences, while adhering to sustainable industry standards. These standards are usually more stringent and financially demanding than for other businesses.

We have years of experience in the field of ecotourism and provide qualified and experienced support.

Optimising your business and getting your project recognised and certified to the highest industry standards.

Venues & Destinations

Ecotourism venues and destinations typically incorporate a feature of conservation that may be ecological, cultural, historical, archaeological and/or spiritual. Aiming to immerse visitors in such features whilst preserving them, thus creating ‘sustainable interactive experiences’.

Interactive Experiences

Interactive or Interpretive Experiences, particularly first hand of nature and animals, are powerful, creating a strong personal link with the ecotourism theme. In general, the more informal and fun the experience, the greater the impact of the theme.

Ecotourism should aim to be as much an educational experience as recreational.

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Development Process

Destinations, Venues and Experiences

Ecotourism done well is a powerful medium for increasing environmental and cultural awareness.

A successful, sustainable and ethical ecotourism operation encompasses:

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Identify Theme and Audience

What is the theme of your proposed or existing ecotourism experience? What natural and/or cultural features are visitors going to interact with and what is the ‘message’ to be shared?

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Assessment

Comprehensive assessments to determine environmental and social impacts, ‘carrying capacity’ of proposed activities and sustainability issues. Preservation criteria for sensitive sites.

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Stakeholder Liaison

Identify the joint stakeholders in the locale and region relating to the development. Liaise and negotiate to ensure their concerns and needs are addressed by development plans.

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Identify Key Training Needs

Are operational managers of the development and key experience leaders suitably trained to fulfil their responsibilities related to preservation of the feature and communication of the theme?

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Regulatory Approvals

In almost all cases ecotourism projects will require evaluation by regulators overseeing environmental protection, management plans, rights of access, staff and public safety.

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Feedback Loops & Evaluation

Achieving the aims of the interpretation and the quantitative goals of the impact management require monitoring and experience feedback collation and periodic re-evaluation.

Professional Support - You've Found It

We love ecotourism and we love seeing it done the right way. We’ve been in the field for ages and seen it all.

Combined with vast experience in environmental management in heavy industry, we know how to get all the boxes ticked.

Taking an ecotourism operation to full Gold Ecotourism Certification, ratified by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and keeping it there, well, we’ve done that too!

If you’re in ecotourism or thinking about heading that way, you need to talk to us…we’ll save you a lot of time and help you realise your goals faster.

Merle Diekmann on interpretive trail in Scotland ecotourism

Essential Services >

Project Management

New Ventures

Get it done right from stage one, we’ll guide you or manage your project from concept through design, assessment, approval and startup.

We’ll chart the shortest course to ‘turn-key’ stage, and create the long term visionary plans to top certification, high industry kudos and customer confidence.

Existing Projects

All projects benefit from new energy and fresh ideas. This ensures high experience standards and preservation of the ecotourism features are maintained.

Trends in visitor interest and methods of engagement change often, thus it is important to be constantly reassessing the efficacy of the ecotourism experience and the project economics.

Supporting your project in these key operational areas, either as part of your team on the ground or as consultants:

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Financial Management

Finding economies, optimising work flows, increasing ROI and recovering time. Leveraging latest tech and systems for greater efficiencies.

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Policy & Management Plans

Develop comprehensive policies and management plans to address all stakeholder, regulator and environmental criteria.

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Impacts Evaluations

Project sustainability can not be proven without monitoring impact indicators and assessment of results. This in turn informs long term planning.

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Social Equity

Collaboration with local communities, building mutually beneficial relationships, aids overall success and is a key sustainability metric.

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New Partnerships

Develop relationships with more stakeholders and service providers to enhance appeal of the project and connect with a broader audience.

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Upkeep & Enhancements

Apply feedback data to enhance visitor satisfaction. Develop long term financial goals, training, maintenance and renovations plans.

Although it’s all about nature, we still need to use technology to connect with our audience and visitors.

 

Flor & Marion Burke

Flor & Marion Burke

Owners, Crann Og Eco Farm

“Bringing a surge of new energy to our project, they helped us consolidate our direction and were instrumental in our being recognised as one of the premier back to nature experiences in Ireland.

They created a new and contemporary online presence for our business and diligently managed its growth. With their invaluable help we have developed many new elements to our project and collaborations. Our combined efforts were recognised as Gold standard by Ecotourism Ireland from 2015 to 2019.”

 

Under our management:

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Increased Revenue

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Boosted Website Traffic

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Grew Social Following

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5 Star Reviews

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Increased Revenue

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Boosted Website Traffic

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Grew Social Following

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5 Star Reviews

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Eco Certification

Recognition by peers and regulators is essential for success in ecotourism. Being an interesting ecotourism experience is an achievement, but potential visitors search for indicators of credibility, one of the most important being certification or ‘labelling’.

Certification by a recognised organisation gives potential visitors confidence in your operation and demonstrates compliance with measures designed to preserve the special features.

 

Certified Eco Sustainable venue Eco Freelance Support managed in Ireland with Yurt and rustic furniture

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Oversee ecotourism certification globally and developed the standards and measures that form the basis of this system over several decades. In turn developing the numerous criteria for assessment, audit and certification as it exists today.

“…the Criteria were designed to adhere to ISO codes of conduct and the standards-setting code of the ISEAL Alliance, the international body providing guidance for the development and management of sustainability standards for all sectors.” (GSTC)

Our Ecotourism Credentials

Qualified

Trained in Sustainable Tourism Management, Sustainable Project Development and Environmental Management Systems. Plus a whole bunch of other complimentary skillsets. We’re constantly adding IT skills too and monitoring visitor & technology trends.

Real Experience

We’re avid ecotourism ‘consumers’ and have worked in the genre, covering everything from ecolodges in remote locations to interpretive experiences in protected areas. Environmental management in heavy industry since the 90’s, from design to implementation.

Proven Track Record

We’ve managed ecotourism operations from non-certification through the whole process to Gold Certification ratified by GSTC, and maintained these high standards. Environmental awards in heavy industry given by regulators and peers.

Development Approach Summarised

There are in the region of 300 individual criteria that are assessed for Ecotourism Certification ratified by the GSTC. Covering many different aspects of ecotourism operations, be they interpretive experiences, individual venues or regional destinations.

Overview of our approach to certification of your ecotourism project:

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Sustainability Analysis

Assess the current sustainability metrics and economic viability of your project.

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Identify Benchmarks

Identify areas of under performance and define the benchmarks to achieve.

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Implementation Program

Devise appropriate strategies to achieve the benchmarks to attain certification.

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Policies and Management Plans

Develop policies and management plans to address all preservation criteria.

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Applications and Audits

Compile certification applications and manage site audits by regulators for you.

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Operations and Monitoring

Impacts monitoring and visitor satisfaction evaluations feeding back to policies and plans.

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Recognition and Kudos

Your potential audience needs to know of your certification, we’ll design the campaign.

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Re-Certification Loops

Certification is regularly audited, maintaining high standards is essential.

Eco Certification From Start To Finish

 

Hire us to attain industry certification, full project management and mentoring.

We have solutions to suit your needs and budget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Essential Services >

Web Development

Be where your audience is

Online is where most people connect with information, plan and purchase. Even if our interests are largely nature oriented, we need visitors, customers and supporters, therefore we need a presence online.

Here at Eco Freelance we understand that an effective online presence is about more than just websites and social media. Moreover, if the foundations are laid well, online strategies serve very well in spreading the message and awareness.

Despite the fact we realise we’re working for less reliance on technology and returning to nature, the people we need to connect with are online!

 

Beginner Site from €490 | Start Up from €1,950 | Grow Big Site from €2,950 | Pro Site from €3,550

If you can’t afford our fees, we offer payment plans, work-by-donation and will donate our services free in some cases.

Essential Services >

Digital Marketing

Make your online presence fly

Establishing our online presence is a vital first step that lays the foundation for success. Offline marketing is no longer reliable or viable for most applications.

Marketing is now predominantly digital as this is where most people can be found on a consistent basis. There are many ways that a business connects with their audience online, these are referred to as channels.

Significant effort is required to make successful digital marketing strategies that cover many channels. Relying on any one channel is not wise.

Therefore it is important to select the most appropriate channels for any campaign. Creating an online presence and brand is an investment. That investment will only generate return if supported by well informed digital strategies.

Business Digital Marketing; StartUp from €85/month | Grow Big from €190/month | Pro Suite from €380/month

If you can’t afford our fees, we offer payment plans, work-by-donation and will donate our services free in some cases.

Essential Services >

Ongoing Support

The Long Game

Having a great business setup and online presence is just the beginning. Your valuable online assets need to be maintained in order for you to stay on top.

This is where most solopreneurs, startups and small businesses feel the pressure; how to continue providing excellent client service while maintaining an active and relevant online presence and growing business.

Our Solutions

Providing all the services offered by big agencies for people like you, so you are right where your clients are!

We’re a small tactical team with minimal overheads so we can keep the costs real and affordable, so you can continue to grow and make the world an even better place.

Ad hoc or long term support packages, we’ve got you covered.

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We know what it takes to excel in ecotourism.

We’ve been on your side of the coin as environmentalists and successful ecotourism operators. We get it!

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Venue Managers

Employ us to manage your venue and events on the ground or remote. We mentor too!

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Digital Marketing

Complete multi channel marketing from research to publishing to analytics and insights. – Read more –

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Social Media Management

Profile optimisations, cross platform branding and regular post and event publishing. We create it, you proof it, we publish it fast.

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Content Marketing

Optimised content published in all the right places. Your ideas + our professional support = more visitors and more clients. – Read more –

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Website Maintenance

Website monitoring, software updates, server maintenance and security management. We take care of all the behind the scenes geekery.

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Impacts Monitoring

Monitoring programs to evaluate environmental and social impacts of ecotourism.

Ecotourism & Sustainable Development Support

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Our Latest Articles

Creating Interpretive Experience In A Conservation Area

Creating Interpretive Experience In A Conservation Area

Creating Interpretive Experiences in Ecotourism Interpretive Themes vs Topics How To Engage Visitors By Interpretation? Developing An Interpretive Experience Determining the Themes Attaining Regulatory Approval Stakeholder Liaison Identifying Key Experience and...

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Eco Certification Standards & Measures, What are they?

Eco Certification Standards & Measures, What are they?

Eco Certification Standards & Measures Explained Why Have Standards What Are the Standards Detailed Criteria for Certification of Ecotourism Certification Measures Summarised High Level Of Certification Is A Great Achievement! Resources Related Why Gold Certified...

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Images on this web page by Merle Diekmann, Paul King, 123rf.com and Unsplash.com

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