The ‘Golden Age’ of Green Travel

Travel Blog  •  Joanna Kakissis  •  04.01.09 | 12:07 PM ET

That would be right now, despite the economic recession, says National Geographic Adventure’s eco tourism expert Costas Christ. Consider the evidence: Airlines are testing clean biofuels, top tourism organizations are battling climate change and defining sustainability standards and the Marriott Corporation is leading the charge to protect some 1.4 million acres of Amazon rain forest. Most notably for the humble traveler, the small outfitters and family-owned lodges of the early years of eco tourism are regaining their influence over the “$500-a-night jungle resorts” that have put eco travel out of financial reach for many, Christ says.

President Barack Obama also helps, at least in the United States, since he equates economic recovery with environmental responsibility. Earlier this week, he delighted environmentalists and national park enthusiasts by signing broad new land and water conservation rules into law that designate some two million acres in nine states as wilderness.

That means no oil and gas drilling and other development will be allowed there.

Joanna Kakissis's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, among other publications. A contributor to the World Hum blog, she's currently a Ted Scripps fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

2 Comments for The ‘Golden Age’ of Green Travel

Ruth 04.09.09 | 2:14 AM ET

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan White 05.07.09 | 9:09 PM ET


I do agree with you that there is a lot of energy behind “green travel”. I think the problem in going mainstream (if that’s the goal) is defining what “green travel” is. A lot of lodging facilities want to claim that, but want to make no sacrifices to achieve that goal. At least in the US, the new AHLA guidelines provide a start for the domestic hotel industry. I normally consult the state green program web pages for actual facilities that are making an effort.

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