A fifth of the world’s plants under threat, as report says 391,000 species now known to science

A ground-breaking report from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has produced an estimate of the number of plants known to science. By searching through existing databases, the researchers have estimated that there are now 390,900 known plant species, of which around 369,400 are flowering plants. But this figure is only those species currently documented: new…
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National Park Week: Free admission to U.S. national parks

All national parks in the USA. will be accessible admission-free from April 16 through April 24. The week of free admission during National Park Week is to mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. This year’s celebration brings the grand total of free-admission days at America’s national parks to 16—well above the nine…
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Taking responsibility for wildlife – World Travel Market discusses tourism and animal welfare

Welfare and conservation aspects of wildlife tourism and attractions have been in the news lately, with a major study on conservation and welfare at wildlife attractions just published in PNAS, and another recent study suggesting that nature tourism may affect how predators and prey interact. Yesterday saw wildlife and national parks discussed in a seminar…
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Climate change: consider the worst case

With so many immediate crises to deal with, it would be easy for world leaders to put the issue of climate change on the back burner. As European leaders continue to battle with Greece’s financial crisis, terrorist attacks drive tourists from Tunisia, and conflicts continue to divide Syria and Iraq, then a climate summit to…
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Tourism growth threatens global resources

  Tourism has proved itself one of the most resilient global industries, shrugging off the recent financial crisis to resume healthy growth and hit new record levels. As the rise in living standards in countries such as China translates into growing appetites for international travel, tourism levels look set to continue growing. But this growth…
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World Wildlife Day 2015

Last year saw the first World Wildlife Day, to be held annually on 3 March as the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). (See this blog article by Stephanie Cole from a year ago). As is appropriate for a day commemorating CITES,…
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Why walking in groups is good for you

Despite all the government campaigns, targets and media stories about the importance of regular exercise, a high proportion of the populations of Western countries still leads a very sedentary lifestyle. Cost and availability of facilities such as gyms and sports centres shouldn’t be a factor, given the benefit that can be obtained from simply walking…
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Is orphanage tourism fuelling child trafficking?

  Of all the forms of ‘volunteer tourism’, orphanage visits or volunteering have raised the most concern. A number of charities have warned about the emotional harm that could be caused by a constant stream of volunteers who shower orphans with affection for a few hours or days, and then disappear for ever. Concerns have…
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World Tourism Day: Tourism and Community Development

World Tourism Day (WTD), celebrated every year on 27 September, is a global observance to highlight tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value.  WTD 2014 is being held under the theme Tourism and Community Development – focusing on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their…
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Indigenous peoples and tourism

  Using social media as the primary means of communication, Planeta.com and partners have designated the week from 4 August 2014 as Indigenous Peoples Week: an "annual celebration of social web storytelling about indigenous peoples and tourism around the world." Indigenous peoples are widely used by national tourism boards in marketing, and many tours sell…
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