As one of Ecuador´s leading conservation organizations, Conservación y Desarrollo developed the Smart Voyager sustainable tourism certification program, which awards its seal of approval to tour boat operators and hotels in Ecuador who meet a set of strict conservation standards for protecting the environment, wildlife and the well-being of workers and local communities.
Smart Voyager standards were designed in collaboration with scientists, conservation experts and tour operators, and cover a host of environmental and social concerns.
In December 2000, Smart Voyager evaluated and certified five of the 20 large tour vessels that travel through the Galapagos Islands. The program was so successful that with generous funding from the World Bank, they have begun to adapt these same standards to smaller vessels holding no more than 16 passengers.
During the past year, Smart Voyager also began certifying hotels on the Ecuadorian mainland. The hotels are expected to live up to the same rigorous standards as the boats if they would like to be awarded Smart Voyager certification.
Smart Voyager certification:
- improves the quality of life for local residents
- reduces the ecological impacts of tourism
- gives tour operators a way to directly contribute to the local economy and to the environment
- offers travelers a chance to help people and wildlife while visiting natural treasures
For more information see SmartVoyager.org