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04/14/06 - Eco-Tourism and Green Lodging Certifica


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contact information: Sara Brazer Brazer Communications (860) 355-8229 Greg Dugal, Executive Director Maine Innkeepers Association (207) 865-6100 MAINE INNKEEPERS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES ITS ECO-TOURISM AND GREEN LODGING CERTIFICATION SEMINAR Freeport, ME – April 14, 2006 – The Maine Innkeepers Association (MEIA), a leading provider of information and support to the lodging and tourism industry of Maine, is pleased to announce, in conjunction with its Education Committee, the Eco-Tourism and Green Lodging Certification Seminar. The seminar, which is part of a series of educational seminars that the Association hosts, will be held on Tuesday April 25 at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown in Freeport. The seminar will run from 10am until 3:30 pm. The cost for the seminar is $49 per person, and includes lunch. The morning session will be presented by Costas Christ, Executive Director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. The presentation will focus on how sustainable tourism is transforming the travel industry. Christ will look at how in the past 50 years, travel and tourism have increased by more than 3000 percent, to an unprecedented 76 million international travelers in 2004. At the same time, adventure and nature travel have emerged at the forefront of the growing tourism industry both nationally and internationally. He will talk about how it is in this context that ecotourism emerged as an organized movement in the early 1990s evolving into a global sustainable tourism agenda today. Costas Christ is a noted eco-tourism expert, and was responsible for bringing The International Ecotourism Society’s (TIES) conference to Maine in 2005. Prior to leading the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Christ was the Senior Director for Ecotourism at Conservation International in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for overseeing ecotourism development projects in 18 countries. An expert on nature and adventure travel, he writes a monthly travel column for National Geographic Adventure Magazine. He has appeared on National Public Radio, CNN, PBS and the BBC, among other television and radio programs, to talk about sustainable tourism. He is the former Chairman of the Board of The International Ecotourism Society and currently serves as President of The Adventure Council. He also serves as Chairman of the 2006 World Travel and Tourism Council “Tourism for Tomorrow” Awards. The afternoon seminar entitled “Green Lodging Certification,” will be presented by Peter Cooke, Pollution Prevention Manager at Maine DEP. Cooke will provide information on how a lodging business can begin to reduce the impact it has on Maine's environment. He will walk through several easy and cheap ways to save energy, save water, save money, reduce waste and reduce emissions that contribute to poor indoor air quality and the air that we breathe outdoors; and will use successful examples of Association members to highlight activities that can be undertaken by your business. Cooke will also provide a presentation on the benefits associated with becoming certified by the state, how to get certified and how to obtain free technical assistance from the DEP to get you on the road to reducing impact and working towards getting ready for certification. Guest speakers confirmed for this session include Andy Omo from The Harraseeket Inn, Derek Daly from Inn by the Sea and Scott Cowger from Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center. These individuals will also offer their expertise and recommendation on where you can get started. For more information contact the Maine Innkeepers Association at (207) 865-6100. “The Association is pleased to be able to continue the seminar series to assist our members in extending their industry education,” exclaimed Greg Dugal, Executive Director, MEIA. “We have some talented industry professionals speaking, who can really give some valuable advice to our members and others in the industry.” About the Maine Innkeepers Association The Maine Innkeepers Association, a leading provider of tourism information to both Maine’s lodging industry and its visitors, represents nearly 800 B&Bs, camps, cottages, hotels, inns, motels and resorts across Maine, and their suppliers. Through communication, education, promotion and government affairs, the Association helps its members achieve prosperity and deliver a quality product to the consumer. Maine Innkeepers Association is located in Freeport, ME and can also be found at ###

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