2008 Travelers’ Philanthropy Conference Program announced


Washington, DC – The 2008 Travelers’ Philanthropy Conference, taking place in Arusha, Tanzania from December 3-5, 2008 will feature an exclusive half-day Short Course on how to establish and manage a travelers’ philanthropy program and the premier of a new documentary film. The newly-released conference program includes 27 workshops on a wide range of current topics as well as plenary sessions. The workshops feature three main streams including Travelers’ Philanthropy: Contribution to Conservation, Travelers’ Philanthropy: Investing in Communities and Development and Travelers’ Philanthropy: Trends and Cross Cutting Issues. Eight optional, pre- and post- conference safaris that combine game viewing and other tourism activities with visits to community projects supported by tour operators will also be available at a discount for participants, friends, and family.

“This conference marks the most comprehensive examination to date of travelers’ philanthropy – the growing global initiative by which tourism businesses and travelers are helping to support local schools, clinics, micro-enterprises, job training, conservation, and other types of projects in tourism destinations around the world,” said Dr. Martha Honey, co-director of the Center on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (CESD) which is organizing the conference. “We have chosen to hold the conference in East Africa both because there are many fine examples of responsible tourism businesses that are practicing travelers’ philanthropy and because there are many pressing local and regional social and environmental needs which tourism, done well, can help to address.”

The keynote address will be given by Nobel Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai, founder and leader of Kenya ’s Green Belt Movement. Other plenary sessions include a panel discussion on “HIV/AIDS: Responses from the Travel Industry,” “Creating a Strong Corporate Commitment & Model: Vision for the Future,” and an address on “Benefiting Host Communities: Lessons from East Africa,” by Dr. David Western, former head of Kenya Wildlife Service and founder of the African Conservation Center.

The specially-designed Short Course on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of travelers’ philanthropy, will be held on Wednesday afternoon, December 3, just before the official opening of the conference. “We have created this course because many people are unfamiliar with the concept of travelers’ philanthropy, its different models and its growth as a new form of development assistance,” explained Fred Nelson, CESD’s conference coordinator in East Africa. “In the course, we will give step-by-step instruction on how to create a travelers’ philanthropy program,” added Nelson. The instructors include representatives from leading international and African tour companies and other experts in the field of travelers’ philanthropy including the following (a few of which are still being confirmed): Les Carlisle (CC Africa), Dennis Pinto (Micato Safaris), Jane Crouch (Intrepid), Priscilla Macy (Global Sojourns), Len Cordiner (World Hotel Link), Lars Lindqvist (Basecamp Masai Mara), Judy Kepher-Gona (Ecotourism Kenya), Martha Honey (CESD), Bill Durham (CESD), and Laura Driscoll (CESD).

In addition, the conference will showcase a 25-minute documentary on travelers’ philanthropy which has been specially commissioned for this event. Two talented young documentary makers from Stanford University, Peter Jordan and Charlene Music, are currently spending several months shooting footage in Costa Rica and East Africa and editing this educational video.

The three-day conference, the first since the 2004 Travelers’ Philanthropy Conference held at Stanford University, is supported by a growing list of co-sponsors including tourism businesses, conservation NGOs, and UN and other development agencies. Details on registration, scholarships, and how to apply to be a workshop speaker are provided on the conference website: www.travelersphilanthropyconference.org. Those wishing to speak must submit short abstracts by July 31, 2008. Early Bird registration ($395) closes August 31, 2008.