Friends of Serengeti is a nonprofit association for the travel industry that was formed in response to these threats. It’s mission, to bring together travel companies and travelers to build a permanent structure of support, advocacy, and funding for the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
Friends of Serengeti combines travel marketing and conservation. It offers an important new marketplace for safari operators, lodges, and hotels. Member companies have an important way to stand out and get noticed by travelers.
The premise of the association is that the travel industry must give back, and companies that give back should in turn benefit from their efforts. Member companies raise funds by educating their travelers and asking for donations to fund important projects. Modeled after the successful International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) www.igtoa.org, Friends of Serengeti partners with NGO’s working in the area to identify and carry out its programs.
Member company benefits include use of the FOS logo and other marketing materials, listing on the FOS web site, promotion to FOS Facebook members, networking with potential travelers on our Facebook and our discussion forum. And promotion through our affiliates: Adventure Travel Trade Association, Center for Responsible Travel, Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Friends of Serengeti was formed because threats to the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem have entered a new and critical phase. The stakes are high. The Serengeti is really our test case going forward in whether the world can accomplish this in the 21st Century.
Irreversible damage to the Serengeti ecosystem would devastate tourism throughout the region and have a cascading effect on other natural areas in Africa and around the world. Threats to the Serengeti, an icon of World Heritage Sites, represents a threat to the UNESCO World Heritage concept itself.
There is a category of membership for Tanzanian and Kenyan tour operators, hotels, lodges, and other service providers. Yearly dues: $400.
Membership information: http://friendsofserengeti.org/
Founding members: http://friendsofserengeti.org/
Application form: http://friendsofserengeti.org/
Contact: David Blanton, [email protected]