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Gap Adventures founder to serve as keynote speaker at Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2010

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Bruce Poon Tip to address ecotourism, travel sustainability trends at three-day summit

Toronto – Gap Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip will share his intriguing and visionary insights on ecotourism and sustainability trends when he takes to the stage at the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2010 (ESTC), in Portland, Oregon, between September 8 and 10.

The conference – co-sponsored by Gap Adventures and the non-profit Planeterra Foundation – is North America’s largest and only conference focusing on sustainability in the tourism industry and will assemble more than 500 business leaders, tourism professionals and community stakeholders to discuss practical ideas and solutions to sustainability challenges facing the sector today. The conference’s ultimate goal: reinforcing the role of tourism in building a more sustainable future for the travel industry.

“We love changing people’s lives through travel and I believe ESTC is a perfect forum to help us advance that goal,” Poon Tip, the conference’s keynote speaker, said. “We’ve proven time and again through initiatives like our voluntourism projects that sustainability and travel needn’t be mutually exclusive. Smart travel that respects local ecosystems, economies and communities not only provides a more exciting experience for our travellers, it’s simply the right thing to do.”

For the first time, ESTC will also be joining forces with the Planeterra Foundation to provide opportunities for conference delegates to roll up their sleeves for the local community. Delegates will have a chance to volunteer at Portland-area landmarks such as the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge and the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, in an effort to highlight the increasing importance and relevance of voluntourism.

“These practical sessions in the field will give delegates an opportunity to participate in a hands-on voluntourism experience and gain an understanding of how giving back to the people and places they visit provides a richer traveller experience.” said Planeterra director Richard G. Edwards.

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