Ron Mader, Founder, Planeta

Ron Mader  Founder, Planeta.com

Ron has completed his bachelor’s degree in communication in 1987 from Indiana University and his master’s degree in 1990 from The University of Texas, at Austin. Mr. Mader is a professional speaker, communication coach and brave journalist, featured in the 2000 and 2008 editions of American Environmental Leaders.

Ron’s work catalyzes meaningful conversation and action about environmental conservation, tourism, responsible travel and peacemaking. His professional focus on ecotourism and responsible travel go back to academic research conducted in Central America in the late 1980s. In 1994, Ron launched Planeta.com, the web’s first site dedicated to ecotourism and responsible travel. Working in Oaxaca, Mexico, Ron has collaborated in the development of the Oaxaca Options Dialogue and grassroots tourism events since 2001.

Ron is also the ecotourism and responsible travel contributing Editor for Transitions Abroad. The United Nations and World Tourism Organization asked Ron to host the Sustainable Development of Ecotourism Web Conference which was the most attended preparatory event for the World Ecotourism Summit in 2002. Ron has facilitated numerous seminars online and in the natural world and has won many awards, including recognition from the Mexican government for exemplary coverage of Mexico. Presidents Fox and Zedillo presented Ron with the Lente de Plata Award in 1999 and 2002. In 2010 he won the Innovation Award from the International Ecotourism Society.
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Mr. Mader describes his background and Planeta’s objectives regarding tourism. He emphasizes the need for tourism and its practices to be greener and more responsible. He briefly describes the contemporary tourism practices and shows how unsustainable they actually are.
The truth of today’s eco-tourism is that; sadly, the people do not heed to pursue sustainable practices the first time they visit a place, and awareness comes only when they revisit the place second time around. Therefore he stresses the need to develop conscious tourism practices and the numerous ways to pursue them. But, he says that gradually there is a shift taking place and the travelers are becoming more conscious about these aspects.
Recognizing the challenges for the future, he says that the next big task is to determine whether tourism is actually detrimental to the places. To achieve that the local populace needs to be understood and their concerns need to be answered as well.
He says that a roadblock is that the Governmental Departments instead of collaborating with each other see themselves as has been competing with each other, which ultimately leads to no combined policies between them, for example there are no joint policies by the Department of Public Health and Department Of Transport on sustainable tourism.

Also, it is mandatory for the Government to come up with policies in order to promote sustainable tourism and make it a success.

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