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Public Invited to Learn About Operating an 'Ecotourism' Business Oct. 8
9/25/2003

FORT MYERS, FL - The public is invited to attend to learn more about nature-based travel at “How to Run a Successful Ecotourism Business” from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 8 at the Florida Gulf Coast University Small Business Development Center.

Ecotourism is “responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of local people,” according to The International Ecotourism Society ()

The World Tourism Organization () says ecotourism and all nature-related forms of tourism represent the fastest growing and most successful segment in the tourism industry. Ecotoursim accounts for approximately 20 percent of total international travel. Between 40 to 60 percent of all international tourists are nature tourists and 20 to 40 percent are wildlife-related tourists.

“During the one-day seminar, a team of local and state tourism and business experts will provide a comprehensive analysis of the ecotourism industry and present a number of business tools and successful ecotourism practices to assist local operators with the development and growth of their ecotourism business model,” FGCU SBDC business analyst Alberto Chavez said.

Additionally, participants will learn about marketing opportunities through FLAUSA (), effective interpretation techniques and evaluation of programs and procedures to incorporate up-to-date knowledge and practices for sustainable ecotourism businesses.

The FGCU SBDC, in partnership with Lee County Parks and Recreation, and the Society for Ethical Ecotourism in Southwest Florida, is sponsoring the seminar.

The cost to attend the seminar is $25 and includes lunch. Space is limited; businesses and organizations may send one representative.

For registration, contact Vicki Holmes or Angie Muniz at (239) 225-4220, or register online at www.fgcu.edu/cob/cli3/events/sbdc.asp .

The FGCU SBDC is located at 12751 Westlinks Dr. in Fort Myers.

For more information about the FGCU SBDC or the seminar, contact Chavez at (239) 225-4220.


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