Marine News from the Great Lakes

Bee + Hive is Digging Deeper into the Traveler Shift Toward Meaning, Purpose, and Fulfillment

Published: Friday, May 18, 2018

Do you know the difference between ecotourism, sustainable travel, responsible travel and volunteer vacationing? While there is a lot of overlap with each of these terms, they all have one common theme - that is to improve lives through travel and tourism.  Data shows that more and more, customers are seeking out these types of experiences in their actual travels.

A 2017 Skift survey found that travelers are increasingly looking for travel experiences that help set the stage for self-actualization and personal transformation and growth. This idea of “transformative travel” –– or a travel experience that empowers people to make meaningful, lasting changes in their lives, whether big or small –– is taking hold across all segments of the industry and catching the imagination of travelers of all stripes.

Bee + Hive, a not-for-profit global sustainable tourism association, unites hotels, restaurants and parks that embrace sustainable practices and experiences. They aim to offer consumers a go-to platform in which to discover the best in sustainable travel experiences that have a strong transformational aspect.

For example, the private and calm beach of Little St Simons Island is a perfect location for Loggerhead Sea Turtles to set a protected, peaceful nest between May - September. During these months, guests can go on walks to see turtle crawls on the beach and find new nests. From June – September, they offer the opportunity for guests to witness nest excavations after a nest has hatched. Activities are conducted by their Naturalists and Turtle Technician to monitor the success of the nests and guarantee their safety.

At Sal Salis Nigaloo Reef, guests can swim with shark whales between April - July, when these slow-moving, gentle, filter-feeding giants migrate past Ningaloo Reef. The world’s biggest fish can grow to lengths of 12 meters or more and have a healthy appetite in order to sustain its immense size. Fortunately for most sea-dwellers, they feed primarily on plankton and krill, taking in huge gulps of water and filtering out their microscopic meal.

The Masuwe Lodge offers an unforgettable evening dinner cruise afloat the Zambezi River, where guests will spot beautiful birds, pods of hippo, herds of elephant and other animals as they come down to drink after a hot day. They will enjoy drinks and dinner as the sun sinks slowly into the River; the call of the Fish Eagle will forever remind them of the Zambezi.

The Tree Hotel offers Ice Dining, a new beautiful and exciting activity in the moonlight with the chance to see the Northern lights. The evening is lit by torches and candles while they serve a 3-course dinner in a heated tipi tent on an ice-covered lake. You sit on reindeer skins while enjoying a fantastic meal over two and a half hours.

The Caiman Ecological Refuge offers their flagship Onçafari, part of a very unique, long-term project to preserve onças (Jaguars). Projeto Onçafari is a non-profit conservation initiative that aims to promote ecotourism in the Pantanal (Brazil) by habituating* Jaguars in order for people to witness the fascinating behavior of these beautiful animals, from a safari vehicle. 

Ecotourism is being used as an important conservation tool in many places around the world, providing an important source of income for landowners and local communities who in turn do their part by ensuring that the ecosystem stays intact; large tracts of land are conserved around the world in this manner.                                                                                     

*Habituating an animal is different to domesticating it. When a Jaguar is habituated it simply stops perceiving our vehicles as a threat and acts normally in our presence. It still remains a completely wild cat. This whole process is being monitored by CENAP, the carnivore research and conservation center of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment. 

Guests at the Pousada Literária can discover the vast birdlife of the Atlantic Forest during a picnic with bird identification tour. Paraty is the region with the greatest diversity of birds in Brazil. To take advantage of this potential for appreciation of Nature, guests of Bananal Farm can go through a program of bird watching with breakfast in picnic format in the Atlantic Forest, in one of the mountains where our Famr is located (just 10 minutes by car from the historic center, including Pousada Literária).

The Pousada Tutabel offers a unique opportunity to spend the day with an authentic indigenous Pataxo Tribe with a visit to the Pataxo Village. Upon arrival at the village, the young Indians of the village receive guests and visitors and direct them to the place where the cacique (leader) speaks in his own language and in Portuguese about his history and his traditions - the mystical force of intimacy with nature, sounds, the sacred songs, dances and rituals (AWÊ), the prayers and symbolisms, the language (PATHXÔHÁ), the arts and the forms of expression.

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Launched in January 2017, Bee + Hive is a not-for-profit association committed to creating a better world through sustainable tourism. The association works with and promotes luxury hotels, restaurants and parks that offer activities and experiences that benefit a destination’s local community, environment or economy.

tags: Environmental Impact, Travel

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