Exploring the Sharing Economy

Personally, I am perplexed by the ‘sharing economy.’ Some of these services are wonderful old-school transactions, the kind of trading that makes visiting traditional markets such a worthwhile experience. Some of it is unabashed, materialistic selfishness.

The sharing economy shares its core ideas with collaborative consumption — participants share access to products or services. Owners rent out something they are not using, such as a car, a room or a house. What interests in the realm of travel and tourism is whether the ideas work for non-English speaking friends in Latin America. As happy that I can book Uber in Las Vegas, I’d love to explore whether it’s a possibility in Oaxaca or Quito. What about selling tickets for home-cooked meals? This could be the next big trend for visitors seeking out sensational cooks who, alas, may or may not speak English. Cooking classes are big business in Mexico, but rarely take the visitor into the homes of locals.

What interests me is whether the sharing economy by any name is recognized and promoted by local tourism authorities. They’re keen on selling the ‘experience’ but what about experiences that connect visitors and locals. The new services are here to stay but are either unrecognized or derided as part of the ‘black economy.’

I understand that many accommodation services are considered as competition to traditional hotels, but I think the entire ‘homestay’ niche has long been ignored by tourism officials. It’s not as if the majority of travelers will abandon their chain hotel loyalty programs for the option of spending the night in someone’s guest room. I’d love to see all the options on the table (and by that I mean the official tourism portals) for visitors and all the behind-the-scenes education available to locals.

The good news: All this week the Outbounding site is exploring the topic:

The Sharing Economy: The Good, the Bad and the Future via @Outbounding

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The Ciclovía Comes to Henderson: Stroll-N-Roll

Today in Henderson, Nevada

Nov 15: Stroll 'N' Roll in Henderson, NV @cityofhenderson #StrollnRoll2014 #Ciclovia #Ciclovía

Latest pics

Have your own photos of cycling and ciclovías? Please share them in the Yes More Bicycles = Si Más Bicicletas Group

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EcoHack is a global event, with simultaneous hackathons in Sydney, Nairobi, New York City, Madrid, Cambridge, U.K, Washington, D.C and San Francisco. From the start in Sydney until the end in San Francisco, this hackathon will run for nearly 50 consecutive hours! This EcoHack takes place alongside the World Parks Congress, the landmark, once-a-decade global forum focused on the world’s wildernesses.

Planeta.com will host two online editing sessions focusing on responsible travel in parks and protected areas around the world. Outcomes: Information collected will be reviewed and integrated onto the Planeta Wiki

1) Parks and Protected Areas around the World: A Directory of Social Web Channels

Increasingly parks and protected areas are using the Internet to educate locals and visitors about conservation issues, management and visitation tips. The goal of this EcoHack is the creation of a global index of parks and protected areas using the social web: Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Slideshare, Twitter and YouTube.

We do ask for submissions of parks with updated social web channels. Which parks are doing the best job of informing and interacting? Sadly, there are far too many abandoned accounts online (and then critics say that social web is a waste of time). If there is interest, a secondary goal of the hack would be to create a Top 10 list or index of best practices.

Anyone can edit this Google Doc — docs.google.com/document/d/1ZEnd84juEgaisrfbxkutTvUxLpENj7OijlxWXeeMd_M

2) Responsible Travel and Parks and Protected Areas

Tourism in parks and protected areas can be a boon to local conservation efforts or it can negatively impact biodiversity conservation and environmental management. How can visitation be developed and conducted in a responsible manner? We would like suggestions across the spectrum from park managers to locals to visitors. What would you recommend?

Anyone can edit this Google Doc — docs.google.com/document/d/1ZB24nAzQaK9tsAOxxJmPLbYoRk8Jc3ajgqDuEQiHhdU

EcoHack 2014 — November 15-16, 2014 — SYD / CBG / DC / NYC / MAD / SF

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Challenges for the World Parks Congress

Sydney, Australia – This week the 6th IUCN World Parks Congress will be held at the Sydney Olympic Park November 12-19.

How to evaluate the 2014 World Parks Congress? More than a year ago I developed a series of goals for the Congress and I’ll review them in depth during and after the Congress. Before the event begins, I would like to break the ideas down in a different fashion and I submit the following challenges:

Silos - Academics and consultants agree that much of the information about park management and conservation is locked within institutional silos. The congress itself is divided into streams and the question is whether the streams will unite and form a river. Our journey is a shared one. The World Parks Congress will be a tremendous success if we see information sharing and partnerships that transcend the echo chamber.

Debate and Discussion - Hopefully the Congress will promote a lively discussion of timely issues. We look forward to spirited discussions since parks are run in such different fashions around the globe. When there are disagreements, we want to hear them. Participants need to be respectful of one another, but should be encouraged to debate contentious topics.

Commitment - Park conservation and management requires long-term strategies. The promise of Sydney could be grand or it could be a reminder that ‘promises are made to be broken.’ We will collaborate with others interested in documenting the promises made at this event.

Communication - To what degree will the ideas that percolate at the Congress have meaning for the managers of small parks and protected areas, the locals and visitors? While there need to be statements for policymakers, we would encourage language that’s useful to those on the ground. We would to see practical examples of engagement that connects visitors and locals, that protects biodiversity and that sets the stage for the next century of conservation.

New Technology - While previous events have been held concurrently with the Internet, this will be the first World Parks Congress in the age of the Social Web. This means we have the ability now for livestreaming video, for collaborative notetaking, for tweeting and retweeting, liking and sharing. Technology for its own sake is a bore, but technology that gives access to remote participants and creates a legacy archive is the new normal.

Finally, it’s not too soon to think about how to prepare for the Congress in 2024. Imagine an event in which all the keynotes, all the workshops were streamed live and translated into multiple languages. What if the ‘field trips’ were integrated into the documentation of the event? What if satellite events were held not only in the host city but around the globe? There are a myriad of options that should be put on the table now to prepare for future events.

#WorldParksCongress App from Paperless Events 11.2014 @paperlessevent

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Professional Journey

Kudos to LinkedIn for making it easier than ever to recycle info as Slideshare eye candy!

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Responsible Tourism and Parks

November 5, 2014 is Responsible Tourism Day and Planeta.com hosts a 1-hour conversation via a Google+ hangout and streamed live on YouTube Wednesday, November 5 from 10-11am PDT 10am Las Vegas, 1pm Miami, 8pm Tallinn

We ask a lot of tourism these days … that it be eco, that it be sustainable and that it be responsible. These signs are encouraging. Global tourism is experiencing a massive transformation in the 21st century. Travelers and locals are seeking ways of building constituencies with the shared goal of making tourism more responsible.

Tourism in parks and protected areas can be a boon to local conservation efforts or it can afflict biodiversity conservation and environmental management. Many travelers find meaningful encounters with nature in protected areas, but these wilderness fans are often at a loss when figuring out where to go and how to visit parks in other countries.

So our hangout asks for specific examples of responsible travel in parks, asks how the upcoming World Parks Congress will address tourism and asks the most important question of all: how to avoid irresponsible tourism in parks and protected areas, one example being the recent rash of instagrammed graffiti in US national parks.


Lloyd Gardner will be talking about the Caribbean and previewing the upcoming World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia.

Aivar Ruukel will be talking about European parks and Sooma National Park in Estonia


No registration is required to watch the livestreaming hangout. You can watch the event and comment via the Google+ event page:

Bonus points if you share the event via social web channels. Questions for our guests are welcome before and during the hangout.

November 5: Responsible Tourism and Parks Hangout

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November 2014 Highlights:

November 1-2 Day of the Dead

November 1-9 Conservation Week (New Zealand)

November 12-19 World Parks Congress (Sydney, Australia) #WorldParksCongress

November 13, 530-9pm Wild and Scenic Film Festival (Las Vegas)

November 14-15 Nethui-South (Christchurch, New Zealand) #nethui

November 27 Thanksgiving (USA)

November 2014 Calendar: Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area @blmnv @TravelNevada @RRCIAOfficial

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