Improving our communication about parks and tourism

For the past few years I have the director of communications for the IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS). It’s election time and my quandary is how to engage TAPAS members (and voters before August 30). A vote for me would be appreciated but so would engagement with the group as a whole.

We need to hear more from members – current research, findings and most importantly questions – otherwise we have a lot of splintered, inaccessible reports, studies and publications that do not connect to a larger picture.

Likewise, we need to improve our communication with the IUCN and WCPA. Events are scheduled around the world, but rarely do we learn about tourism issues. Summits and workshops only improve when rooted in place. Regarding events, are we learning about the host destinations? Are locals able to connect with visiting dignitaries?

How do we communicate? Where do we communicate? I argued – perhaps contentiously years ago – that our conversation needed to span different platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Slideshare, YouTube – and that the way to go is encouraging our members to creatively use their blogs and wikis and share what they are doing and learning.

2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism and the Year of Open. Personally, I don’t think we’ve asked enough questions or demanded enough answers from government officials, academics, ngos and other stakeholders. We can do better if our communication and collaboration improve. Enough information silos. We can improve our conversations today and cordial chats about parks and tourism should help lead the way.

Update: I lost this election. My response:

Good for us! We have a change of communications lead. Welcome, Jeremy and Sergei.

Elections work if there is a change and this can only motivate TAPAS members and the other fine folk at the IUCN/WCPA to make the process more transparent and accountable. We are in a new learning phase across the physical globe and the social web and I look forward to assisting TAPAS in a different capacity.  

I would like to confirm my interest and support for documenting TAPAS on the Planeta Wiki, supporting the upcoming webinars and the meeting in Seychelles with coverage on Planeta and across the social web. The Seychelles meeting is of particular interest given the recent disaster in Puerto Rico. It’s time for to take a good look at small islands and tourism.

With many thanks to all, 
Ron Mader

Online voting for TAPAS Communications and Membership Working Group Coordinators Survey (2017-09-17 14-58-15)


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What’s on the calendar in September?

September is mes de la patria in Mexicobiodiversity monthin Australia and tourism month in South Africa.

In the USA, #HispanicHeritageMonth

Mark your calendar! September 8 is International Literacy Daywhich we use to call out attention for digital literacy. September 27 is World Tourism Day and we make our annual call for travel photos on Flickr.

Fun days include September 19 International Talk Like a Pirate Day

First Monday in September is Labor Day in the USA.


September is biodiversity month in Australia
September is mes de la patría in Mexico
September is tourism month in South Africa

First Monday in September
Labor Day (USA)

September 6 Indigenous Literacy Day (Australia)

September 7 International Day of the Manatee

September 7 Threatened Species Day (Australia)

September 8 International Literacy Day

September 10 Battle of St. George’s Caye Day (Belize)

September 16 Independence Day (Mexico)

September 19 International Talk Like a Pirate Day
Hashtag: #TalkLikeAPirateDay

September 20 Park(ing) Day

September 21 International Day of Peace

September 21 Armenia Independence Day

September 22 World Rhino Day

September 21 Independence Day (Belize)

September 27 World Tourism Day

September 28 International Day for Universal Access to Information

September 29 Feast Day of San Miguel Arcángel (Mexico)


First Monday in September Labor Day (USA)

Last Saturday in September Public Lands Day (USA)

4th Friday in September Native American Day (California)

Last Sunday in September World Rivers Day

Photo: Pittman Wash

September 2017 Calendar: Pittman Wash #henderson #lasvegas #rtcities

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In August hosts one of our two tentpole events — Indigenous Peoples Week to celebrate August 9, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.

Other events and celebrations in August include World Photography Day on August 19. Check out National Heritage Week in Ireland.

August 1 Swiss National Day (Switzerland)

August 6 Independence Day (Bolivia)

August 9 International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

August 10 Ecuador declares independence from Spain (1809)

August 12 World Elephant Day

August 15 Independence Day (India)

August 15 Ferragosto (Italy)

August 19 World Photography Day

August 24 Día de Parques Nacionales de Costa Rica (National Parks Day) (Costa Rica)

August 25 Founder’s Day, National Park Service (USA)

August 30 Melbourne Day commemorates the day the first European settlers landed on the north bank of the Yarra River from the schooner Enterprize in 1835. (MelbourneAustralia)

August Darwin Festival (DarwinAustralia)

August National Heritage Week (Ireland)

August 2017 Calendar (Cornerstone Park, Henderson, Nevada)

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Vegas Bingo

Our newest Vegas Bingo Card:

Vegas Bingo 07.2017

Learn the lingo!

51s – Air-Conditioning – America’s Party – Baseball – Bathtub Ring – Beatles – Bike Lanes – Bike Share – Boomtown – Boxing – Caliche – Campus – Casino – Chinatown – City – CityCentre – Clark County – Consumer Electronic Show – Conventions – Culture – Day Club – Desert – Developers – Destination Wedding – Dispensary – Downtown – DTLV – Electric Daisy Carnaval – Elvis – Estate Sales – Experience – First Friday – Flash Flood Warning – Free Parking – Fremont – Fremont Experience – Fremont Street – Gaming – Gambling – Golden Knights – Grand Canyon – Green Drinks – Helicopter Tour – Henderson – High Roller – Hikes – Holacracy – Hoover Dam – Hop On, Hop Off – Howard Hughes – Implosion – Lake Mead – Las Vegas – Las Vegas Locally – Las Vegas Restaurant Week– Life is Beautiful – Macau – Mafia – Master Plan Community – Mister – Mob – Mob Museum – Monorail – Monsoon – Mormon – Mormon Fort – Mountain’s Edge – My Friday – Neon – Neonopolis – Nevada – NHL – Night Club – Ninth Island – Off Strip – Paiute – Paradise – Parking – Pawn – Pawn Shop – Pawn Store – Pawn Stars – Poker – Pool Party – Prop Bet – Raiders – Red Rock Canyon – Rehydration Station – Residency – Ride Share – Resort – Rugby – Seven Magic Mountains – Short-Term Rentals – Solar Energy – Smith Center – Sportsbook – Spring Mountains – Stadium – Strip – Summerlin – Sunscreen – Symphony Park – Ticket In, Ticket Out – Toptional – Tourism Improvement District – Travel – Tule Springs – Uber – UNLV – Utah – UV Index – Valley – Valley of Fire – Vaquero – Vital Vegas – Ward – Water – Wedding – Wedding Chapel – Weir – Whale – Wind Advisory – Zion


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What’s on the July 2017 calendar?

July 2017 Sunset Park

July 1 Canada Day (Canada)

July 1 Territory Day #TerritoryDay (NT, Australia)

July 2-9 NAIDOC Week

July 3 Saint Day: Tomás el Apóstol (Mexico)

July 4 Independence Day (USA)

July 6 Frida Kahlo Birthday (Mexico)

July 11 World Population Day

July 14 Bastille Day (France)

July 17 Guelaguetza

July 18 Mandela Day (South Africa)

July 18 World Listening Day

July 24 Guelaguetza

July 27 International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem

July 28 Independence Day (Peru)

July 29 Global Tiger Day

July 31 World Ranger Day

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June 2017 Calendar #WorldEnvironmentDay

Welcome June! I’m still excited having reblogged for the first time.

Once upon a time I used this blog as a means of learning how to blog, while the majority of my attention went to the maintenance of And the only thing that’s changed is that I’ve grown from a novice blogger to an intermediate one with a vast storehouse of content from the past twenty years of hosting the website and virtual library.

For me, June is forever tinged with the global celebration of World Environment Day which in turn recognizes the creation of UNEP. was the organizer of the Colibri Ecotourism Awards. There are many great memories. Yes, this is the eco nerd holiday, so find a nice place with good people on June 5 and show the world some love.


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Conference on Sustainable Tourism in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Reblogging this announcement from Anna Spenceley. First, for the rare pleasure of reblogging itself. And second and most importantly, as to applaud and cheer on friend Anna. We will be following the conference on Planeta.


Conf headerDates: 22-24 November 2017 (Conference), 25-26 November 2017 (Field visits)

In the framework of the 2017 UN International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development this conference wishes to provide a platform for tourism professionals, academics and practitioners from other SIDS and the region to discuss an integrated practical approach to sustainable tourism in SIDS. For this event, the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation (SSTF), and the University of Seychelles (Department of Tourism and Cultural Heritage) partnered up with the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas’ Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group (TAPAS group), the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and the Paris Tourism Sorbonne Institute of Research and Higher Education in Tourism (IREST), to organize a regional conference on sustainable tourism in SIDS, which will combine academic tourism research with practical best practice examples. The conference aims at connecting the various stakeholders working and researching the environmental and socio-cultural development…

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