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Each year on April 22, the world celebrates Earth Day in honor of environmental protection. On remote Oahu, however, every day is a great day to take care of the island’s vulnerable resources through eco-conscious visitor activities.
“As travel advisors discuss ecotourism with clients, the priority is always to focus on the well-being of Oahu’s culture, people and environment,” said Noelani Schilling-Wheeler, executive director of Oahu Visitors Bureau (OVB).
Responsible tourism on Oahu runs the gamut, including programs that teach clients about Hawaii’s thriving farm-to-table scene. One such option, Kahumana Organic Farm and Cafe, features an in-depth tour, with tastings straight from the fields. Farmers markets throughout the island offer additional ways to chat with food producers and sample the fruits of their labors.
On boat tours, clients can better understand the value of protecting Hawaii’s marine life and habitats. Consider Wild Side Specialty Tours, which presents thoughtful cruises for whale watching and swimming with dolphins and sea turtles.
For hands-on opportunities, clients can join forces with locals in preserving Paepae o Heeia fishpond while learning about its remarkable, centuries-old approach to aquaculture. Visitors also can pitch in during beach cleanups with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.
Oahu’s forests get a boost when clients book an outing to Gunstock Ranch through Hawaiian Legacy Tours. Guests hike or ride a horse on the North Shore ranch, then plant a native tree.
Thanks to Oahu’s distinctive mix of town and country settings, clients can practice responsible tourism around the island. Hawaii Forest & Trail runs tours that connect guests to ancient volcanic sites and woodlands in urban Honolulu, while North Shore Eco Tours immerses visitors in the nature and heritage of Oahu’s rural regions.
Advisors looking to specialize in sustainable Oahu travel can hone their skills using OVB tools such as e-newsletters, webinars and online training. At the same time, agents can build a base of eco-curious clients in their community, Schilling-Wheeler says. For instance, they can share Oahu’s ecotourism offerings on their website and social media platforms; join regional conservation organizations to leverage like-minded explorers; and participate in travel and adventure consumer shows.
Not only will clients say thanks, but so will Mother Nature.
The DetailsOahu Visitors Bureauwww.visit-oahu.com