Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rainforest Alliance Launches

Savvy travelers looking for sustainable vacation options in Latin America and the Caribbean can now find them by visiting, an online search tool launched today by the Rainforest Alliance. is a database of hotels, tour operators, and other businesses (such as restaurants) in Latin America and the Caribbean that have been certified by a third-party sustainable tourism certification program, verified by the Rainforest Alliance, or recommended as being sustainable by a reputable organization.

“ provides travelers, tour operators and travel agents with a credible, comprehensive listing of sustainable tourism options from a trusted conservation organization,” said Ronald Sanabria, vice president of tourism for the Rainforest Alliance. supports business owners’ efforts to become sustainable by promoting them to key tourism markets in the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America. The site is available in three languages – in English, as; in Spanish, as; and in French, as

“The sustainability claim of each business is verified by our staff before it is listed on, so travelers can feel secure knowing that all of the businesses listed on the site are taking concrete actions to conserve natural resources and improve livelihoods in their local communities,” explained Melissa Normann, manager of the Rainforest Alliance’s online communities initiative.

Initially launched in 2005 as the Eco-Index of Sustainable Tourism, features a robust search engine and an in-depth profile for each business that includes information about amenities and rates, a description of the area and activities, a Google map of the business’ location, photos and videos, and actions that the business is taking to demonstrate sustainability. Interested parties can subscribe to a monthly email newsletter that will include links to new or updated hotel profiles, and other features. The site also features “News for the Savvy Traveler” and detailed information about sustainable tourism.

The launch coincides with the 10-year anniversary of the Rainforest Alliance’s sustainable tourism program, which helps tourism professionals improve the sustainability of their businesses based on the principles of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. Initiatives include adopting ecosystem and water conservation measures, reducing energy use, supporting local economies, hiring from within the community and reducing costs.

To read more about green vacations, check out the eco-friendly side of Family Travel Forum.

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