EplerWood International
Tourism’s Invisible Burden Report »

Puerto Rico
Building a Resilient Ecotourism Industry in Puerto Rico Post Hurricane Maria »

Tourism and Environmental Health in a Changing Climate »

On-Line Forum on Tourism and Environment at Harvard »

Global On-Line Learning Project with TIES »

Latin America
Tour Operators Plan for Sustainable Tourism »

Sustainability Training Needs Rural and Urban China »

Community-Based Tourism in Protected Areas  »

Dominican Republic
Connecting Local Artisans to the Tourism Economy  »

El Salvador
Financial Sustainability of Parks and Sea Turtle Conservation Program »

El Salvador
Developing a Sustainable Tourism Economy »

The Gems of Nature Tourism along the Estrada Real »

Sierra Leone
Social and Environmentally Responsible Tourism »

Kerala, India
Educational Centre for Ecotourism »

Micro and Small Business Enterprise Feasibility »

Regional Supply Chain Analysis for Community Tourism »

Sustainable Tourism Training Program »

Sustainable Tourism Market & Development for Imperial Beach »

Corporate Social Responsibility in Tourism »

Sri Lanka
Model Rainforest Ecolodge »

Market & Finance Analysis for Ecolodge Development »

International Market for Ecotourism in Indigenous Territories »

Building a Resilient Ecotourism Industry in Puerto Rico Post Hurricane Maria
Puerto Rico

EWI and Geoadaptive developed a plan to assist Puerto Rico with economic recovery after Hurricane Maria lashed the island for thirty hours on September 20, 2017, causing catastrophic impacts.  This tough time in Puerto Rico’s history was made worse by a plummeting tourism economy. 

The team proposed investments in an alternative tourism economy, including eco, adventure, gastro, and cultural tourism.  Spatial analysis models were developed by Geoadaptive, a Boston-based geodesign firm, to identify and quantify the diverse resources that can provide the critical raw material for new alternative tourism hubs.  Hub prioritization then transpired together with local stakeholders. 

EWI analyzed trends in regional markets for alternative tourism and found that there were surprisingly few international or U.S. mainland tour operators offering ecotourism or adventure tourism products in Puerto Rico!  An ecotourism field survey team reviewed capacity at the local level to develop alternative tourism, and a market research team reviewed key trends in the alternative tourism economy to focus the effort on market-based realities.  EWI worked with civil society on drafting two key approaches:
• A robust and well-financed enterprise development strategy for vulnerable populations requiring new opportunities to be locally-managed
• A revision of protected natural land area regulations to develop a more thorough regulatory system for managing tourism on fragile conservation land

A final report on the methodology and recommendations will be made public in 2018 and will be posted on http://chgeharvard.academia.edu/MeganEplerWood.  Courses of Action recommended by the team are part of a federal disaster recovery proposal managed by the prime contractor, Rand Corporation.  The Rand Corporation results were provided to the government of Puerto Rico for comment in addition to local civil society.  The final recovery report goes to the U.S. Congress in August 2018.

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