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8 Maui Ecotour Companies Get Seal of Approval

Posted June 1, 2016, 03:28 PM HST Updated June 1, 2016, 04:17 PM HST
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Tourmaui.com Kaupō Rainbow. Courtesy photo Hawaiʻi Ecotourism Association.

Tourmaui.com Kaupō Rainbow. Courtesy photo Hawaiʻi Ecotourism Association.

The Hawaiʻi Ecotourism Association today announced the receipt of a $50,000 contract from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority to expand their Sustainable Tour Certification Program.

HEA has already begun the certification process, with five tour operators already attaining the Sustainable Tourism Seal of Approval.

The five new tour operators are Valley Isle Excursions on Maui; Dolphins & You on Oʻahu; Haleakalā Bike Company on Maui; Body Glove Cruises on Hawaiʻi Island; and Aloha Kayaks Maui on Maui. These are in addition the 18 other tour operators who already have attained certification.

Valley Isle Excursions. Courtesy photo Hawaiʻi Ecotourism Association.

Valley Isle Excursions. Courtesy photo Hawaiʻi Ecotourism Association.

Maui businesses that are already certified as tour operators for the Hawaiʻi Tourism Association include: Atlantis Adventures; Hawaiian Paddle Sport (tours and lessons); Maui Kayak Adventures; Pacific Whale Foundation; and Trilogy Excursions.

The Certification Program is a statewide program designed to educate and recognize Hawaiʻi’s tour operators who positively affect natural and cultural resources, contribute to conservation, and help sustain local communities.

The contract was awarded to HEA in an effort to highlight “Green, Eco-friendly & Sustainable” tour operators in preparation for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress to be held in September.

Tourmaui.com at Black Sand Beach in East Maui. Courtesy photo Hawaiʻi Ecotourism Association.

Tourmaui.com at Black Sand Beach in East Maui. Courtesy photo Hawaiʻi Ecotourism Association.

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The contract will allow HEA to expand their capacity for certifications, integrate sustainable tourism into the HTA website, and provide training for tour operators.

“We are excited and honored to build a more sustainable tourism sector in Hawaiʻi,” said Chris Barzman, HEA Board Member and Certification Committee Chair.

“Tourism can have many positive benefits for local communities and natural environments when approached correctly. Tour operators that attain this certification have shown a dedication to this vision and we are proud to recognize their efforts,” said Barzman.

Haleakalā Bike (Maui) Courtesy photo Hawaiʻi

Haleakalā Bike (Maui) Courtesy photo Hawaiʻi

HEA encourages businesses, residents and visitors alike to contact them with any tour operators who are dedicated to the principles of sustainable tourism.

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