Linking Tourism and Conservation (LT&C) is in its third year of operation. It is still a Norwegian-registered international NGO with no paid staff. However, the voluntary, competent and enthusiastic activities of our members allow us us to be a true global player. Not only are our members (penguins) well distributed over all continents, but their uniqueness relates to the fact that we together speak the language of both conservation and tourism and that we represent different society levels and cultures. Linking and identifying synergy among our members and partners is our core business.
One way that the organization is achieving this goal is by profiling LT&C-Examples of tourism that support nature conservation in the form of protected areas. It is also promising to see that our Examples have been featured this past year in the media, such as in the attractive marine protection and travel magazine, SEVENSEAS, or on the platforms of our partner organisations, IUCN-Panorama, Blue Solutions, Mission Blue and The Long Run. LT&C was also proud to see that we could help nominate five of the best LT&C-Examples for the “Sustainable Tourism Top 100” award. The popularity of our Examples has already become an incentive for others to get involved and try to copy them.
In 2016, with support from the tourism sector, we have been actively involved in the establishment of at least two important marine protected areas: the largest one on earth in the Antarctic Ross Sea and the other at the doorstep of our office in Arendal on the Norwegian South coast, Raet National Park.
Going forward, it will be important to encourage our members to think more about possibilities and activities of how to “export” our LT&C-Examples to other places in the world. At the same time, we need to work on creating more incentives by ensuring finance institutions support cases, where LT&C-Example-providers are coupling with Example-replicators. (At the Blue Solutions Africa Forum, a similar recommendation have been formulated for Blue Solution-providers and replicators).