What is the Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition?
The Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition is a group committed to promoting environmental conservation and building thriving communities through nature-based tourism in the Great Plains. The Coalition includes both non-profit and for-profit members. The Coalition is coordinated by staff at the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The Coalition Works to:
- Connect nature-based entrepreneurs with one another, creating opportunities for collaboration, learning and cooperation.
- Market the region to ecotourists in the United States and beyond through targeted and creative advertising campaigns.
- Share information about ecotourism with participating members through a website, social media, and small conferences.
- Undertake or commission studies and research on ecotourism-related topics of substantial interest to members and ecotourists.
- Disseminate useful and reliable information of relevance to members.
- Engage in other activities to promote ecotourism in the Great Plains with the Coalition members’ support.
What is Ecotourism?
Ecotourism is travel that deepens one’s engagement with nature, conserves the environment, and improves the well-being of local communities.
Ecotourism stimulates curiosity about the natural world, builds understanding of natural processes, and helps develop a consciousness of our role as nature’s stewards.
Ecotourist sites provide places to walk, hike, camp, photograph, observe, touch, smell, learn about, and reflect upon the wondrous natural environment that is the Great Plains; ecotourism providers offer interpretation or education that connects the traveler to the land; and some also offer opportunities to engage more deeply, by volunteering or participating in programs that support and sustain this precious legacy. Ecotourist sites are open to the public, either free or for a fee. The sites may be owned by a governmental entity, a nonprofit or tribal organization, or a private for-profit business.
Why Does Ecotourism Matter?
Ecotourism generates revenues critical for funding conservation initiatives, increases public awareness of and support for conservation, and helps nearby human communities thrive economically and culturally. All three of these elements are crucial to sustained and healthy conservation in the Great Plains. Ecotourism offers some of the most magical and inspiring moments of the human experience.
See some of the research on our More on Ecotourism page.
By joining the Coalition, members share in and agree to:
- Support the overall mission of the Coalition.
- Participate in and work to further the goals and effectiveness of the Coalition.
- Permit use of their business’s or organization’s name in Coalition materials, website, social media, and other communications promoting the Coalition and its activities.
- Use the Coalition seal as appropriate in advertising and other communications.
- Share ideas, concerns, opportunities, and other information as appropriate with members
The Coalition will be coordinated by staff from the Center for Great Plains Studies
Questions or comments about the project can be directed toward firstname.lastname@example.org.
Original ecotourism partners include the Grand Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and Calamus Outfitters (Switzer Ranch and Nature Reserve)