Adventure ecotourism makes a difference to people and planet

On Saturday 28th November hoteliers are invited to meet the owners of two eco adventure resorts: Renée H. Kimball, Owner/Operator of Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge in Panama and Dr Marc van Loo, CEO of LooLa Eco Adventure in Indonesia. For both resorts eco-tourism has been the foundation of their business plan from the outset.

This month’s edition of Responsible Tourism will show how ecotourism offers guests a chance to ‘unplug’ and create once-in-a-lifetime memories. Whether it’s meeting a troop of capuchin monkeys at Tranquilo Bay or making bags and ornaments from plastic collected during a beach clean up at LooLa.

At Tranquilo Bay sustainability is woven into all aspects of life, education and service. Renee Kimball will share their formula for running an ecotourism resort, covering five key areas: Conservation, Guest experience, Community tourism, Education and Stewardship.

Marc van der Loo will explain how LooLa is a successful example that ecotourism really works: for the business, for the guests and for the local community. Guests are actively involved in creating better lives for the people who live in the Bintan area. Marc will also talk about his newly launched eco virtual tours, which allow guests who cannot travel to still be involved in life-changing experiences.

Joining Renée and Marc will be Wayaj’s sustainability specialists, Logan Cohen and Nikki Mattei, who will take part in the discussion after the two hotels have been presented and will also invite questions from the audience.

This month’s episode of “Responsible Travel Makers” airs on November 28th 2020 at 9.00 am EDT /3.00 pm CET/10.00 pm SGT and travelers and hoteliers are invited to book their place at the following link:

‘Responsible Travel Makers’ is a series of monthly online interactive reviews produced by Wayaj and features some of the best sustainable hotels in the world within Wayaj’s portfolio of members. The series is aimed at travelers interested in earth friendly properties who have taken steps to lower their environmental impact and provide significant benefits for local communities. The series also appeals to hoteliers who are looking to learn from green hospitality trailblazers.


  • Renée H. Kimball, Owner/Operator of Tranquilo Bay Eco Lodge – Renée Kimball has volunteered her time working on sustainability issues within the community of Bocas del Toro and Panama with several NGOs over the years. Most recently she has served on the board of directors for the Chamber of Tourism for Bocas del Toro in several capacities since 2013. Prior to the Chamber of Tourism, she worked with the Bocas Sustainable Tourism Alliance and in various capacities with APTSO (the sustainable tourism association of Panama). She, along with her business partners, and employees support their business and neighborhood with conservation and regeneration projects such as the creation of a municipal reserve that serves as a buffer zone to the national marine park and onsite sustainable practices. Sustainability is woven into all aspects of life, education and service at Tranquilo Bay Eco Adventure Lodge.
  • Dr Marc van Loo, CEO of LooLa Eco Adventure – Dutch by birth, cosmologist by training, educator and international educational author by early profession, Dr Marc van Loo opened LooLa Eco Adventure Resort in 2000 – which went on to become the world’s most highly decorated eco resort. The idea was always to show that eco solutions work and are affordable for everyone, including the local communities, so we have focussed our efforts on showing that renewable energy works, that safe sanitation and rainwater harvesting is possible for everyone and that gender equality is a business asset. Focussing on sanitation we wish to highlight the following: Spurred on by the preventable death of the daughter of LooLa’s cook, LooLa’s team – together with LooLa’s guests- has built over 500 life-saving sanitation systems for village families in Bintan over the last 5 years, the so-called Safe Water Gardens (SWG). Marc then put together an alliance of research institutes and companies and passionate individuals, united in our aim to bring 100 million Safe Water Gardens to villagers around the world by 2030. The Indonesian government recognised the SWG as part of its national standards early 2020, making the SWG officially the world’s most cost-efficient stand-alone sanitation system, a testament to the power of individuals – LooLa’s guests and partners- to make the world a better place.
  • Logan Cohen – LEED AP, ENV SP, Sustainability Specialist, Wayaj – Logan Cohen is the designer of Wayaj’s sustainability tools, such as the Hotel Sustainability Rating, which scores the performance of hundreds of hotels in over 100 countries and the upcoming Hotel Carbon Footprint Engine. Logan has experience across several industries in measuring waste and carbon, as well as in creating targeted solutions to reduce their impacts.
  • Nikki Mattei, Chartered Marketer, Hotel Sustainability Marketing Manager, Wayaj – A British native living in Italy, Nikki Mattei specializes in ethical marketing and has worked in both B2B and B2C across a variety of sectors including organic health & wellbeing, sustainable fashion and green tourism. She is driven by the central belief that profit, people and planet should be valued in equal measure. Nikki offers sustainability marketing support to hoteliers and property owners on the Wayaj platform to ensure that they communicate their sustainable proposition effectively and authentically.

Wayaj is a sustainable travel platform designed to provide tools and information to help travelers and travel operators make better choices in the fight against the climate emergency. Founded in 2017, it currently lists more than 500 eco-friendly hotels worldwide.

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