All posts by ronmader

Ron Mader is a recognized american leader and communication catalyst. Since 1998 Ron's professional work has focused on the broad movement toward ecotourism and responsible travel. He founded Planeta.com, the award-winning website, in 1994 as the Web's first specialty, ecotourism-focused website. Based in Oaxaca, México, Ron hosts a discussion series and an annual tourism fair held since 2001. Working with friends and colleagues in Mexico, Ron has developed a number of innovative events including Web workshops for artesanos, chocolate treasure hunts, photo safaris, tree walks and rugby tournaments. Ron earned a bachelor's degree in communication (1987) from Indiana University and a master's degree (1990) from the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Ron has received many awards, including recognition from the Mexican government for exemplary tourism coverage. Presidents Fox and Zedillo presented Ron with the Lente de Plata Award in 1999 and 2002. American Environmental Leaders (2008) includes a profile of Ron for his work in environmental journalism and community activism. In 2010 he won the Innovation Awards presented by the International Ecotourism Society Ron is active on the lecture/conference circuit, having been a presenter at the World Ecotourism Summit (2002), the Mexico Ecotourism Conference (2003), the Aboriginal Australia Tourism Conference (2007) Ecotourism New Zealand Conference (2007), Belize Responsible Tourism Conference (2009), Estonia's European Ecotourism Conference (2010) and Responsible Tourism in Cities (South Africa, 2011). Ron developed the award-winning Planeta.com in 1994 as a reporter's notebook. Planeta pioneered online reporting focusing on practical ecotourism around the globe. The award-winning site provides free access to articles and resource guides for travelers, researchers and policy-makers. The site has won awards from major magazines and national governments. Ron's work catalyzes action toward environmental conservation, responsible travel and peacemaking. His presentations use social media and he documents his trips on Planeta.com as well as Facebook, Flickr, Posterous, Twitter and YouTube. Ron is also the responsible travel contributing editor for the U.S.-based Transitions Abroad.

Reality Tourism in Oaxaca

Sanchez Pascuas CraftsOutside Mexico tourism professionals and journalists ask whether it’s time to promote travel to Oaxaca. Will there be a Guelaguetza? Is it safe? In Oaxaca most locals say ‘yes’ it’s time to promote travel and the sooner the better. True, things remain uncertain (‘unresolved’ is the frequently used word in conversations), but that alone should not deter visitors.

During this time of upheaval, many Oaxacans are seeing the bright side of self-organization and more proactive marketing endeavors that are uniting people who once saw each other as competitors. Among the advances – brand new associations for Spanish language schools and bed and breakfast hotels.

More news about current conditions in Oaxaca on Planeta.com’s guide to Reality tourism in Oaxaca.