AdventureSmith Explorations founder and president Todd Smith has been elected to the board of the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association. He will serve a two year term helping further IGTOA's mission and supporting their programs.
The International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) is a nonprofit association of travel companies, conservation organizations and other groups that are dedicated to the complete and lasting protection of the Galapagos. Their mission is to preserve the Galapagos Islands as a unique and priceless world heritage that will provide enjoyment, education, adventure and inspiration to present and future generations of travelers. Learn more about IGTOA.
AdventureSmith & IGTOA
Smith is proud to have the support of IGTOA members and is eager to become more involved in IGTOA projects. Recently IGTOA has supported programs as diverse as the Charles Darwin Foundation, White-vented Storm Petrel Research and Conservation, WildAid programs to Combat Invasive Species, and Ecology Project International programs Educate and Inspire the Next Generation of Galapagos Leaders.
Todd is particularly interested in working with IGTOA, the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park Service to improve the nascent Galapagos guide training program. As a former guide trainer and expert in natural history interpretation, Todd can provide unique support to the effort to improving guides ability to tell the Galapagos story. "Creating connections between the interests of the visitor and the meanings inherent in the Galapagos is critical to successful guiding. If visitors care about a place they are more likely to want to protect it." Smith says. IGTOA offered guides the first "Five Start Guiding in Five Days" course in late 2013. The program, let by Sam Ham, a renowned guide training expert and Tom O'Brien, a highly experienced guide from Lindblad Expeditions, was wildly successful. However it is not practical to send top experts to the Galapagos each year to train guides. "Instead", Todd says, " we need to teach local Galapagos guides and authorities how to train their own guides. We need to train the trainers!" Todd is looking forward to working on this guide training initiative and other IGTOA programs.
Conservation & Sustainable Travel
Sustainable travel and supporting conservation is a cornerstone of AdventureSmith Explorations business. We have been a member of IGTOA since our founding and we are proud to support grassroots conservation organizations in all our destinations. Part of our mission is to give something back to the individuals, communities and environments encountered on every AdventureSmith Explorations trip. We achieve this by connecting our travelers with a network of grassroots and global nonprofit partners worldwide. Read more about AdventureSmith Explorations conservation programs.