Our Model

idGuides approach to ecotourism

idGuides’ approach to ecotourism is driven by the belief that conservation is best supported when people have financial incentives, security and capacity to manage land sustainably and to conserve biodiversity.

We believe that community-based ecotourism can provide concrete incentives and capacity for conservation. This can only happen when products and services are competitive and developed and operable by communities grounded in their existing knowledge, landscape and institutions. An ecotourism venture, product, service or destination is competitive when it is developed, managed and governed to the high standards responsive to the specific requirements which attract responsible tourists. Only a competitive product or service will generate sufficient sustained revenues, finance and benefits to positively impact communities and contribute to biodiversity conservation.

idGuides Standards for competitive community-based ecotourism

idGuides has developed a comprehensive set of standards uniquely combining 3 core pillars “ Great Product, Service & Safety, Positive Impact:

  • Well-designed community-based ecotourism products & services building on landscape, nature, knowledge and cultural assets, and which are attractive to accessible responsible markets;
  • Solid risk management systems, communication and leadership standards appropriate for wilderness, operational and guiding context
  • Required institutional governance arrangements to ensure participation and benefit-sharing for conservation, community and development.

Anyone can apply to idGuides to qualify for membership of idGuides Connect, the umbrella organisation and online directory for idGuides professional members. To apply for idGuides Connect membership, you must provide evidence qualifying in all three standard sets above. idGuides is happy to help individual guides, communities, operators or hotels interested to qualify for these.

Community Ecotourism Venture
Guides Development Program
Community Guides Basic Training
Responsible Outdoor Programming Leadership