January 25, 2022 • Program Updates, Travel Ideas
The start of the year 2022 brings with it the opportunity to take a fresh look at our lives and lifestyles. Two years since the COVID pandemic brought dramatic changes to the way we live, many people have undergone a deep reflection and are now looking to create a new and better version of their “normal” life. For those who love to travel, this means a new or renewed commitment to assure that our travel has a positive impact on the places we visit. For evidence of this shift, look no further than The New York Times’ recent 52 Places for a Changed World, an annual list focused for the first time on places “where visitors can be part of the solution to problems like overtourism and climate change.”
For ocean lovers and conservationists like us, the obvious question to ask is: How can tourism support healthy oceans? Thankfully, that is a question that Oceanic Society and our partners have been working to answer since 1969 through our groundbreaking whale watching and nature travel programs.
In our new short video, filmed in Belize in August 2021, we explore this question by examining our past, present, and future travel programs in Belize, a country where we have been leading tours for more than 30 years. We hear from Alton Jeffords, our former Blackbird Caye field station manager, who today works as a guide at nearby Turneffe Flats, from Ann and Bob Herrick, longtime Oceanic Society travelers who have visited Belize on several occasions, and from Linda Searle, co-founder and director of ECOMAR, a Belizean nonprofit organization with whom we have partnered for more than two decades. Each offers a unique perspective on how Oceanic Society travelers have a positive impact on the places they visit by: 1) engaging in citizen science, 2) supporting the local community, and 3) investing in local nonprofits.
“Every penny that you spend on Oceanic Society either goes back into the community, it goes back into supporting local research, or it goes to supporting Oceanic Society’s programs globally. But more importantly, you get an experience that’s an experience of a lifetime.”– Roderic Mast, Oceanic Society president and CEO
“Every penny that you spend on Oceanic Society either goes back into the community, it goes back into supporting local research, or it goes to supporting Oceanic Society’s programs globally. But more importantly, you get an experience that’s an experience of a lifetime.”
– Roderic Mast, Oceanic Society president and CEO
As pioneers in nature travel, Oceanic Society has been leading whale watching tours, volunteer vacations, and worldwide nature trips that support ocean conservation since 1969. You can browse our full lineup of nature travel programs here, and learn more about what makes our trips unique here. For opportunities to explore some of the breathtaking Belizean scenery from the film, our upcoming Belize trips are:
We are deeply grateful to Planet Oat for sponsoring the production of this film and our 2021 special expedition to Belize as part of their Planet Oat Project, the brand’s commitment to a healthier planet. Learn more about our partnership with Planet Oat here.