Scamming the Tourist: Best Eco-Lodges

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

nixonJust call us the Woodward and Bernstein of Investigative-Journalism-Related-to-Internet-Based-Claims-of-Socially-Conscious-Travel-and-Ecotourism. 

You are no doubt familiar with our previous forays (here and here) into unearthing heinous internet crimes against  socially conscious tourism.  Well, in leaving no stone unturned, we bring you:  Best Eco-Lodges.

We hate linking to the site because it will get them more visitors but it may be the only way you’ll believe how lame it truly is.  As in the past, the site looks good at first:

“Best Eco Lodges passionately promotes the top eco friendly hotels and lodges around the world. Discover what genuine environmentally friendly lodging means…”

But when you start digging around, some questions emerge.  Their “Requirements to be an Eco Friendly Accommodation” are:
 

  • Be energy efficient
  • Protect the environment – its flora, fauna and landscape
  • Conserve natural resources and environment
  • Support, respect and benefit local culture and economy

That sounds good but somewhat vague, right?  It turns out that the “membership form” has a pretty comprehensive list of what these four bullets may include.  However, according to Best Eco Lodges’s disclaimer:

“Best-ecolodges.com and its owners, employees or contract workers assumes no responsibility and in no way warrants the quality, safety, legality, truth or accuracy of the information contained in any of the pages provided throughout this website.”

And

“None of the information contained in any page on this site is confirmed or warranted by any party. Confirmation of information published herein is the sole responsibility of the Client. You are responsible for conducting your own investigation regarding any and all claims made by Owners and Advertisers.”

And

“Best-ecolodges.com expects Owners and Advertisers to provide truthful and accurate information, but cannot ensure this, or control the behavior of Owners and Advertisers.”

Let’s recap, shall we?  Anyone can submit a membership form (oh, did we mention is costs $250 to be a member and 10% of all bookings made through the site?), claim they are eco-friendly in various ways that will never be verified, and the tourist is none the wiser.

Hey, the fact that you’re reading this site makes you an intelligent person (ahem), so you would probably not be taken in by this malarkey.  But what about all the poor little imbeciles running around on the interwebs?  Who will protect them?

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One Response to “Scamming the Tourist: Best Eco-Lodges”

  1. [...] for these companies.  We have slammed others for presenting themselves as something they’re not (here, here, and [...]

    #36

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