Story posted September 11, 2008
The subject of the segment was "Business Innovation Clusters: Ecotourism."
Vail, along with Coordinator for a Sustainable Bowdoin Keisha Payson, serves on an advisory panel to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Leader program. Environmental Leader has certified the "green" business practices of more than 80 Maine lodgings and 20 restaurants.
Vail is also a planning team member for the Maine Woods Rural Destination Tourism (RDT) initiative. RDT is developing ecotourism certification standards and a distinctive brand for businesses that carry on Maine's outdoor sporting heritage and follow exemplary environmental practices.
For the past several years, Vail has studied and collaborated with the Swedish Ecotourism Association, supported by a Mellon Grant from Bowdoin's Environmental Studies Program. He has written and spoken extensively on lessons from Nature's Best, Sweden's quality label. His recent Maine Policy Review article, "An Ecotourism Quality Label for Maine?" concludes that, like Sweden, Maine may be able to capture a highly profitable market niche if it becomes the first northeastern state to establish its own ecotourism quality label.