Sven Olof Lindblad
ven Olof Lindblad's company, Lindblad Expeditions, is a world leader in responsible tourism. Through his personal commitment to conservation and the environment, he has donated the use of his company's vessels to host symposia, which bring together decision-makers from Mexico and Central America and conservation practitioners. These dialogues have resulted in the establishment of protected areas in the Bay Islands off the north coast of Honduras as well as Mexico's Gulf of California.
For the past five years, he has been an engaged and constructive member of WWF's National Council, and his company has provided important financial support to several WWF conservation efforts. He offered the use of one of his ships at cost, foregoing profit during the high season, so that WWF could hold its Board meeting in the Sea of Cortez. This meeting resulted in contributions of some US$2 million for conservation in the Sea of Cortez.
In addition to educating their travellers about natural history and conservation, Lindblad is committed to initiating partnerships with NGOs, protected area managers, local communities and other stakeholders in the primary destinations where they operate. He contributed more than US$250,000 to grassroots NGOs, e.g. for a guide-training course in Baja California and a trail in St. Lucia, West Indies. The latter initiative has generated more than US$1 million to the local economy. He initiated the Galapagos Conservation Fund whose contributions have already exceeded US$500,000.
In collaboration with the US Tour Operators Association, he established a Travelers' Conservation Foundation (TCF) made up of a range of companies associated with the tourism industry - a few of them without any previous involvement in conservation. TCF made its first grant of US$500,000 to Mesa Verde. Lindblad launched a Kids at Sea Programme, where children from inner city high schools get a chance to see the world.
Lindblad Expeditions carries out its activities in an environmentally responsible way and is an example many other tourism companies should follow.