Eco-Tourism Makes Environmental Ambassadors of Us All

Jean-Michel Cousteau and Bill Marriott in St. Thomas

Jean-Michel Cousteau and I enjoyed the green environment of St. Thomas

I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but I’m not sure “eco-tourist” has ever been one of them, until now.  I just returned from an early spring break in St. Thomas with my wife, Donna, where we met Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of famed undersea explorer and environmental activist Jacques Cousteau.  Jean-Michel is taking his father’s good works to the next level, promoting conservation and developing environmental education programs around the world in partnership with The Ritz-Carlton Hotels.

The eco-tourism program is called Jean-Michel Cousteau’s "Ambassadors of the Environment,” and it allows our guests to experience St. Thomas’ diverse environment through a number of incredible excursions.  Guests can choose from adventures like snorkeling in the coral reefs, exploring mangroves, and kayaking around Great Bay – all led by Cousteau-trained naturalists.  

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas overlooks Great Bay in the Virgin Islands

We have Ambassadors of the Environment programs at our Ritz-Carlton hotels in Grand Cayman; Kapalua, Hawaii; and now The Ritz‑Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico. 

I have to say, I loved the one in St. Thomas because it’s such a beautiful island.  Its lush, green mountains shoot out of the ocean.  Its beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world.  The water is very incredible and crystal-clear blue.  If you sign up for the program, you’ll get to experience it all.  And the really adventurous get a chance to hand-feed one of the island’s living dinosaurs – a large green iguana. 

Ecotourism is becoming a popular way for travelers to see and experience some of the most beautiful environments in the world, and along with the journey, learn how important it is to protect them.  According to Jean-Michel Cousteau, “We expect everyone to return to their communities as ambassadors of the environment.”

Leave a comment on the greatest adventure you ever had while traveling.  I hope it’s been at a Marriott hotel.

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

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