Become an Earthfoot ecotour host
Here is how you can publish your proposal!


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General requirements

  • Be an individual, family or traditional community willing to customize your program for individual travelers or very small groups. In other words, we do not work with regular companies offering nothing but packaged tours. If you offer some packaged tours for larger groups, but also are willing to customize your program for individuals or very small groups, that's fine. We'll just ignore your packaged tours and encourage your one-on-one, customizable approach
  • Have special insights into anything related to nature and/or the traditional or historical human condition -- which means you can be anyone from a Ph.D. in ornithology, to a native lady ready to show how to cook traditional meals in her own home, to a philosopher willing to lie in the grass with a visitor and expand on the theme of "man and nature"...
  • Be willing to host individuals, or at least groups as small as four, and communicate with your clients via e-mail, before the trip, to craft an eco-experience which may be a little different from your proposal featured on this web site
  • Speak English or Spanish
  • Have access to e-mail
  • Be aware of and sensitive to your local laws regulating activities such as guiding. Think about insurance you may need if you plan to receive paying guests. Though as an EarthFoot host you will not necessarily be working as a guide, you might want to review a couple of messages received from friends regarding the insurance and licensing situations for ecotour hosts in Alaska and Brazil

Points to be clear on

  • EarthFoot does not pay its hosts. Hosts get their fees directly from their visitors, but we appreciate you support us for setting up your pages on Earthfoot, and for maintaining your pages. A yearly donation of 100EURO for hosts based in the USA. For other countries please contact Earthfoot.
  • Each EarthFoot proposal consists of two interlinked Web pages. These pages can be as extensive as you want, within reason. One page describes the proposal, the other is the Host Biography page, and we will not present one without the other. This indicates that, for us, having a good bit of information about a specific person, family or traditional community who will serve as the host -- answer e-mails and personally be the "guide" -- is very important. When the actual host does not have access to e-mail, we can usually designate a "host helper" near the host, who can answer the host's mail, and/or relay messages.
  • Some hosts quickly receive quite a number of "Earthfoot Referrals" after we post their new program on Earthfoot. Other proposals slumber and sleep for weeks and months but suddenly come into the limelight. Often because of a journalist report. The world at large is slowly discovered the joys of small scale, locally produced ecotourism, This site has grown steadily since 1998 and is now (2008) a major portal for small-scale ecotours. More and more people are finding Earthfoot and your proposals each day, and liking what they see, so we intend to stick with our concept. Those hosts with mosts hits on Earthfoot, are the ones who have done their homework and also marketed their activity in the media, travel books etc.
  • Our Tours and our concept have been copied by many - but never been perfected!
    (Earthfoot host Duplessis )

Preparing a proposal

If you have a little computer savvy, use someone else's proposal as a template. Here are the six steps for doing that:

  1. Browse through the proposals of other hosts at our "destinations" link, until you find one that fits your idea of a good proposal for your kind of "eco-event." Here are some good ones:
  2. For the Host Biography page, check out host Roger Dykstra's.
  3. When you find a page similar to what you would like to produce, save it to your own hard disk, in a directory or folder where you can find it later.
  4. Later, using a word processor, in each section of the proposal or host-biography page, delete what the other person wrote and write in your own material.
  5. Once you have your two pages written up, send them to EarthFoot. Be sure to use a common word-processor format, such as DOC or TXT. We cannot read Mac files
  6. Don't forget to attach illustrations, especially of the host, as well as "Appendix" info, such as birdlists, local histories, essays on local customs, etc.

Sending Photos

When sending illustrations, it's best to send them as e-mail attachments in JPG/ JPEG format. Scanned maps or drawings should be in the GIF format. If you cannot produce graphics in these formats, you can also send them in PCX or TIF. If you can only produce images in other formats, drop me a line and we'll figure something out. Please do not embed photos in text documents and send the whole document since sometimes I can't extract them.

Please don't send photos embedded in Word documents or any other kind of documents. Again, send them as email attachments in JPG and/or GIF formats.

We're having awful problems with people using Mac computers. Of maybe 15 Mac people who have sent us images, my PC could only handle one set. Usually Mac graphic files arrive in text format with a .DAT extension. Once it is understood that the files should be in JPG or GIF format, the files are sent again with those extensions, but the files remain in text, not graphic format, so when I open them all I see is endless pages of symbols. If anyone can send me instructions to pass along to Mac users on how to send graphic files to PC users I would appreciate it.

Most scanned images being received are created entirely too large to be used at Internet sites. Frequently I receive image files over 1,000KB large, which take several minutes to download, and I never use an image larger than 30KB. If you know how, please use a compression program. Best of all, set the scanner so that it does not produce a file larger than about 30KB. For internet purposes a scanner need not be set to produce high-quality images. Medium or even low-quality is sufficient on most scanners. For a regular snapshot a scanner should be set to about 75 to 100 dpi. This is important to us because many of our visitors are at the end of a lot of corroded copper wire, using a slow modem.

Finally, don't let these paragraphs scare you. If you don't know about file size and compression, just send what you have.

A helpful hint

Notice that at our site people find your proposal in two main ways. First, by using our "Clickable World Map" to see what is available in the geographical area they want to visit. Second, by using the "What's Your Interest" link.

At this link people can find lists of all tours that offer snorkeling, or birding, or access for the physically impaired, or any of several other categories.  You should review our theme categories at that link, and if you offer anything fitting into a category, be sure to mention that fact in your proposal.  If you can provide good birding, then say so, and tell us which birds people can see, and what credentials the bird-trip host has for leading a bird trip.  If you can accept physically impaired guests, then say so, and give examples of what you are willing to do to accommodate these guests, such as provide a ramp for easy entrance into your boat, or hire locals to carry people to the volcano-crater's edge.

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