Authentic Ecolodge Planning, Design and Operations

Authentic Ecolodge Planning, Design and Operations
PDF version

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) has brought together an Authentic Ecolodge Training Dream Team to deliver a one-of-a-kind workshop and charette.


When: Monday Sept. 19th, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (1/2-Day Course)
Cost: US$80/person
Additional Information: Workshop Description in PDF


Authentic Ecotourism Workshop - Nyungwe Plan


Workshop Objectives:

As the ecotourism industry expands worldwide, the demand for well-planned, ecologically sensitive lodging facilities is increasing. This demand can be met with ecolodges; small-scale facilities that provide visitors with a window to the natural and cultural world of the respective region. Their solid waste, sewage, water, and energy systems are all managed with conservation as a top priority. Their infrastructure, building footprints, and other necessary impositions on the environment are designed in harmony with the natural landscape.

To achieve a financially viable, marketable ecolodge and to operate it takes skill and planning. This course will assess the physical feasibility and market potential for ecolodges, by reviewing market research results (and trends) in this industry and more accurately projecting costs and potential revenue. You will learn how to select a site, plan and design an ecolodge, with emphasis not only on creating a sense of place for the visitor, but also interpreting the environment and the culture.


You will learn about ecolodge guidelines and certification standards and how to incorporate renewable energy and efficient waste and water management systems into your design and construction. You will also learn about how to operate an Authentic Ecolodge.

Two hours of lectures are followed by two hours of participatory charettes in small groups. Several groups will be formed to discuss above issues and formal presentations will be made at the end of the charettes.

Intended Audience:

This course is intended for lodge and resort developers, owners and managers, tourism operators, architects, landscape architects and engineers, students, professors, and other stakeholders.




Hitesh Mehta FASLA, Associate AIA, RIBA HM Design

Presenters and Charette Coordinators:


Lars Lindkvist, PhD, Basecamp Wilderness Lodge, Kenya

Judy Kepher-Gona, Basecamp Wilderness Lodge, Kenya
Karen Lewis, Owner, Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Costa Rica
Rick MacLeod Farley, Ecolodge Financial Consultant, Canada


Authentic Ecotourism Workshop - Lapa Rios Ecolodge   Authentic Ecotourism Workshop - Basecamp


Photos by HM Design. Left: Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Costa Rica; Right: Basecamp, Kenya