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November 02, 2009

The Zeitz Foundation's Getaways That Do Good

Tanzania
"Long Run Destinations are business enterprises, mainly sustainable tourism destinations, committed to maximizing positive and minimizing negative impacts around the world," says the Long Run Web site. This one, Chumbe, is a tropical island situated 8 miles southwest of Zanzibar town, Tanzania.

by Ondine Cohane

Jochen Zeitz is one of the most successful CEOs in the world, and he didn't start running Puma until the ripe old age of 30. So, when he contacted me last year about creating a network of sustainable, socially conscious retreats--including one that he had already started to build in Kenya--I was extremely interested in learning more. I helped Zeitz narrow in on some places that I thought he should consider, like Indonesia's Nihiwatu, but it was clear that the guy had done his research. It was also clear that he was interested in more than a press release; he dismissed resorts that didn't truly help to better their communities.

Last week Zeitz officially launched his foundation with nine spots in Brazil, Tanzania and New Zealand, among other locations. His goal? To "provide and build sustainable, mostly tourism-driven enterprises, community development and cultural stewardship," and "projects that balance conservation, community, culture, and commerce...a model that shows how working toward ecosphere safety can be commercially viable." The new properties try to both protect endangered areas and promote cultural diversity and local stewardship. For a list of the retreats, go to thelongrun.com.

In both the articles I have read about Zeitz and the conversations I had with him, it is clear that he is a man who travels a great deal for work, and takes the time to learn about various issues and fault lines as he does so. I am very happy that his vision now has an outlet.

Further reading:
* The Zeitz Foundation Web site
* The Long Run destinations
* Word of Mouth: The buzz worldwide

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