Business & Ecotourism Advice from Jared Sternberg

Before Gondwana Ecotours existed,  Ecotourism

…there was a guy that really liked to travel. Jared Sternberg had been all over the world by the time he entered Tulane University’s environmental and human rights Law School. However, volunteering with underrepresented communities during his summer breaks was his true passion. In 2013, he founded Gondwana Ecotours, and four years later, the company continues to evolve.

Jared was interviewed by IdeasMensch to share his business strategies and how Gondwana Ecotours has grown.

…On Ecotourism

After volunteering with the remote Achuar tribe in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest, Jared realized that he had the desire to start his own ecotourism project. He knew that one person can make an impact, but if you harness the power of many people, you can make even bigger changes. By participating in ecotourism with others, a chain reaction happens and more people start to make more conscious choices. A trend that Jared has noticed is that clients are “Increasingly aware,” of environmental and social issues. This means that more people are becoming passionate about making a positive impact through travel. As part of Gondwana’s mission, all of our ecotours aim to benefit the community and environment everywhere we go. We’re so glad that our goal of sustainable travel is catching on.

…On Taking Risks

Though creating a new start-up is a gamble in itself, you have to know the difference between recklessness and risks. Jared advises, “Do be scared of reckless behavior,” but “don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.” With a new business, experience and feedback from others allows management to make confident decisions going forward. It becomes less of a guessing game, and makes it easier to determine what’s best for the company, the clients and the places we visit.

…On Following Your Passionground travel thumbnail

Truth be told, Jared shares that, “Even your dream job can be incredibly stressful and difficult.” Coordinating with businesses and clients worldwide takes a lot of organization and patience. Even four years later, the work is still challenging as the company expands and evolves. However, if the passion for your dream job is still alive, it’s all worth it. He says, “I never stop thinking about my work. In a lot of ways that can be problematic, but I also think it makes me successful.”

Though running a travel start-up is never easy, it’s certainly worth the effort! Gondwana is offering new tours and experiences, and Jared continues to run the company with the goal of making sustainable, locally-crafted ecotours available to the world. Read more about Jared’s experiences on his bio!

Read about using cultural exchange to build authentic tour experiences. Dive deeper into how incorporating local traditions and cuisines can enhance the cultural immersion of your tours.


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