Xola Consulting to Share Adventure Tourism Perspective at Sustainable Development Forum in Yunnan, China

Xola President Christina Heyniger to explain how adventure tourism programs can support economic growth initiatives while also fostering sustainable environmental and cultural behavior.

Santa Fe, NM, June 13, 2008 --(PR.com)-- Christina Heyniger, President of Xola Consulting Inc., and ten other American experts in the fields of historic preservation, tourism, conservation and government will join Chinese representatives at the U.S.-China Arts Exchange Sustainable Development Forum in Yunnan, China from Jun 21 – July 4.

Heyniger will contribute perspectives gained from Xola’s Adventure Tourism Development Index work in other countries, and share how adventure tourism programs are supporting economic growth initiatives while also fostering sustainable environmental and cultural behavior.

The forum will address time-sensitive issues related to overdevelopment and commercialization of natural and cultural sites, which inevitably results in loss of authenticity as well as severe disruption of community life. The forum will also explore the impact of development and tourism on World Heritage Sites and World Biospheres throughout the world and three specific areas within the Yunnan province:

* Old City of Weishan,
* Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve, a World Biosphere Reserve, and
* Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Area, a World Heritage Site

The trip includes field trips to the Chinese city of Weishan, and Gaoligongshan. Participants will also attend a two-day meeting in Dali focusing on issues related to the Three Parallel Rivers National Park. The 1.7 million hectare site, located the mountainous north-west of Yunnan Province, is one of the richest temperate regions of the world in terms of biodiversity, and features sections of the upper reaches of three of the great rivers of Asia: the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong and Salween.

Heyniger and other participating US specialists will discuss environmental issues with Chinese experts, scrutinize proposed development plans, and recommend alternative strategies that focus on good planning, protection and management for sustainability. At the end of the event, the team will present a set of recommendations to the Yunnan provincial government, the central authorities in Beijing, and global organizations including UNESCO.

For more information on the Adventure Tourism Development Index, visit www.xolaconsulting.com or The George Washington University website: www.gwu.edu/iits.

Xola Consulting, Inc. (www.xolaconsulting.com) provides consulting services to individual adventure tour company operators and tourism boards interested in adventure tourism development for the benefit of rural communities and the environment. Xola also specializes in supporting organizations seeking to blend adventure tourism and volunteer service. Xola consultants have in-depth experience in emerging markets around the world including Central and South America, North Africa and Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), India and Nepal.

Xola Consulting
Paige Stringer