Mr. Masaru Takayama’s passion for ecotourism and ecolodge started in Costa Rica in the 90s when he was just a nature-loving traveler. Since then he founded the first ecolodge association in the world, Japan Ecolodge Association, to promote the concept of ecotourism and ecolodge uniting responsible tourism and green buildings in Japan. The association comprises 10 national accommodation members as well as 10 oversea partners in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Mongolia, Costa Rica, Australia, U.S.A., and Brazil while offering the certification program to bottom up the industry standards in the Japanese marketplace.
Working as a global community-based ecotourism consultant, ecolodge advisor, and responsible tour operator ‘Spirit of Japan Travel’ in Kyoto, as well as serving a number of key positions in the organizations both home and abroad pertinent to ecotourism and protected areas, The International Ecotourism Society, Asia Pacific Ecotourism Society, International Association of Protected Areas Stewardship, to name a few, Mr. Takayama tries to apply his knowledge to the existing and emerging ecolodges to improve sustainability, reduce energy consumption, and promote the use of the green building materials while working to conserve the nature and practice responsible tourism. His latest agenda is to demonstrate that a responsible tour operator can help bring tangible benefits to the communities for conservation of nature, recovery from natural disasters, and improvement on the well-being.