California-based AdventureSmith Explorations is run by owner Todd Smith, who’s among the prestigious ranks of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialists as a leading expert on small-ship expeditions. He also serves on the board of the International Galápagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA).
Growing each year in popularity, the Galápagos Islands are a highly sought-after vacation destination. They’re also among the world’s most fragile ecosystems.
The appeal of this archipelago off Ecuador’s coast can be likened to the goose that laid the golden egg. Becoming too popular, Smith said, means risking uncontrolled growth for this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“This could lead to eroding the very ecosystems that support the bird life, flora and fauna that people travel [there] to experience,” he warned.
Smith seeks to position his company and clients to be part of the solution, keeping the region’s best ecological interests in mind and not adding to the problem of overtourism.