Canadians Matt Becker and Andres Pang are working together to create an eco-community through crowdfunding efforts. With ecotourism as the travel industry’s fastest-growing sector, and increasing numbers of tourists sensitive to the needs of both local populations and the environment, the couple felt that the time was right to reach out and found an eco-community. The name “Gekkotel” is comprised of “gekko” (“gecko” in Spanish), merged with “tel” (from “hotel”) to conjure the image of an environmentally friendly getaway in the natural setting of Costa Rica.
Although Costa Rica has a long tradition of ecotourism, hoteliers can always do more to help protect the country’s ecosystem. That’s the motivation behind Gekkotel’s appeal to the public to raise funds to acquire their first hotel. It is from grassroots beginnings that Gekkotel seeks to make the ordinary extraordinary and accessible to friends and followers. Not suitable for Indiegogo or Kickstarter, and not quite real estate equity crowdfunding, this campaign is being independently run by Gekkotel. All pledges go towards the expected acquisition of their first property, and rewards include membership to the Gekkotel eco-community as well as discounts for hotel stays and travel items – all ecologically responsible, of course.Not yet committed to any one location in Costa Rica, Gekkotel hopes to eventually acquire three establishments: one on the beach, a second in the jungle, and a third on a mountain.
The campaign continues to the evening of November 11, 2014, with the hope of meeting this goal in advance of Costa Rica’s 2014 high season. Those who contribute to the $100 000 Canadian crowdfunding campaign will instantly become part of this community and join other like-minded individuals to help preserve and promote the 5 percent of the world’s total biodiversity that lives in that country.
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