What is Eco Friendly Tourism?
The Definition of Ecotourism
According to the International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.”
This means that ecotourism is much more than traveling around the globe and sightseeing. Ecotourism is about ensuring that your visit also has a positive impact on the local community. This includes the people and their natural resources.
Why You Should Choose Ecotourism Over Traditional Tourism?
Although the tourism industry is constantly growing, this growth doesn’t always necessarily have positive implications for the destination and its resources. For one, a heightened influx of tourists can threaten the ecosystem of sensitive natural locations. More people equals more strain on the environment.
One main drawback of mass tourism is that, despite its trillion-dollar value, only 5% of the income is invested in the local community. Thus, travelers should be conscious of where their money goes. Thankfully, forms of tourism like ecotourism are reshaping the face of travel.
Benefits of Ecotourism
Ecotourism is one of the most ethical ways of traveling. It benefits the traveler, the local, and nature. Here are some specific advantages of ecotourism:
Ecotourism helps build cultural awareness by fostering respect for the place you travel to and the community you visit. Visitors leave a place having had an immersive and memorable experience.
Ecotourism is a great way to educate the public about a location, and also about the importance of caring for the environment. What better classroom is there than nature itself? Ecotours aren’t just lectures, they are hands-on experiences that give visitors many opportunities to learn new skills and information.
Unlike commercial tours, which are preoccupied with growing their business, ecotourism operators are mainly concerned about the welfare of the local community — including the economy. A truly eco-conscious tour will have been planned and managed locally, with the consent and involvement of the residents. This not only nurtures good relationships, but also helps create local jobs. Tour guides, homestay hosts, entertainers, translators, and more, are a result of the ecotourism industry.
Ecotourism is not only conscious of its impact on the natural environment, it is also sensitive to the local economy.