What is Ecotourism?
Living more eco-consciously is most definitely on more people’s minds as is reducing their carbon footprint especially when it comes to travel. This rise in the popularity of eco-travel has led to an increase in the use of the word ecotourism but what exactly does this mean? According to The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), ecotourism is defined as:
“responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”
Let’s take a closer look at what this can mean and how you can still travel and enjoy the world without feeling that eco-anxiety or guilt.
A Natural Balance
Ecotourism works to create a balance between those countries/areas of the world that benefit from tourists visiting and those who want to see the world without having a huge impact on our environment. By providing eco-travel, eco accommodation, eco-tours, limiting the numbers of tourists, providing locally sourced food and no plastic waste, the ecotourism companies can sustain not only their business but also the place in which they live and care for. And by opening these travel choices up, it gives people who love to discover new countries a great eco-friendly option. It’s a win-win.
Why Has Ecotourism Grown in Popularity?
Our awareness of climate change, protecting our environment, reducing waste, lowering carbon emissions, conservation of land, wildlife and cultures have all played a huge part. There has clearly been a shift of late and this is a positive one.
Off The Beaten Track
Another big benefit of ecotourism from a tourist’s perspective is that these travel opportunities will take them far from the crowds and those usual “tourist hot spots” and off the beaten track allowing them to really experience their chosen destination in a quieter, more intimate and slower way.
When we choose to travel in an eco-friendly way and respect our environment and wildlife this behaviour is passed down to our children and this eco education is vital for their future as well as the planet’s.
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How Can You Travel in a More Eco-Friendly Way?
- Choose the most eco-friendly forms of transportation such as an electric car or train
- Offset your flights if you can only fly to your destination
- Travel within your own country to discover all it has to offer
- Travel light
- Take reusables with you
- Book eco accommodation
- Only visit ethical wildlife attractions/tours and avoid those that exploit animals such as Seaworld, photo opps with Tigers/Elephants, animal rides etc.
- Shop small and local
- Say no to single-use plastic as much as you can
- Respect the areas you visit by sticking to the parts that are allowed to be visited by tourists etc.
- Leave only your footprints
Will You Be An Ecotourist?
Will any of these topics raised now encourage you to look into more ethical and ecotourism?
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