Imagine planning a holiday where the only planned activity is walking through the natural landscapes. Perhaps that sounds relaxing (or boring), but doing this simple activity can already be considered to be part of ecotourism.
What is ecotourism?
Ecotourism is a type of tourism rooted in the concept of preservation of natural areas. The motivation for ecotourism is to explore and discover new places in a non-disruptive manner. Ecotourists travel to threatened natural places with the intention of simply appreciating and preserving the culture and nature.
They travel responsibly and their only goal is to appreciate the local communities in a sustainable and respectful manner.
This type of tourism is marked by participating in non-disruptive or educational activities. Several of these non-disruptive activities include bird watching, hiking, and visiting beaches or natural landscapes.
Ecotourists differ from “regular” tourists because the main motivation for traditional tourists is personal desire to enjoy. This can lead to the exploitation of the natural resources of their travel destination.
What are the benefits of ecotourism?
The underlying values revolve around conservation and responsibility, and these benefit the local communities. Ecotourism contributes to the social and financial development of these communities, since this practice often relies on local expertise or guidance.
It’s therefore believed to spur growth and income opportunities for local or native residents of travel destinations.
It’s also beneficial to the environment, especially when contrasted with traditional tourism. This is because ecotourism is concerned with sticking to sustainable practices. These practices include selecting the right mode of transportation to ensure zero to minimum carbon footprint contribution.
Regular tourists often participate in popular touristic activities that disrupt or prove harmful to the natural landscapes. Tour cruises or buses, for example, often contribute to fuel gas emissions, so ecotourists avoid these.
So whenever you start planning your next holiday, consider opting for more ecotourist activities to truly appreciate the nature and culture of your next destination.