Traveling is an incredible experience. The opportunity to explore new destinations and meet the people who live there never gets old! As we travel, it’s important to consider the effects of our journey on the people and places we encounter. Considering the impact of travel, and working to minimize that impact, is a growing trend. It’s known as ecotourism, or sustainable tourism.
What is ecotourism?
Simply put, ecotourism is travel planned and executed with regard for the environment. This includes health of the world as a whole and a specific destination’s natural resources. All travel affects the environment because tourists have to travel to a location and leave behind waste. Ecotourism focuses on reducing these impacts and using the proceeds of tourism to limit their harm. Sustainable travel also makes sure that the positive economic impacts of tourism directly benefit the communities that host travelers.
Ecotourism always includes traveler education. Learning more about a destination’s natural resources and culture is the responsibility of both tourists and locals.
Why is ecotourism important?
Sustainable travel focuses on leaving a positive impact, often via monetary contributions for protecting resources and preserving local communities. Otherwise, tourism can negatively affect nature and culture.
The Benefits of Sustainable Travel
Ecotourism benefits local communities and conservation efforts economically. This is especially good news in areas where nature may otherwise be negatively impacted by economic gains from tourism or other industries.
Learning about a destination’s historical and cultural significance along with environmental significance can help tourist interact with nature and community members respectfully. The educational aspect of ecotourism often leads travelers to choose more sustainable travel in the future. Often, eco-friendly travel helps tourists discover more authentic experiences and more fully enjoy their destination and its community!