ECOTOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL
Ecotourism is essentially all about bringing nature conservationists, local communities, and the responsible travel industry together, to ensure development focused on long-term sustainability. The three common concepts within ecotourism are natural-based, educational, and sustainable (which includes economic and social criteria) and those who implement, participate in, and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles:
- Minimize physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness, and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Produce direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry.
- Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climates.
- Design, construct and operate low-impact facilities.
- Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.
When the core principles of ecotourism are applied, it can stimulate financial growth in developing nations and strengthening the global economy. Becoming a more responsible traveler is the best way to ensure your adventures are positive for the local people and the planet. Here’s how:
Pack light: Pack items that can be washed in the sink and are quick drying so they can be worn multiple times during your trip.
Save water: Take shorter showers, turn off the faucet while shaving and brushing your teeth, and re-use towels for multiple days.
Save energy: When you leave your hotel room, turn off the lights, heat/AC and TV
Buy Local: Seek out indigenous artisans and learn about their craft.
Leave only footprints: Consider taking a bag to pick up trash along your journey.
Honor local traditions: Understand and respect local traditions of people whose culture you’re there to experience.