Ecotourism 101

Ecotourism 101

In a day where the idea of recycling and reducing one’s carbon footprint is on the rise, traveling can seem like an unnecessary luxury. One that will only create costs in more than just monetary form. Pollution will take place during the actual traveling process, fast food wrappers will be disposed of, fuels will be used, etc. But rather than looking at traveling from the “green is king” point of view, try approaching your travel ventures with the “greener is better” mindset.

Common Sense

It can be easy to get down on oneself for unnecessarily driving a few blocks or tossing soda cans when a recycling bin cannot be found. However, it is also important to look at life from the big picture. For the most part, doing your best to help out Mother Nature is all you can do. There is no use fretting about a single tossed can or adding to pollution when it’s raining. Instead, focus on all of the good things you are doing for the environment.

This comes into play while traveling as well. Just because getting to a new destination may cause some pollution, doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to enjoy traveling. You still need to eat, shower, use the restroom – these things will just be done in an alternate location. You may be using water during the vacation, but you’re saving it at home.

That being said, there are plenty of vacations that allow you to enjoy nature without contributing to excess waste or pollution.

What is Ecotourism?

Ecotourism is being a tourist on a carbon budget, or, more specifically, traveling responsibly to natural areas and helping conserve the environment.

According to the International Ecotourism Society, those practicing ecotourism should:
  • minimize impact
  • build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
  • provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
  • provide direct financial benefits for conservation
  • provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
  • raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate
Examples of Ecotourism

One of the most well-known examples of ecotourism is that of Madagascar. Because it is a biodiversity hotspot, the country offers the opportunity to see rare plants and animals. In fact, 80 percent of its animals and 90 percent of its plants grow only on the island. In cooperation with ecotourists, the country allows them to travel to their land to view rare sights, while the country benefits financially. Much of the profits from the low-impact traveling goes to preventing poverty throughout Madagascar. A win-win situation that provides few negative effects of the environment.

Central and South America have steady supplies of ecotourists, as well as Indonesia – all of which profit financially by teaching others about their cultures and ancient structures.

Ecotourism is a great way to gain a culturally rich experience while providing economic help to others. To find out more about ecotourism, explore Rainforest Expeditions’ travel tabs, or contact us above.

Guest post written by Bethaney Wallace, a travel blogger for