Eco-tourism is one of the fastest growing areas in the travel industry. The concept really took hold in the early 1980s and has become even more important in the years since. Eco-Tourism is the idea that not only should we visit places which are of outstanding natural beauty where sustainability is practiced, but also that our visit should improve the circumstances of the local people in the area. Here we look at 5 reasons why you should consider Eco-Tourism for your next vacation.
1# Eco-Tourism is Good for the Planet
There is no doubt that traditional tourism has a huge impact upon the environment. Every flight from New York to San Francisco creates a global warming effect of around 3 tons of carbon dioxide for every passenger. That is around one sixth of the average of carbon dioxide the average American creates every year. Clearly we need to think about how we can best minimize our impact on the planet.
There are ways to minimize the global impact of travel. If you are on an Eco-Tourism vacation, you will be staying at places which have been chosen as they have a minimal impact on the environment. The transportation options will also have been selected so that they are as green as possible. Of course nothing is greener than hiking!
Not only will you become more aware of the environmental impact of your trip, but in having these unique experiences it is much more likely that you take action to save the planet whilst you are at home. Visiting some places around the world can have a profound impact. It may open your eyes about why it is important to reduce your use of plastic if you have actually seen the direct impact that it has on the environment. Travel broadens the mind and Eco-Travel makes you think about your own contribution to global warming.
#2 It Offers Once in a Lifetime Experiences
If you are looking for a more interactive vacation where you can meet the local people and really feel as though you are part of the community, you should consider Eco-Tourism for your next vacation. Instead of going on exactly the same excursions as everyone else, these experiences offer something different. You can often see destinations which aren’t usually seen by tourists. You can catch a glimpse into the way of life of the local people. You are not just passing by in your vacation destination – you are really experiencing it through the eyes of the local people.
After you have experienced an Eco-Tourism vacation it may be difficult to go back to the conventional way of taking a trip! You will almost certainly become hooked after your first experience of this new way to vacation.
#3 Your Money Will Help the Local People
One of the main aims of Eco-Tourism is that it should have a positive impact on the lives and the economy of the local people. Your tourist dollars are given back to the community. On a conventional vacation it may be that your money is not going to the local people.
Even if you are visiting a developing country you may be staying in a hotel with international owners, so that the bulk of the profits are going outside of the country. The local people may be being given employment, but it may be at a very low wage. This concern is not just relevant to hotel accommodation – it covers every aspect of your stay. You may be using an international travel company so that money will not be going to the locals. Also, much of the food and drink that you are consuming could be imported, so is of little benefit to the local people.
If you stay in a local community on an Eco-Tourist vacation, you can be sure that the money that you spend is going back to the people who live there. This is much more satisfying that it going to a multinational company. The money actually stays in the community and this will help the people and the environment.