Understanding Eco-tourism

Understanding Eco-tourism In Brief

Flash back 40 years and the nature of tourism and vacations was fairly simple. The first step was to figure out how much you could afford. Then it was just a matter of determining the location you could get the most for your money. As environmental concerns have come front and center in the form of pollution and global warming, many are rethinking their travel and vacation plans.

As environmental awareness grows and the futures of our ecological treasures become more uncertain, a new brand of travel - eco-tourism - is becoming increasingly popular. They are initiatives and are intended to minimise negative environmental aspects of regular tourism and work towards the goal of preserving the environment by protecting it from excessive human intervention for generations to come i.e for our future generations. 

Eco-tourism programme are designed to educate the traveller, provide funds for conservation and politically empower local communities by focusing local People participation.

With its emphasis on responsible travel, ecotourism benefits the environment, local economies, and visitors as well. Many worldwide destinations are offering ways to reduce negative effects on the environment while at the same time arranging a unique travel experiences for visitor.

In general, it usually involves a visit to a localized area with a unique environment. Examples can include destinations such as rainforests, habitats for endangered animals and so on. Once at the location, the idea is to leave a small footprint.

Ecotourism is focused on uniting conservation, local communities and sustainable travel. There is a relationship among them. Also,There are several guidelines in place for those who partake in ecotourism :-

  • Focuses on unspoiled natural environments

  • Minimizes impact on the environment

  • Builds environmental and cultural awareness and respect

  • Provides positive experiences for both visitors and hosts

  • Provides direct financial benefits for conservation and local people

  • Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people

The aim of sustainable travel is a big vision. Given the very real threats of deforestation, a decline in biodiversity, and global climate change, ecotourism is more important than ever. 

On the other hand, what is NOT ecotourism?

For instance, someone may consider a walk through the rainforest to be an ecotourism activity. But this isn't the case unless the particular rainforest trail benefits the environment and the local community. Some may also consider a rafting trip to be an ecotourism activity; however, this cannot be considered ecotourism unless it raises awareness or funds to help protect the waters sources. You should understand that to be called eco-tourism the local People and/or the environment should be both benefitted by the Tourism. It should involved both protection and local people participation.

Criticism on Eco-tourism

Some critics of ecotourism argue that no travel can be eco-friendly considering the vast amount of fuel/carbon/resources involved in transport. This is a fair point.

However, there is another point to be made and it's very simple to understand. Here it is, humans are not going to stop traveling!

Consider this example, Nobody wants an increase in landfill garbage, but humans are not going to stop making trash. So we invented recycling as a means to lower the impact and raise awareness.

Similarly, because technology now makes travel accessible to many much of the global economy depends on it, it's simply not realistic to launch a campaign to persuade people to travel less. However what we can do is raise awareness of environmental impact, of the importance of preserving nature, and of the empowerment available through community.

There were a lot of people who said that recycling programs would never work... imagine where we'd be today had we given up on trying. Fortunately, ecotourism seems to be gaining coverage and popularity.

Why is it important?

To add to that idea, not only is ecotourism intended to have less environmental impact than traditional tourism, but it also holds the potential to improve the social, cultural and economic well-being of travel destinations and local communities across the globe.

Practising Eco-tourism in hospitality

1. Eco-Resorts

The design, construction, and maintenance of eco-resorts utilizes environmentally friendly principles and technologies suited to the particular area. For instance, elevating buildings and walkways leaves ground vegetation mostly undisturbed. This prevents soil erosion and runoff, which would damage beaches and coral reefs. Also, Building around trees as often as possible instead of cutting them down also helps, as well as keeping building cool by providing shade. 

Similarly, Collecting rainwater supplies for water for restrooms, showers, and laundry. Also,Solar heating to create electricity.

The most basic accommodations may be as simple as a wood frame covered with light fabric. More traditional buildings may incorporate recycled or sustainable building materials, such as plastic lumber or bamboo.

Because they're often located in more remote areas, eco-resorts face additional challenges, particularly with waste disposal. Buying goods in bulk reduces packaging. Creative recycling and reuse of items also limits the amount of trash sent to landfills. Using office paper on both sides, then shredding it for use as packing material, extends its life. Composting toilets and other water treatments provide resorts with water and compost for gardens and surrounding habitats.

Eco-resorts allow wild places to stay wild. In addition to conserving nature, they employ local workers and often encourage visitors to patronize local attractions and businesses. While these things may ease guests' consciences, the biggest payoff for travelers is the opportunity to experience an area's authentic character.

2. Eco-Tours

For those who prefer an active vacation over staying in one spot, eco-tours provide a hassle-free alternative. As with eco-resorts, however, the extent of eco-friendliness varies considerably. Some tours thoroughly immerse travelers in their destination. Transportation may include city buses, canoes, or hiking. Similarly, tourists may stay in tents, a villager's home, or small, locally-owned hotels. Although well-known attractions is on the list of activities.

3. Eco-Adventures

Eco-adventures center on nature pursuits, such as bird watching, kayaking, hiking, and snorkeling. They strive not just to entertain participants but to educate them. Teaching people about the associated nature, wildlife, and history promotes respect for the environment.

Eco-tourism initiatives and programs can now be found in all corners of the globe as tourism operators join in the push to address global warming and protect the environment for future generations.

The next time you are getting ready to take a vacation, you might want to give some thought to the process. While, Disneyland will always be there, that rainforest, Flora and Fauna may not! So, GO GREEN GO SUSTAINABLE!!

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