Tourism is the world's fastest growing industry. Beach holidays
are not as popular as outdoor and adventure activities anymore, resulting in remote
and fragile ecosystems receiving an influx of visitors. If not carefully managed,
this pressure could damage the same natural areas that the visitors seek. How
do we reach this balance between growth and conservation? Through education and
Ecotourism is nature-based travel to relatively undisturbed areas,
with an emphasis on education. It occurs in all types of areas and protected ecosystems
including mountains, deserts, savannahs and coastal areas.
Your eco-destination choice should include an area that has plenty of protected
landscapes and recreational areas, shared by locals and visitors. You should also
look for signs that the local tourism development is not harming the culture and
Ecotourism helps preserve local customs, cultures and ecosystems when small
groups visit locally owned ecolodges. When traveling, look for ecolodges that
reflect local design, were built with local building materials and offer a natural
setting that has been carefully preserved with indigenous landscaping.
Also check to see if the ecolodge uses renewable energy, has environmentally
sensitive water and waste disposal systems, offers a variety of excursions and
educational materials to natural and cultural sites and supports the local community
An eco-tour attempts to keep the highest percentage of the tourist dollars in
the host country. Hiring local staff, buying locally farmed produce, using local
guides, and purchasing locally made gifts all supports the local economy. So ask
some questions and plan your next holiday the eco way! Future generations will
thank you for it!
Copyright Anne Loehr of Eco-resorts