Ecotourism: What is It and Why Does It Matter?

ecotourism

 

With increasing awareness about climate change and our global impact on the environment, more and more industries are looking into eco-friendly alternatives in order to attract and retain customers. The travel and tourism sector is no different, as it has helped give rise to the relatively established yet hardly fully understood trend called ecotourism.

 

What Is Ecotourism?

Ecotourism is a way of travelling that prioritizes sustainability and activities that benefit Mother Nature. It’s about visiting areas that leave minimal damage to your surroundings, while also having a positive impact on locals and the community. Some tourists do this with the intention to learn more about the environment as well as have a more intimate experience with the culture and people in the country they are visiting.

 

There are a lot of ways guests and staff can practice ecotourism. For instance, hotels and resorts could use equipment that conserves water and energy. Restaurants could provide organic menus and reduce food wastage. Tourists could more consciously choose to visit natural areas where flora are preserved and animals are unharmed.

 

Benefits of Ecotourism

More than just having fun exploring new places, ecotourism is about the conservation of both the environment and the communities that live in it.

 

 

  • Environmental Awareness

 

Ecotourism helps people become more informed and educated. Most of the time, tourists who practice it are the ones who want to better understand the impact humans have on the environment. It breeds sensitivity to current changes in nature and its cycle of effects on people, wildlife, and other elements within a given ecosystem. 

 

 

  • Helps Local Communities

 

Though tourism usually has a positive economic impact on countries, it can also negatively affect local communities because of the threat of displacement, relocation, and violation of indigenous ways in the name of progress, to name a few. When tourists show significant interest in cultural heritage sites, governments would resolve more to preserve them.

 

Locals can also use the influx of tourists to take advantage of the opportunity to create more business. Healthy commerce can prompt building better roads and transportation services, making life easier for both tourists and locals.

 

 

  • Less Expensive, More Adventure

 

From a tourist’s perspective, ecotourism can actually be much cheaper than a regular vacation. Visiting parks, going on hikes, and scuba diving are all fairly inexpensive ways to spend your trip, and these are also integrated in ecotourism. Instead of taking a taxi everywhere, you can rent bikes and cycle your way to discovering the area. Food and souvenirs in smaller towns will likely be a lot cheaper than the ones in heavily urbanized places.

 

If you’re passionate about nature but also love travel, ecotourism gives you the best of both worlds. A more environment-conscious travel is here to stay, and with growing demand, you can harness your interest in this field through good education. With quality travel and tourism management programs, you’ll gain the skills needed to thrive and jumpstart your career here.