Eco Tourism

Posted By: Brinda Amin

Post Date: August 17, 2017

The costs of traditional tourism are rising and we are not just talking about price of airfare and hotel rooms.  Tourist development frequently comes at a cost of the cultural and environmental integrity of the local population. In this way mass-market tourist industry is often guilty of destroying the very destinations it seeks to promote.

Ecotourism differs from mainstream tourism in that it helps sustain, rather than exploit, the natural beauty and cultural diversity of the destination. Ecotourism is responsible travel that conserves the environment and promotes the well being of local people, in addition to taking away a richer travel experience.  

The Ecotourism trend is taking off due to a new generation of responsible travelers who want to experience the culture beyond the resorts and have a meaningful interaction with the local people. Contrary to local belief, ecotourism is accessible to everyone. Ecotourism is often wrongly associated with adventure and wilderness travel. In reality you can be an eco tourist just as easily in New York city as in Timbuktu.   

Your Travel Consultant can assist you with booking reputable eco friendly lodges, B&B's or even a farm stay for those looking for an off the beaten path experience. For exploring the destination, the alternatives are limitless. Naming a few are outdoor eco tours, volunteer tourism, environmental and aid projects, animal conservation projects, learning organic farming techniques. With their local contacts with tour companies and experienced guides, they can help in arranging special interest tours such as yoga, meditation, pottery, tai chi and bird watching. With their knowledge, they will help you navigate cultural barriers without offending the indigenous community. Many tour companies bill themselves as eco but in reality are not. That's why it is important to use a travel consultant who is familiar with tour operator reputations. By making responsible consumer decisions before and during travel, you can help change the face of tourism and make it a force for empowering people around the world, rather than exploiting them.

Your Travel Consultant may have a relationship with local tour companies that have access to remote, environmentally sensitive areas that may be difficult or impossible to reach for tourists travelling independently. Most eco tours offer small group experiences.

To get the most out of your ecotourism vacation, read up on the destination as much as possible before your trip. Learning a few phrases and words will enhance your experience of immersing yourself with its people. Sit outside and watch the local go about their daily life. Walk the streets beyond the tourist areas.  You may learn far more from them then they will from you.  An ecotourism vacation can be very rewarding and fulfilling.  

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