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    Updated on Mar 31, 2019. Posted on Mar 29, 2019

    All You Need To Know About Ecotourism

    Travel

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    With the increasing awareness of environmental conservation, a lot of industries and businesses are tying in the cause of sustainability with their way of operation and their overall value system. The tourism industry too is joining the bandwagon of instilling ecological balance with the advent and growing adoption of Ecotourism.

    Ecotourism can be broadly described as a host of travel and hospitality practices that revolve around the ideas of conserving the natural environment and habitat of a region as well as the local population with conscious efforts to reduce the environmental footprint by the hosts as well as the guests. It also champions the cause of educating individuals about the social, environmental and cultural impact of poor travel practices that can cause irreversible damage to the entire ecosystem we call Earth.

    Let us understand the nuances of Ecotourism and why it is the need of the hour that citizens across the world adopt eco-friendly travel practices.

    What Is The Value Framework of Ecotourism?

    Ecotourism involves the coalescing of communities and environmental conservation initiatives with the idea of how travel should be. The entire ecotourism includes not just the tourists, but local markets, eco-conscious travel agents, travel guides and all of those individuals that are involved in your travel experience.

    For ecotourism to be a success, all of the above people must follow the below principles:

    •Undertake activities and visits that directly contribute to financial benefits for conservation

    •Imbibe environmental and cultural awareness

    •Minimize any social, physical, behavioural and psychological impact of travel

    •Through actions, help generate financial benefits for local industries

    •Recognise and respect the spiritual beliefs of people in your region and gather together to create empowerment

    What Are The Benefits of Ecotourism?

    As a race, it is imperative that we adopt eco-friendly travel practices, if we wish for our next generations to experience whatever little is left of our flora and fauna. Some quantifiable benefits of ecotourism include:

    1.Wildlife Conservation

    Discouraging animal abuse, caging and poaching not only ensures their rights and space is protected, but it also is beneficial for the human race in more ways than one. For example, the tusks of an African elephant sells at around $1500 in the black market, while a living one can not only be the pride of a nation but also a source of revenue through eco-friendly safaris and photography tours.

    2.Economic Gains for Local Communities

    An eco-tourist indulges in local food, and mementos and produce works as a thrust for local small-scale producers, artisans, and farmer. Going local not only drives well-being to the very roots of our society, as consumers we benefit from the richness and abundance of what we take with us.

    3.Reducing Carbon Footprint

    Eco-friendly travel and lodging options can reduce the carbon footprint that human being is causing to a large extent. According to research, nearly 32 percent of people feel guilty about the impact their travel methods have on the environment while 42 percent of respondents admit to noticing irreversible damage to their homeland due to tourism. Well, we can change this. All it takes is a step (literally) in the right direction.

    4.Improves Travel Experience & Overall Wellbeing

    As an eco-tourist, the side you’ll see of any country you visit will be true to its nature. This will give you the opportunity to understand and experience the uniqueness of the region in all its glory. Not only will you take home a headful of rich memories, but experiences close to nature and wildlife will also positively influence and improve your overall wellbeing.

    5.Sustainability

    As a generation, we ought to address the elephant in the room, and that is the pressing need to go green and handle with immense care what’s left of nature’s bestowment on us. Adopting sustainability practices such as electric cars, ecotourism, rainwater harvesting and reducing plastic consumption are all steps in that direction. Only by introducing sustainability in all spheres of life can we see its results. Ecotourism is that step forward from a travel perspective that we as responsible citizens of the world must adapt just as we do other initiatives such as garbage segregation and solar energy.

    How Can You Be an Eco-Tourist?

    The Earth is indeed a beautiful and vast spectacle with a variety of flora and fauna for us to experience and see. As we tread across our beautiful land, it is getting increasingly important that we minimise our footprint and leave behind on our path nothing but memories and positive vibes. Here’s how we can and must do our bit as eco-tourists:

    •Choose environmental friendly travel options such as public transport, cycling, rowboats and whenever possible walking. You should need to pick a private vehicle, look at carpooling options or eco-friendly cars to get from one point to another.

    •Discourage tourist activities that leverage the captivity of animals or use them as bait or business. Ensure any safari you choose to go for adopts highly safe animal standards and allows them to be in their natural habitat.

    •Refrain from using/disposing any plastic items on your travel. Use local, eco-friendly products that can be recycled or reused. Refrain from lighting unnecessary fires, wasting water and energy sources.

    •Support the local economy by purchasing local produce, staying in eco-friendly & natural accommodation and enjoying the local cuisine.

    •Try and include World Heritage Sites and conservation projects in your entire itinerary. Not only will this ensure that you witness breath-taking spectacles the world has to offer, but it will also help generate revenue for these projects and help in preserving architectural and natural wonders of the world.

    •Travel light. Reduce the burden on the transportation system to carry unnecessary things around.

    •Spread awareness and knowledge about ecotourism and instil in people around you the sense of responsibility to act in accordance with the principles of ecotourism

    Conclusion

    Our ecology is not restricted to just nature and wildlife. Let’s not forget that human beings too are important, in fact, pivotal elements of the entire ecosystem. Hence it is only right that when we travel to different countries, we must respect the culture, spiritual path and way of life of the locals therein.

    Just as we aim to come back with positive experiences, we should also leave behind only positives in the lands we visit and mirror the same experience to people touring our land. Only then shall we be successful in completing the entire chain of ecotourism. Truly, ecotourism is more a way life than merely a way of travel.

    BIO

    My name is Alexia Wolker, I am a blogger and an editor. I have a Master's Degree in literature and love both reading and writing about books and literary topics. You can see my articles at freebooksummary.com

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