We are witnessing a global environmental crisis where topics like climate change are not a theory anymore but a living, present danger. There is an outcry for employing sustainable practices in every aspect of our lives. Ecotourism, or green tourism, is catching buzz among travellers and the tourism sector. Ecotourism is described as travelling to create a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy. It involves methods to minimize adverse effects on the places you travel, conservation of nature, and the welfare of the local people by contributing to the local economy.
Reduce Environmental Impact
We do not realize it, but how we travel significantly impacts our environment. Ecotourism generates awareness and minimizes our carbon footprints while travelling. Ecotourism starts with our choice of transport. Avoid travelling by plane wherever it is possible. If flying by air is necessary, choose a flight with less carbon emissions. Opting for trains rather than buses or cars or using electric vehicles are steps to reduce carbon emissions and encourage eco-tourism. Choosing to eat local produce in local restaurants is beneficial environmentally and economically. Opting for local also allows you to understand people and culture.
Protecting Wild Life
A pivotal aspect of ecotourism is protecting wildlife, especially when travelling to wildlife sanctuaries and forests. An elephant safari looks exciting but does not benefit the elephants. Employing elephants for a safari causes pain to the animal and can result in early death. Understanding that a wildlife sanctuary is a wild animal’s home is pertinent. It is not advisable to disturb their space by clicking a photograph. Avoid watching animal shows like dolphins or bears play. These animals are wild creatures and are domesticated by inhuman tactics. Learning how to help conserve wild animals and travel sustainably is significant.
Becoming Eco friendly
Ecotourism promotes the use of eco-friendly products. Make sure to check your hotel’s claim about not using single-use plastic. It is imperative that we do not dirty the natural habitat around us. Avoid leaving plastic bottles after a picnic at the beach. Do not accept plastic shopping bags for food and beverages. Our responsibility is to leave our spaces clean and not throw litter on roads and vacation spots. Choose hotels or lodges that adhere to strict sustainable practices.
Supporting Local Communities
Another essential aspect of ecotourism is supporting local communities. Ecotourism not only benefits the environment but also promotes the local economy. Opting for a hotel or lodge owned by a local helps boost the local economy. Dining out at a local restaurant helps you connect with the place’s culture. Choosing locally grown ingredients and products is a critical part of sustainable travel. If you plan to buy souvenirs for friends and family, select locally-made products and handicrafts. Buying local gifts also helps to promote local handicrafts. Locally made gifts and souvenirs carry the unique essence of their culture and tradition.
Makes a Conscientious Traveller
Ecotourism aims to cultivate conscientious travellers. It makes the travelling experience more meaningful. Promoting ecological balance, a clean environment, and community engagement helps to generate awareness and educate travellers about the local culture and traditions. It encourages travellers to participate in the community by contributing to the local tourism ecosystem. This engagement helps to create a more profound experience of the place and its rhythm. Understanding the pulse of a place brings forth an enriching experience that will last forever. In ecotourism, the traveller is an essential participant in the local tourism ecosystem.
Ecotourism is about becoming a more aware and thoughtful traveller, understanding our environment, people, culture, and tradition, and creating a sacred space to engage in community interaction and promote local economies. However, following ecotourism takes work. It requires you to educate yourself and care deeply for sustainable development and environmental safety. It is nurturing a safe space for our future generation. In ecotourism, a traveller is an essential cog of the local tourism ecosystem. Helping to develop, safeguard, and respect local culture, traditions, and values. Ecotourism is the need of the hour to maintain ecological balance and sustainable development.