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It is no secret that most of us occasionally want to indulge our inner Marco Polo and travel the world. However, mass tourism can have a devastating effect on nature and the environment. This is why countries and their governments are urging tourists to practice ecotourism.
Also known as sustainable tourism, scholars define ecotourism as the conscious practice of reducing and reversing traditional tourism’s negative impacts on the environment. It aims to preserve and improve the social, cultural, and economic well-being of travel destinations and their local communities worldwide.
Eco-tours are an educational practice that creates awareness in travellers of their destinations’ natural beauty and cultural heritage. Ecotours are a vital tourism activity that plays a crucial part in preserving the earth. They are designed with environmental sustainability as their primary goal.
Ecotours are frequently conducted on a small scale to maintain the principles of ecotourism and minimize the carbon footprint. It enhances the experiences of a traveller’s journey by integrating sustainability and awareness of their impact with their core travel experiences. The maxim “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints” lends itself very well to ecotourism.
There are many benefits of ecotourism, such as:
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In the broader definition of ecotourism, ecotourism falls under the tourism category. There are primarily two types of ecotourism.
#1. Mass tourism
Mass tourism is traditional, ubiquitous, and on a massive scale. It is a conventional tourist system where short-term, free-market principles serve as the primary driving force for income increment. You can quantify it in terms of employment, transportation-related infrastructure, and foreign exchange earnings. Mass tourism has both benefits and demerits. And to limit those downsides comes another type of ecotourism: Alternative tourism.
#2. Alternative tourism
A complementary approach to tourism, alternative tourism serves as a more viable option than mass tourism. The term “alternative tourism” refers to a broad range of travel tactics that all claim to provide a less harmful alternative to traditional mass tourism in particular destinations.
Tourism destinations that promote ecotourism offer tourists the chance to see some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders but responsibly. Some of the best ecotourism places are as follows:
#1. Costa Rica
Costa Rica, which is unquestionably the nation most closely identified with ecotourism, has established a reputation as an ecotourism hotspot thanks to its well-preserved natural environment. Several options are available if you want to indulge in eco-activities while there.
Thenmala in Kerala is the first ecotourism destination created in India. It is known for its ecotourism and beautiful landscapes, which are comforting and stimulating. Here you can indulge in exciting eco-activities like trekking, mountaineering and biking.
With its distant locations, fascinating tribes, and intriguing traditions, Assam is a fascinating ecotourism destination in India. The locals have adopted ethical travel practices over time, and today workshops are held at different places.
Intending to promote responsible tourism, the Assam Tourism and Ecotourism Society of India has been organizing workshops across the state.
Public Transports often have veteran tour operators, providing an opportunity to gain more bang for your buck and reduce natural resources used. Using bicycles or walking will help you take in more of your surroundings and keep you healthy.
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Purchasing disposable water bottles or packaged food packets can be tempting when you are on holiday. But exchanging the disposable bottles for reusable ones can go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint.
Additionally, choose to eat locally grown food as that will allow you to experience the local cuisine and support the local economy.
Curb the temptation to purchase seashell souvenirs at beaches or any wildlife-based products. These purchases encourage wildlife crimes such as poaching and the mass killing of animals, destroying our precious environment.
When taking a walking tour or hiking around a national park, do not trail off from the designated paths and areas. These areas are isolated for travellers so that they don’t disturb the local flora and fauna.
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Policies, Codes & Other Documents