The world is becoming more globalized than ever. Tourist travelers have increased 56-folds in just 68 years— 25 million per year during the 1950s to 1.4 billion tourist travelers today. The volume of people traveling overseas has reached the stage of the game where over-tourism is beginning to compromise the assets of the popular tourist destinations. The main attractions around the world are now endangered, and the situation is spiraling downward. As things open up again, let us be responsible travelers.
Ecotourism is increasingly becoming a widespread topic as the world grapples with major problems such as climate change, environmental degradation, and natural disasters. But what exactly is ecotourism? What are the benefits of ecotourism?
Grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and let's get started!
What does Ecotourism mean?
Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment sustains the wellbeing of the local people and involves interpretation and education. This is what the International Ecotourism Society describes ecotourism.
Ecotourism uses tourism to consciously protect and preserve the world. It's a low-impact mode of transportation that safeguards the natural environment. Preserving biodiversity, ecosystems, and local communities. It's an inspiring and enlightening activity that helps us learn more about the beauty of the natural world. Ecotourism is becoming increasingly popular each year, driven by the growing awareness among the lot who prioritize eco-friendly lifestyle decisions.Why should we care about Ecotourism?
Overtourism is a major issue for a range of reasons. A single tourist is estimated to produce an average of 1.67 kg of waste. The tourism industry accounts for about 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. Almost half of the marine litter in the Mediterranean region is linked to waste generated during peak tourist season. The ecosystems and environments of the more popular travel destinations are heavily strained, unable to cope with the influx of tourists. This is precisely why ecotourism is so important. The less environmentally destructive option over other types of tourism.
Sustainable ecotourism is a viable alternative to mass tourism. Climate change and the overall detrimental consequences on the planet are beginning to demonstrate the need for a new traveler behavior. Ecotourism helps in the preservation and enhancement of some of the world's greatest landscapes. It advocates for going beyond sightseeing and vacations to conserving natural resources and learning, respecting, and enriching the local culture and biodiversity on a greater scale. In a nutshell, ecotourism counters environmentally damaging tourism— prioritizing environmental protection to continue facilitating amazing travel experiences and services.
The Positive Impacts of Ecotourism
We've discussed why ecotourism matters and how it can help reduce negative consequences. Let us now look at its advantages.
- Beautifies Our World
The natural wonders of our planet are breathtaking, and ecotourism ensures it remains that way. Safeguards and preserves the ecosystems so that the present and future generations can enjoy the planet's beauty and blessings. Instead of generating waste and making it harder for the locals to preserve their assets, our excursions can help them preserve their natural treasures by embracing ecotourism.
- Empowers People With Knowledge
Ecotourism educates the world about the environmental risks we are facing and helps spread awareness among travelers about ecotourism and conservation efforts. It allows more people to become aware and make changes not just in tourist destinations but also at home. Further, as people change, it will also push policymakers to take actions that support the cause.
- Enables Local Communities
Ecotourism supports local businesses and communities by financially contributing to the places, which aids the incomes of the locals. Meanwhile, it provides a rewarding experience to the travelers by allowing them to gain a deep sense of a location's culture and the opportunity to explore its unique features.
- Prospers Health
Ecotourism is beneficial not only to the environment but also to our physical and mental wellbeing. Studies have shown natural environments to be helpful to health. It helps us to communicate with nature in a caring and dynamic way, which in turn, benefits the mind and body. To put it another way, ecotourism helps us grow.
Ecotourism is not perfect, but it promotes enough ways to cause less damage to the ecosystem. If you have a trip coming up, you can do a lot to reduce your negative bearings and instead positively contribute to the destination you will be visiting. Make your next journey impactful by giving ecotourism a shot!