Ecotourism is a way to see, explore, adventure, and embrace the world while being mindful of your impact. Rather than bringing in loads of damaging tourists that could harm or disrupt the environment in big ways, ecotourism seeks to bring greater awareness and safety to the world while still giving you what you need to have a good holiday.
How Is Ecotourism Different?
Compare ecotourism to how any other travelers interact with the world. While not all tourists are bad, everything from intentional vandalism to carbon footprint can show the need for an ecotourist revolution.
It takes resources to travel anywhere. Fossil fuels have an impact on entire regions as ships and planes fly, but more direct traveler impact can be seen in small towns as tourist regions increase.
When a new tourist attraction is found or made, it’s easy to understand that nations and regions in need may build hotels, hostels, other accommodations and attractions to welcome the visitors by almost any means necessary. Ecotourism seeks to change the impact by changing attitudes.
With an ecotourist mentality, tourist areas can get the businesses they need–or even reach into higher wants and greater success–while planning around sustainability. It’s an agreement between locals and visitors that the world is there to be seen and shared, but everyone can slow down a bit to make sustainable ways to visit.
This can mean spreading visitor areas across multiple towns, creating low-impact travel options that use less damaging fuels, and establishing rules that everyone can follow–and enforce with each other–to avoid damaging the area.
Is Ecotourism Economically Viable?
The growth of ecotourism is both a boon for the world’s recovery, the enrichment of culture, and responsible sharing of resources. As a global method of seeing nature at its finest, the concept has to make sense across multiple economic models and cultures–and it can work as long as visitors are mindful as a whole!
There will always be a debate about the purpose of tourism and how it should work. Some are motivated by the experience without affecting the world, while others want the freedom to act in any they see fit.
Some see profit and want to gain from ecotourism, while others would rather leave any financial talk to sharing and community support. At this point in ecotourism, there is one truth: all walks of life can help grow the economy even while these hard conversations happen, and finer adjustments can happen as more people become aware of what the world as a whole and its parts can deliver.