Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial mass tourism. It means responsible travel to natural areas, conserving the environment, and improving the well-being of the local people.
Travelling is the best way to explore the world around you and experience everything it has to offer. These experiences shape people’s perspective and make them more aware of what is happening not just where they live, but around the world too.
However, these experiences are costing way more than just what you spend on your travel. It is costing us the very existence of that travel destination in the future.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that internationally there were just 25 million tourist arrivals in 1
950. 68 years later this number has increased to 1.4 billion international arrivals per year. This is a 56-fold increase.
Tourism that has crossed the limits of acceptable change in a destination due to quantity of visitors, resulting in degradation of the environment and infrastructure,diminished travel experience, wear and tear on built heritage, and/or negative impacts
on residents, this phenomenon is termed as over-tourism. This has happened in several locations that are rich in experiences offered by nature.
This post will help you minimise your footprint in a place you visit, rather make it Green!
The 10 ingredients to make You an Eco-traveller :
1. Support local communities, crafts and employees. This not only gives you an experience of something authentic to that place but also offers the locals an alternative revenue to grow the communities you visit as a guest too. This also applies to hotels and travels, keep your stay less commercial and more authentic.
2. Choose “opt-out” programmes. These programmes are available with a lot of hotels globally, it adds USD $ 1 – $ 5 to your bill that you can choose to include in your bill. This money is used to support local organisations such as schools or hospitals.
3. Minimise the use of plastics. It cannot be stressed on enough, plastic pollutes every place be it your home or a beautiful rainforest retreat you’re on. Avoid the usage on trips by carrying your own bags to hold stuff and water bottles to refill whenever possible.
4. DO NOT encourage any travel attractions that result in the animals losing their natural habitat and being displayed as an article of entertainment. Such attractions are widely popular such as bullfighting, swimming with dolphins, circuses, etc. These attractions have resulted in a massive loss of animal life and even the mass migration of animals from the tourist crowded places.
5. Plan your travel through organisations that promote eco-travelling. These are available in every field and the majority of them are non-profit organisations who encourage eco-friendly travel experience by helping many other travellers. These organisations also help you explore the places that are not popular but are rich in beauty.
6. Do good wherever you go! You can volunteer in many local programmes such as clean-ups of the habitats or even just engage in a meaningful and conscious conversation with a local. This gives not only a memory for you to add to your experience but also to the place you have visited or the people you met.
7. Explore the pristine. Travellers around the world have overcrowded popular destinations while a majority of them fail to appreciate the beauty of a lot more less explored places. This not only will provide you with a novice experience that a lot of people haven’t gotten, but also help the destination gain a chance to offer its beauty.
8. Read and gain as much knowledge as you can about the location you’re visiting to be able to appreciate its beauty and intricate details, and have a more enriching experience.
9. Enjoy! Take in the experience, respect it, but in the end, make sure you enjoy every bit of what the place you visit has to offer.
10. Bring back the experience and the consciousness back home in your green suitcase. Practice these sustainability efforts back at home too, it is a travel destination for the ones visiting your city.
Apra is a reader, dreamer and a writer with a love for writing that reflects in her work