Ecotourism first came onto the scene in the early 1990s and quickly became a very popular way of travelling. Since then, it has evolved and many different types of ecotourism have been developed.
Tourism has many negative impacts such as damaging landscape, putting wildlife in danger, pollution and depletion of natural resources. However, there are ways to make tourism sustainable and minimise the impact it has on the environment.
How ecotourism improves the image of tourism
It has helped to improve the image of tourism and find ways to enable travellers to have a positive impact on local communities.
Ecotourism ‘maximizes the benefits to local communities, minimizes negative social or environmental impacts, and helps local people conserve fragile cultures and habitats or species.’ (The International Ecotourism Society, TIES, www.ecotourism.org)
Although it quickly became a well-known phrase, it took a good few decades for the number of ecotravellers to grow.
Even today, compared to the masses, they are a fairly small breed of travellers. However, with increasing concerns about the impact we have on our environment, ecotourism is likely to continue to be made more of a priority in 2018 and beyond.
Get something more from travelling
Ecotourism gives you the opportunity to get something more from your trip. Instead of just going and doing things for yourself, you can really make a difference to the area that you visit. Come back from your holiday knowing your presence had a positive impact.
Give back to the local communities
Sometimes the local people don’t benefit from tourism as much as you would think. People often come and use their lands without much thought to any damage they might be causing.
There are lots of forward thinking tourism companies that work hard to give something back to local communities. Companies such as Rwanda’s Amahoro Tours run programmes that get tourists interacting with the locals and improving their lives.
Help protect our planet
It’s crucial now more than ever that we protect our planet. Tourism has such a big impact on the environment that something has to be done in 2018. When booking your next trip, consider your impact on the environment and try and book with green travel companies.
The growth of ecotourism will not slow in 2018, and governments should continue to promote its benefits in order to preserve our future on this planet.
Enjoy some amazing experiences
Ecotourism also enables travellers to enjoy amazing experiences, from seeing spectacular wildlife to trying local cultural activities. Amahoro Tours, a responsible tourism company in Rwanda, offers the perfect example of an ecotourism company that provides travellers with life-changing experiences.
Their mission is to ‘focus on the interaction between locals and visitors to promote a sustainable local development and strengthening communities in order to improve their living conditions and quality of life.’
Some of the activities they offer include Congo Tours, trips to see the famous Mountain Gorillas, treks through the volcanoes in the national park and community activities with the local people. Click here to book a trip of a lifetime.