The five main components of tourism sector are attraction, accessibility, accommodation, amenities and activities.
A lot of studies accept that global warming is real. After Covid19, one would definitely agree that being eco-friendly is the way to be!
To understand how to be eco-friendly:
Let’s walk through the definition of eco-tourism.
The World Tourism Organisation defines ecotourism as the kind of tourism in which tourists must be keen to observe and appreciate nature and also the local traditions; which are prevalent in those places with abundance of nature.
Ecotourism can also be termed as to that sort of tourism where responsible travellers are concerned with natural environment’s conservation, locals’ benefits, interpret/educate themselves on local nature.
Eco-tourism can be created because of the enthusiasm of tour- creators. A network of individuals, institutions, and the tourism industry where tourists and tourism professionals has been educated on ecological issues.
The principles of Eco-tourism
Martha Honey, who is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Responsible Travel (CREST) developed these seven principles of ecotourism, which will not affect nature negatively:
- Tourism in natural places.
- Minimizes impact.
- Spreads environmental awareness.
- Direct financial benefits & conservation.
- Local people will be empowered and benefit financially.
- Local culture is respected.
- It supports human rights and democratic movements.
You must keep in mind that living in harmony with the environment, conserving local plants and wildlife, minimizing use of fossil fuels, and blending with the natural and cultural environment promotes eco-tourism.
Eco-tourism provides positive experiences to visitors and hosts. Ensure that physical, behavioural, psychological and social impacts are minimum. You must respect and protect environment.
Also, the host (dwellers of the destination) have a responsibility towards eco-tourism. They should-
- Heighten visitor’s sensitivity to the local issues- social, environmental, or political; so that tourists respect these, while they enjoy tourism.
- The tourists should be able to enjoy remarkable eco-tour experiences.
- Last but not the least, the locals should ensure that it generates value for themselves and the local industries.
The elements of eco-tourism
Some of the most common elements are:
- The environment is genuinely natural.
- Wild-life (both flora and fauna) generally exists.
- Though there are accessible trails to tourists, ecosystem is completely maintained.
- Stay or lodging are also eco-friendly.
- Natural phenomenon of the locality delivers excitement.
- You can mingle with the local people, have local food, and understand the culture.
Tour operators such as White Magic Travels and local authorities of eco-tourist destinations ensure that these key features of ecotourism are kept intact. These elements attract the potential tourists due to the uniqueness and originality of these eco-tourist sites.
The reasons of growth of eco-tourism
- It is very easy to visit remote ecotourism destination these days, because of cheap flights and accessible infrastructures.
- You can partake in many activities- both challenging and educative. Or you may appreciate a fulfilling time with the traditional tourist activities.
- Another reason is that tourists are aware and want to contribute towards the cause of protection of nature.
- Also, travellers want to be seen as eco-friendly & different.
Some more benefits
- Eco-tourism may help to preserve sensitive locations by educating tourists about delicate social problems and the local environment.
- Though it’s repetitive, one will agree that eco-tourism does create employment opportunities for the locals.
Ecotourism vs. Conventional (Mass) Tourism: What’s the Difference?
- Eco-tourists enjoy sites surrounded by nature as compared to mass tourists visiting plenty of sites which may be large cities, cultural sites, or any other man-made distractions.
- It makes sense if mass tourists use the services of tour operators/agent. In ecotourism, travellers usually delight in making their own travel arrangements.
- With mass tourism, infrastructure is properly & technically developed with all facilities- transport, food, accommodation, etc. Eco-tourists revel in the fact that they can savour whatever is naturally available.
- Ecotourism activities are usually more physically demanding because nature-related activities such as fishing, hiking and exploring trails, biking or jungle-safari, bird-watching or snorkelling… Typical mass tourism is more comfortable and physically lesser exhausting.
- In mass tourism, tourists love to travel in large groups who stay for shorter periods of time. Ecotourism travellers commonly stay for longer periods of time in small groups.
Some of the gorgeous green destinations are-
Chumbe Island Coral Park
Chumbe Island off Zanzibar, surrounded by coral reefs is one of its kind. There is an eco-friendly lodge with seven bungalows. They took care that the facilities do not harm the environment, so that it stays healthy and pristine and the impact on the environment is minimised.
Finland made a commitment that it’ll reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and is working efficiently towards this goal. Finland is home to densest forest covers, thousands of lakes, almost 200,000 reindeers, and the most diverse flora. You may visit Finland during the summer for lots of adventure. If unspoilt countryside & serene islands are on your check-list then you must visit the bay city of Oulu.
The Green Village Bali
Take a flight to Bali from UK to stay in a spectacular accommodation made out of bamboo. If you’re interested to know, you may visit the bamboo factory to see how bamboo is being cultured and made into lodges and furniture as well. Go on activities such as eco-sustainable trips in Bali on which, you can learn about farming, harvesting vegetables, and cooking them in Balinese style.
The Netherlands one of the world’s most bike-friendly nations. It has more than 15,000km of bike paths across the country. Cycle around the bigger cities and smaller country sides to contribute to eco-tourism by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution.
The Azores is an archipelago of 9 islands, situated off the shores of Portugal. It’s the ideal place for eco-tourists and nature aficionados. You can go caving, whale watching, swim with dolphins, or take a bath in the hot springs. You can also experience a laid-back and environmentally-conscious way of life. Accommodations are eco-friendly. Food is unique and locally sourced.
Take a flight to Melbourne from UK, which is a fantastic eco-tourist destination with the help of eco-conscious tour operators. You can see native animals, plant trees for the native koalas and also support wildlife conservation on the Great Ocean Road.
British Columbia, Canada
It has rugged coastline, dense forests, beautiful lakes and remote islands. It has superb hiking trails. You can go hiking, mountain-biking, canoeing, fishing, cross-country skiing in winters and wildlife-watching too. The trip can be arranged by eco-conscious travel agents as White Magic Travels.
Enjoy but don’t exploit!