Most people don’t take into consideration that there are many exciting alternatives to traditional traveling. Vacation is relaxing, beautiful and is should be time well spent. However, over the past few years vacation alternatives have been intensely researched and refined. As it turns out, there are many wonderful reasons to consider a vacation alternative. Vacation alternatives allow you to travel, conserve the earth and encourage cultural diversity while having a relaxing, beautiful, worthwhile vacation.
There are a few things you need to know before spending your time and money on an ecotourism vacation. Consider these things as you plan and enjoy a vacation unlike any you’ve experienced before.
Principles of Ecotourism
- Choose low-impact behavior before and during your visit that supports local conservation efforts.
- Honor, respect and celebrate local cultures and customs.
- Participate in educational activities that involve the local community.
- Seek businesses, including hotels, restaurants, shops and other service providers, who operate in the spirit of conservation and sustainability.
Identifying Legitimate Ecotourism
Ask these important questions!
- What percentage of the employees are local citizens ?
- What projects is the business involved in that benefit the local community ?
- What are their environmental policies ?
How to Be a Responsible Traveler
Whether you’re interested in ecotourism trips or you’re simply looking to make better choices on while on a traditional vacation, there are a few things you can do to lessen the impact your vacation has on your destination as well as the planet :
- Support energy-efficient and renewable energy projects to offset the carbon emissions produced by air travel.
- Make use of public transportation during your visit and walk or bike when possible.
- Make an effort to learn about the local customs and culture, including proper dress, and study key phrases in the native language before you arrive.
- Respect the natural environment by keeping to designated trails and park areas, disposing of trash properly and respecting the wildlife.
- Support local businesses by buying locally-made products and keeping bargaining to a minimum.
- Stay at locally owned and operated accommodations.
Green resorts offer packaged Ecotourism trips. Their locations have been strategically planned so that you will not disturb the wildlife, though you will be in the middle of it. Green resort construction is done using renewable energies and renewable goods. Even the local culture and foods are taken into consideration. EnviroCitizen.org has a list of many wonderful green resorts ready to help you take your next ecotourism trip, whether it’s your first or fiftieth !