Ecotourism is a travel trend that considers travellers’ concern and awareness about their impact on the environment and the world around them. This type of tourism has a low impact on the environment, and promotes conservation by way of travel to relatively undisturbed natural areas where nature can be appreciated and enjoyed.
How does ecotourism benefit both locals and tourists? Tourists are able to tap into an authentic experience of off-the-beaten-path sights while the local small businesses receive support that might otherwise go to corporate-owned attractions. Beyond avoiding negative environmental effects of travel, ecotourism has a number of key goals including the promotion of cultural and environmental awareness, providing positive impacts for locals and travelers, and finances going directly to help locals and conservation efforts.
Here are our top 5 picks for the best ecotourism destinations in the world:
Ecotourists love Costa Rica which is known as one of the most bio-diverse places in the world. It has 8 biological reserves and adventures for all tastes including hiking cloud forests and guided bird-watching tours. Costa Rica has devoted an estimated 26% of its land to national parks, wildlife reserves, and protected lands.
Kerala is renowned as India’s greenest destination, covered with coconut palms and the lush home of tea plantations. It has beautiful scenery, wildlife sanctuaries, and jungles. Ancient practices, rituals, and traditions are important to the people of Kerala. Their lifestyle is uncomplicated, and prioritizes the simple pleasures of life.
Yosemite Valley, California
As a glacial valley covering eight miles, and surrounded by gorgeous granite summits, Yosemite Valley boasts some of the most stunning, natural landscapes in the world. Cabins can be reserved in the park to make the most of incredible hiking, biking, and sightseeing opportunities within. This travel destination is truly a photographer’s dream.
Botswana offers a vast variety of African wildlife including a great population of protected elephants. Travel options with minimal impact on the environment. In Botswana, wildlife is safe from hunting which has been outlawed as a practice since 2014.
Norway is known for its commitment to sustainability, with a government that strictly controls hunting, fishing, and oil drilling.
The Norwegian Fjords are considered one of the best ecotourism spots in the world, and kept beautiful by the country’s environmental standards. There are various fjord tours (some available only in the summer months) with a strong focus on environmental protection.
Interested in ecotourism opportunities and initiatives? The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting ecotourism. Founded in 1990, TIES is dedicated to the forefront of the development of ecotourism, providing guidelines and standards, training, technical assistance, and educational resources.
With love and compassion,
Photocred: Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash