Have you heard of community based ecotourism? These community based programs are a type of sustainable tourism where residents of a community invite travelers to visit or stay with the intent to provide a more authentic experience of the local culture and traditions. These rural local communities are often struggling economically and the community-based program gives them the opportunity to take full ownership of their area’s individualized tourist industry. In places such as Bolivia, India, and Chile, these sustainable villages help to ensure that the economic benefits go directly to local families and stay within the community. Keep reading for some amazing community based ecotourism destinations.
What is community based ecotourism?
Community-based tourism is travel to local communities that have invited people to visit in order to experience their lifestyle, food, customs, and set of beliefs. These community based programs manage both the tourism experience and the benefits of tourism, this strengthens their economy, and allows the traditional ways of life to continue.
Phenomenal Community Based Ecotourism Destinations
Travelers looking to reach new heights should consider visiting the ecotourism community based program in Korzok in Ladakh, India. Known as the highest permanent civilization on Earth, the village sits at an altitude of 15,000 feet. Most of the local communities in the area make their income from pashmina, however, Korzok has developed a community based program that is based on homestays. You can find more about the Korzok homestays here. This enables younger community members to earn money with jobs as cooks, porters, and tour guides.
This is also the perfect destination for adventure lovers who can experience scenic treks, beautiful landscapes, and the rich culture of the area during their visit to this amazing ecotourism destination.
Termas de Papallacta, Ecuador
In the Napo Province of Ecuador, a group of Ecuadorians from the small village of Papallacta purchased a property that included natural thermal pools. The village is located on the road from Quito to the Amazon, so it’s a popular route but without much draw for tourism outside of getting to the Amazon.
The property began as a small spa and an accommodation space for travelers, but has since grown into quite an ecotourism destination. At Termas de Papallacta you will find the country’s most popular thermal wellness resort and one of the largest employers in the area. This community based program also runs an independent foundation that helps train the local community in environmental issues and is certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
Why should you choose community based ecotourism?
By choosing community based programs you are benefiting the local communities directly each time you visit one of these ecotourism destinations. These destinations also provide you the unique opportunity to travel more authentically and respectfully. Other benefits include amazing hands-on experiences within the local community that you might never have done if not for the community based programs.
Travelers also experience a deeper connection with people and the ecotourism destination itself. Thanks to interacting so closely with the local communities it also helps you to gain a new perspective, and ensures that your tourism dollars support those local communities through these community based programs.
Want to learn more? Read our Eco Village – A Community, Committed to Sustainable Living.
Community based ecotourism is changing the sustainable world one village at a time. Whether you choose one of the destinations above, or the countless others worldwide, a quick Google search will give you options for other global community based programs. Visiting one of these local communities is one of the best ways to have an authentic travel experience today. What are you waiting for? Get out there!
Would you like to receive more inspiration directly to your email inbox?
Please click here to register for Ecotourism World newsletter!