North America

Ecotourism in Hawaii –
Planning a Sustainable Hawaii Vacation

Hawaii is a popular travel destination for visitors from the United States, Japan, and other countries around the world. It’s a destination that’s at the top of travelers’ bucket lists due to its remote location and tropical atmosphere.

Ecotourism in Hawaii has continued to increase over recent years, and the residents of the Hawaiian islands are passionate about protecting their land. Ecotourism focuses on visitors who wish to experience the natural beauty of a destination without causing any damage to the land or disturbing the animals who call the area home. Today we’re going to look at how you can enjoy a sustainable Hawaii trip while exploring one or a few of the beautiful Hawaiian islands.

What Kind of Ecotourism Initiatives are there in Hawaii?

With its oceans, beaches, and mountains, ecotourism in Hawaii is incredibly popular. Hawaii is promoting ecotourism due to many environmental concerns on the islands, including plastic pollution, water quality, and air quality. Tourism contributes to a high percentage of Hawaii’s water and energy consumption, as well as its waste generation, so locals are encouraging ecotourism as a solution to this issue. Hawaii has a large number of marine reserves, which are protected under the National System of Protected Areas. The state has many programs to protect the islands, including restrictions on what marine life can be touched or taken from the ocean.

Most hotels throughout the islands follow green practices, such as the Grand Hyatt Kauai, which was recently acknowledged in the Green Business Awards Program for reducing its electricity consumption. On a sustainable Hawaii hotel stay, expect most hotels to ask you to reuse your towels each day to save water and energy. Hotels are a massive part of ecotourism in Hawaii, and recently Outrigger Resorts announced their new OZONE initiative, designed to help the coral surrounding its resorts remain healthy and strong. This initiative offers hands-on coral planting opportunities, and other activities such as beach clean-ups to look after the oceans. It encourages both visitors and locals to do their part to look after the environment for future generations. Restaurants throughout the state often use local produce, and you should try to eat locally during your next trip.

What Kind of Ecotours Can Travelers Do in Hawaii?

On any vacation to Hawaii, exploring the islands is the number one priority for most visitors. Ecotourism in Hawaii is only continuing to increase, and you’ll find some fantastic ecotours where you can witness Hawaii’s stunning nature and scenery. The majority of ecotours in Hawaii revolve around hiking or admiring the tropical forests or heading out into the waters Hawaii is so famous for. Ecotours in Hawaii can give you the chance to explore hidden waterfalls and quiet hiking trails without disturbing the natural environment. You’ll also enjoy learning about the local culture and the ways in which tourists can minimize their impact on the islands.

When looking at ecotourism in Hawaii, you’ll find some fun swimming and snorkeling adventures. Ensure you are using reef-safe sunscreen throughout your visit, as this is a requirement in the state. Take part in a coral planting experience on a conservation tour, or learn more about this process at the Hawaii Coral Restoration Nursery. This type of tour will help to protect the oceans for future generations of visitors and locals. 

Another fantastic way to enjoy a sustainable Hawaii vacation is to take part in a local village visit. You’ll learn about the history and culture of those who lived on the islands before with a local ranger, while visiting sites such as the Hanalei taro fields in Kauai and learning about the farming process. Enjoy hearing the perspective of the locals who call the island home, and allow them to share their ancestral wisdom with you on a sustainable Hawaii tour. You’ll also find tours which include agricultural activities with the local residents, helping you to contribute to the local community. Of course, dancing and music are a huge part of their culture, so expect to find ecotours which incorporate a Luau in the evening.

Hawaii is a stunning destination for families and couples to visit, and it’s an area of the world where sustainability is taken very seriously. For your next trip to one of the Hawaiian islands, make sure you research ecotourism in Hawaii before booking your hotel and tours for your vacation.

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