Visiting bustling cities and staying in luxury resorts has been the conventional method of travel for many years. However, in the current climate of increasing focus on the environment and the need for local communities to participate, ecotourism, and experiential form of travel that includes a variety of activities, has attracted global attention.
Ecotourism is an experience-based and learning-focused form of tourism which takes into account both ecology and the participation of local residents. Any form of tourism which fits this definition is considered ecotourism regardless of the content or location.
According to an ecotourism report by the University of Utah, keyword phrases such as ‘culture based travel’ and ‘tourism in nature’ are being increasingly used in the travel industry. Reports such as these are a good indicator of the future expansion of ecotourism practices in the travel industry.
How has ecotourism gained in popularity around the world?
4 Reasons travellers are focused on ecotourism:
1. Fulfil your mind and body
Engaging your body via physical activities can reduce stress and benefit both your mental and physical health. Post-exercise euphoria is real, and that is why there exists a general feeling of happy contentment after a good day in nature.
2. To have a unique learning experience
By experiencing with all five senses rather than just sight alone, one is able to better understand both nature and the local culture. Tasting the richness of the foods, smelling the morning dew on the flowers, hearing the laughter of children and feeling the richness and thickness of the local handicraft as well as seeing the sights, is an important process in learning by immersing oneself in the environment. Additionally, one has the possibility to encounter new values and ideas during exchanges with the locals, as well as discovering new social or environmental issues not previously contemplated.
3. Interest in social and environmental issues
The increasing number of tourists who are concerned with environmental issues such as climate change, plastics pollution, human rights and social issue (such as equity and working conditions) is encouraging. Millennials especially, seem to have a keen interest in this area. As more and more people are becoming aware of the negative impacts of traditional tourism methods on the environment and local communities, these same people seem to be making a move to smaller, more sustainable tourism options. The growing interest in ecotourism in the travel industry, seems to fuelled for the most part by the increasing demand for sustainability by these travellers.
4. Beautiful scenery is disappearing at an accelerated rate, due to climate change
Spectacular landscapes, such as the Great Barrier Reef, are facing imminent threats to their future survival. These sites are of great importance to people and the prospect of facing the loss of the habitats is unconscionable.
It is important that more people understand the current state of the issues the environment is facing. The ability of more and more people to understand and act proactively, is an essential step in the preservation of the environment, including these precious sites. Educating oneself about these challenges is valuable because it enables a person to make educated tourism decisions via travel purchases and participation decisions. Being an active participant in conservation activities not only contributes from the personal level, but also sends a loud message to the travel and tourism industry as a whole, that more environmentally friendly tourism options are what you, the consumer, desires.
A few of the attractive aspects of ecotourism is that not only is it entertaining but it also serves as a valuable learning experience which contributes to the improvement of local employment, environmental conservation and nature awareness as well as providing the individual with a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction of a trip well spent.
Would you like to receive more information like this direct to your inbox? Click here to join our newsletter!