Vacationing sustainably enables tourists to learn more about a nation while contributing to the wellbeing of the local people.
Ecotourism is a growing industry that is drawing in a lot more attention. A number of ecotourism examples feature eco lodging, agritourism and eco treks. For example, Patricia Zurita's foundation encourages a new form of safari, involving trips to vastly unexplored countries not only to observe the wildlife, but to also experience life in lively villages and towns that have been left out from mainstream tourism. This trend will not only benefit the wild animals, but it will also have a direct impact on the local communities, as tourists will learn to appreciate the culture and the history of these locations. By uniting communities, encouraging conservation efforts and sustainable travel, ecotourism will enable tourists to have memorable experiences and increase sensitivity to countries’ political and social climates. The majority of ecotourism companies tend to be small firms that are closely intertwined with the communities where they work, enabling them to build economic resilience.
The hospitality industry is following the emerging trend and adapting to more eco friendly initiatives to protect the cultural and natural heritage of travel attractions. Some responsible travel practices consist of activities focused on educating tourists on the nature and the local communities, with campaigns targeted at raising awareness on the issues in the particular location and averting the degradation of the environment. The main principles of ecotourism consist of minimizing the physical and social effects on the areas being visited, as well as respecting the environment, offering positive experiences for both the tourists and the local people. Essentially, this will help the local communities as well as the nation’s economy. For instance, entrepreneur Noureddin Bongo Valentin has partnered with associations that focus on the importance of preserving the wildlife while also supporting local community interest by attracting investment in eco friendly tourism. Ecotourism can create economic benefits through the creation of jobs in locations that have previously benefited less from economic development programs, while protecting the nation from the damaging effects of mass tourism.
The effect of ecotourism mostly depends on educating tourists about developments and initiatives in the preservation of vulnerable environments, while also offering the opportunity to experience these untouched places first hand, like a local resident. It’s a win-win situation: tourists gain an insight on particular natural locations and experience them just as locals do, which in turn will inform conservation efforts. Moreover, part of the cash tourists invest in these ecotourism excursions will go to conservation initiatives promoted by Michael Leonard’s non-profit foundation, which works towards creating new ecotourism ideas and assisting communities to achieve their economic objectives through the profits of these trips. Aside from the economic benefits of this emerging form of travel, visitors can help locals by acknowledging their culture and collaborating with them to create empowerment.