Ecotourism: A comprehensive Overview

Ecotourism is a rising theme around the world. It has so many nature-friendly features to consider because our home is getting old, water resources are drying, and the climate is changing. So focusing ecotourism, ecotourismdefinition, searching ecotouristicactivities, to explore the benefits of ecotourism and to discover ecotourism attractions around the world can allow us to decrease our carbon footprint at least when we are travelling.

Topics:

  • What is ecotourism?
  • When did ecotourism start?
  • Is ecotourism good for the environment?
  • Why does ecotourism important?
  • What are the 7 principles of ecotourism?
  • What are the Ecotourism Benefits?
  • How can you travel more responsibly?
  • Travel the World with Purpose;
  • Best ecotourism destinations around the world:

Eco-tourism has witnessed a significant surge in demand recently. This rise can be attributed to the adverse impact of climate change and the detrimental effects of human activities on nature, such as the construction of luxurious facilities, fabrics, metropolises, skyscrapers, roads, and transportation systems, both on land, in the air, and over the oceans. These factors have compelled people to seek out less harmful alternatives, especially while traveling. The positive outcomes of the eco tourism consept, sustainability-oriented themes, and contributions to local communities are undeniable. Protecting the environment, preserving cultural heritage, and mitigating the negative effects of human actions on our planet, our only home, make eco-tourism a compelling long-term solution that deserves widespread promotion.

What is ecotourism?

In simple terms, ecotourism can be defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that preserves the environment, supports the well-being of local communities, and incorporates education and interpretation.” It aims to educate both tourists and local workers. Responsible ecotourism initiatives involve minimizing the negative impacts of traditional tourism on the environment and safeguarding the cultural diversity of the host community. Additionally, ecotourism encompasses practices like promoting recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation, and fostering economic opportunities for local businesses. These aspects make ecotourism attractive to advocates of social and environmental responsibility.

When did ecotourism start?

During the early 1980s, the concept of ecotourism emerged as a means for individuals to explore and understand exotic destinations while minimizing the negative impact on ecosystems, unlike other forms of tourism. As people’s consciousness of climate change and the limited resources of our planet expanded, ecotourism gained significant traction, particularly in the 1990s. Recognizing its importance, the United Nations designated the year 2002 as the “Year of Ecotourism,” further propelling the global popularity of this environmentally conscious form of travel in the subsequent years.

Is ecotourism good for the environment. A traveler feeds a squirrel in the woods.

Is ecotourism good for the environment?

Environmentalists have recognized the significance of ecotourism since the 1980s as a means to ensure that future generations can experience places relatively untouched by human interference. The objectives of ecotourism may involve educating tourists, generating funds for ecological conservation, empowering local communities politically and economically, and fostering appreciation for diverse cultures and human rights.

The definition of ecotourism, in certain cases, encompasses the creation of economic opportunities that enable the sustainable management of natural resources. It involves engaging with the natural habitats and organisms.

At its core, ecotourism is about socially responsible travel, personal growth, and environmental sustainability. It revolves around visiting destinations where the primary attractions are the diverse biodiversity, flora, fauna, and local cultural heritage.

Moreover, ecotourism strives to minimize any negative impacts on the visited places. It not only promotes environmental conservation but also aims to foster socioeconomic prosperity for the local residents in the areas being visited.


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Why does ecotourism important?

Ecotourism is primarily focused on preserving natural reserves in their pristine state and mitigating any harm that may arise from transportation or other factors. It also plays a crucial role in supporting and enhancing local economies. In light of the global challenges posed by climate change, economic disparities, and the detrimental impacts of urbanization, ecotourism offers a fresh and responsible approach to travel.

the 7 principles of ecotourism. two ibex in the nature

What are the 7 principles of ecotourism?

  • Ecotourism plays a pivotal role in safeguarding environmentally fragile regions.

  • It contributes to reducing the ecological impact on the planet.
  • Ecotourism provides income-generating opportunities for local communities.
  • It fosters cross-cultural learning and understanding among diverse populations.
  • It enhances awareness about the importance of environmental conservation.
  • Ecotourism enables immersive experiences of nature’s magnificent beauty.
  • It advocates for understanding and taking action to protect endangered species.

What are theBest ecotourism destinations

  • Ecotourism plays a vital role in conservation efforts. It generates income that is reinvested by host communities into preserving the natural resources that attract tourists. One such example is Tambopata, where the pristine tropical forests are under threat of deforestation for development. However, the potential income from ecotourism has motivated local lodge owners to acquire additional wooded properties and implement conservation measures to safeguard the forest cover. In this way, ecotourism acts as a catalyst for preserving and protecting valuable natural habitats.

  • Ecotourism contributes to the fight against climate change. By prioritizing the use of natural resources, this form of tourism encourages practices that can help reduce carbon emissions. A 2010 study conducted on various tourist properties in the Peruvian Amazon revealed the presence of 5.3 to 8.7 million tons of above-ground carbon on the land. This highlights the potential of ecotourism in preserving carbon-rich ecosystems and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

  • Ecotourism provides a valuable source of support to local communities by job creation, and helps alleviate poverty and enhances the resilience of nearby indigenous communities. This socio-economic support fosters a sense of ownership and pride, strengthening the overall well-being of the community.

  • Ecotourism serves as an educational platform for both visitors and residents alike. It actively promotes environmental education and awareness, aiming to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the natural world among local communities and tourists.
A nomad with his camel

How can you travel more responsibly?

Promoting ecotourism involves collective efforts from various stakeholders, including governments, local authorities, travelers, and the local community. Governments play a crucial role by actively promoting ecotourism, advertising destinations, and implementing regulatory measures through legislation. Travelers, on the other hand, can contribute to the process by taking simple yet effective steps.

Eco-Friendly Tourism

By practicing responsible and sustainable travel behaviors, travelers can support ecotourism initiatives. This includes minimizing their ecological footprint, respecting local cultures and customs, supporting local businesses, and engaging in activities that contribute to the preservation of natural and cultural heritage. Through these individual actions, travelers become active participants in promoting and upholding the principles of ecotourism.

Travel the World with Purpose;

Every traveler has the ability to make a positive impact through their actions. Here are some practices that can be adopted to support ecotourism:

  • 1. Explore less touristy destinations: Opt for visiting off-the-beaten-path locations that are not heavily crowded with tourists. This helps distribute the benefits of tourism more evenly and reduces the strain on popular tourist destinations.
  • 2. Stay in local accommodations: Choose locally-owned accommodations that reflect the culture and environment of the destination. These accommodations can offer a unique and authentic experience, while also supporting the local economy.
  • 3. Embrace local cuisine: Try local dishes and support restaurants that prioritize locally sourced ingredients. This not only supports local farmers and producers but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with long-distance food transportation.
  • 4. Opt for sustainable transportation: Whenever possible, choose walking, cycling, or using public transportation to explore the destination. This reduces carbon emissions and promotes a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation.
backpackers traveling by train, sustainable transportation
  • 5. Leave no trace: Avoid leaving any trash or litter behind during your travels. Practice responsible waste management by properly disposing of waste and, if possible, participate in local recycling programs.

By adopting these practices, travelers can actively contribute to the principles of ecotourism and help preserve the environment and local communities they visit.

Best ecotourism destinations around the world:

  • 1. Tanzania:

Tanzania, situated in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region, is a sought-after destination for ecotourism. With its well-preserved environment, abundant wildlife, charming local life, and the majestic landscape of Mount Kilimanjaro, it entices ecotourism enthusiasts. Renowned as one of the world’s top tourist destinations, Tanzania offers a wealth of tourism attractions due to its remarkable natural beauty.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations tanzania zanzibar

See also Tanzania North Safari

The lodging of the tour includes Lake Burunge Tented Lodge  Kati Kati Tented Camp Serengeti Katikati Tented Camp.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations tanzania zanzibar tour

  • 2. Slovenia

Since 2016, Slovenia has been recognized as the world’s first “Green destination” with an impressive sustainability score of 96 out of 100. This small European country boasts remarkable natural beauty, with nearly 60% of its land covered in lush forests and 32% dedicated to agricultural purposes.

In Slovenia, a growing trend in ecotourism revolves around staying at tourist farms, where visitors can immerse themselves in nature. These farms offer the opportunity to interact with animals and experience the joys of rural life. Additionally, camping sites that provide basic amenities without excessive facilities have gained popularity among travelers seeking a back-to-nature experience.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations slovenia

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The itinerary features a remarkable attraction known as the Postojna Caves, spanning an impressive 27 kilometers in length. These caves, which have existed for two million years, hold the prestigious title of being the queen of the entire karst underground kingdom in Slovenia.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations slovenia

  • 3. Bhutan

Bhutan, a country in Southern Asia, has successfully preserved its local and wildlife regions. However, due to economic challenges, many residents in these regions face difficulties in sustaining their livelihoods and often migrate to urban areas. In order to address this issue, the government has initiated the “homestay programme” to reverse the trend of migration.

Under this programme, the government promotes eco-tourism in the country by allowing travelers to stay in local houses during their visits. This not only provides a unique cultural experience for tourists but also supports the local communities by generating income for the host families.

Buddhist monks in Bhutan 
Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations bhutan

Among the popular attractions in Bhutan are the Eastern Himalayan Conservation and Wangchuck Centennial National Park. These sites showcase the country’s rich biodiversity and are frequently visited by tourists seeking to immerse themselves in Bhutan’s natural wonders.


See also 7 Days – Himalaya Wonderland

The itinerary encompasses a visit to some of Bhutan’s most renowned destinations, such as the Taktsang Monastery, which stands as the country’s most iconic landmark. Additionally, it includes a trip to the Kyichu Lakhang, an ancient and highly revered shrine within the Bhutanese Kingdom.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations bhutan tour

  • 4. Serengeti

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Serengeti National Park has been a protected area since its establishment in 1952. Its vast plains are adorned with kopjes, meandering rivers, and iconic acacia trees.

Within this remarkable landscape, you can witness the majestic presence of the “Big Five” mammals, including elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, leopards, and lions. Alongside them, a rich tapestry of wildlife thrives, including wildebeests, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, African wild dogs, hippos, crocodiles, and an impressive array of over 450 bird species.

Serengeti hot air balloon flight

To truly immerse yourself in the wonders of the Serengeti, popular attractions include Hot Air Balloon Safaris, Guided Nature Walks, and the opportunity to visit the Maasai semi-nomadic pastoralists, gaining insights into their unique way of life.


See also 3 Day Safari – Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater

Experience the awe-inspiring Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Areas, allowing you to witness an abundance of magnificent wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, and hyenas. 

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations Safari - Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater

  • 5. Galapagos

Considered the “workshop of nature,” the Galapagos Islands are a must-visit destination for those seeking an unforgettable ecotourism experience. Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin as you embark on a journey to this remarkable archipelago, renowned for its captivating and easily accessible wildlife.

Prepare to be enchanted by the enchanting sights of sea lions and sea turtles, the graceful presence of blue-footed boobies, the unique marine iguanas, the majestic frigatebirds, and the awe-inspiring giant tortoises roaming freely in their natural habitat. These captivating encounters are just a glimpse of what awaits you on an ecotour in the Galapagos.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations galapagos  Rábida island
Galapogos has gorgeous beaches.
  • 6. Turkey

Turkey, despite having fewer wildlife conservation areas compared to other destinations, offers a wealth of ecotourism opportunities. Explore the vast stretches of forests, misty plateaus, and canyons along the Black Sea region, or venture into the heart of Anatolia to discover hidden and challenging trekking trails. With dozens of historical sites to explore, Turkey is a captivating destination for eco-conscious travelers.


See also 8 Day Ecotourism Turkey Tour

The tour’s itinerary showcases several noteworthy destinations, including Amasya, Zile, Cakircali Village, Local Farms, Hattusa, as well as engaging Ecological & Gastronomical Activities.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations  Ecotourism Turkey Tour

One of the unique aspects of ecotourism in Turkey is the preservation of traditional farming practices. Travelers have the opportunity to experience firsthand the joys of harvesting and engaging in agricultural activities, connecting with the land and local communities.

As the global trend of ecotourism continues to rise, entrepreneurs have recognized the immense potential in Turkey. Many have invested in eco-friendly initiatives, ensuring that visitors can experience the country’s natural beauty while promoting sustainability and responsible tourism practices.



  • 7. Costa Rica

With 26 National Parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 32 protected areas, 15 wetland areas, 11 forest reserves, and 8 biological reserves, Costa Rica is located in the Central American region of North America.

The 19,730 square kilometers of the nation are safeguarded from future development to an extent of over 25%.

The top destinations for ecotourists include Arenal Volcano National Park, Cao Island, Corcovado National Park, And Ballena Marine National Park, one of the best spots in the world to go whale watching.

Cabin of a shipwrecked freighter on the beach at Manzanillo on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica
Cabin of a shipwrecked freighter on the beach at Manzanillo – Caribbean coast of Costa Rica
  • 8. Norway

Norway, renowned for its mesmerizing Northern Lights, stands out as one of the world’s premier eco-friendly destinations.

Among Norway’s remarkable natural attractions is the Hardangerfjord, the third-largest fjord globally, which captivates visitors with its breathtaking beauty. The Jotunheimen Mountains, aptly named “The Home of the Giants,” provide a majestic backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts seeking thrilling adventures.

Norway is also home to Saltstraumen, the world’s most powerful maelstrom, where the raw power of nature unfolds before your eyes. To complement its commitment to eco-tourism, Norway offers sustainable accommodation options like Eco-Lighthouse hotels, ensuring your stay aligns with environmentally friendly practices.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations  norway northern lights
  • 9. Kenya

Kenya is a place where the natural world will never cease to amaze when you think its the amazing wildlife, soaring plains and vibrant marine life. North-east of the Great Rift Valley which is is considered to be one of the best locations for safari,

The Chyulu Hills where you can see the Big Five – the rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard and Maasai Mara home of https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/kenya-ecotourism-destinations-wildlife- giraffes grazing, gazelles leaping and perhaps even an elusive cheetah are the popular visiting sites of the country.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations Kenya. A local feeding a Giraffe

See also Epic Kenya Active Adventure Safari Booking 12 Day 

Experience the captivating wildlife as you explore remarkable destinations such as Nairobi, Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park, Samburu, Amboseli National Park, and Tsavo West / Tsavo East. Immerse yourself in the enchanting animal kingdom during this extraordinary journey.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations Epic Kenya Active Adventure Safari Booking 12 Day

  • 10. Chile

Chile stands out globally as one of the countries in the region with the lowest crime rates. Its reputation is further enhanced by the diverse offerings shaped by its over 4,000 kilometers of coastline and 17 distinct climates. When it comes to culinary delights, Chile boasts renowned regional cuisines that tantalize the taste buds. Noteworthy examples include beef empanadas, Chiloé’s curanto, and the delectable pastel de choclo, a dish crafted from corn. The preparation of the pastel de choclo involves a unique cooking method, wherein the food is steam-boiled on hot stones within a hole, covered with local leaves. Chile boasts popular ecotourism destinations like Pan de Azúcar National Park, La Campana National Park (a Biosphere Reserve), Radal Siete Tazas National Reserve, Villarrica National Park, Patagonia’s Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, and Torres del Paine National Park.

Ultimate guide about ecotourism best ecotourism destinations Valparaíso, Chile

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We had a wonderful tour of Turkey, which included Anzac day at Anzac cove, our guide & driver were excellent & we only had a small number on our bus. Hotels were 4 star or more, but were out of towns. Food was good mainly buffets. Great value for money. Turkish people were lovely.

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Excellent and experienced guide Oscar was a wealth of knowledge and fun to travel with.
The airport pickup and departures were smooth and well organized. Hotels were all of good quality though some were a distance from the cities visited. Lunch/dinner buffets were fairly repetitive in content, but you could always find something good and one never goes hungry. The vehicle used, a minibus, was modern, clean and “Fati” was a safe and excellent driver. There are some quite long driving days to cover so much territory, but in 10 days you will have seen many of Türkiye’s most famous and beautiful sights. Very good value for money and a responsive and communicative travel company to work with. I look forward to future adventures with TravelShop.

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What an amazing experience with TravelShop Turkey .We did a Cappadocia and Istanbul tour and Loved every moment of it. From the Airport meet and Greets and Transfers to the Hotel which ran smoothly in aircon vans. The Selection of hotels which where suberb with amazing breakfasts and clean spacious rooms. The private guides where very knowledgable , friendly and accommodating to everyones needs . This was a trip i will never forget and will definately recommend Travelshop Turkey without hesitation.

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