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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Ecotourism Blog!

Welcome to the Greenloons Blog, your go-to ecotourism / sustainable / responsible (or whatever term you feel comfortable with) travel resource. Here, you will find eco travel destination profiles, environmentally friendly travel tips, ecotourism certification information, eco trip reviews and much more! Read, share and let us know your thoughts about ecotourism!

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AzoresLots of people have a very mainstream view of ecotourism, imagining the same old destinations when the word ‘sustainable tourism’ comes to mind. But the real hardcore eco-warriors of the world, who are more informed on such issues, know that ecotourism can occur practically anywhere.

You can make a difference at all corners of the world, from the mountains of Peru and Galapagos Islands to tidying up the world’s cities and keeping the British countryside alive.

Here are five places you might not expect to find ecotourism.

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  • Tom
    Tom says #
    Ecotourism in Mexico
    Many options for ecotourism activities in Mexico! One of them is Tommy Nature Guide. What's the difference? Private eco-tours, rel

Posada Amazonas One of the three values of ecotourism, in addition to its inherent social and environmental benefits, is the economic sustainability provided to local communities through the following tenants:

  • Local ownership,
  • Observing and maintaining traditional practices of developing goods and food,
  • Offering employment opportunities

This infographic was designed to convey the economic benefits of ecotourism, define the terminology used in the travel industry, and describe the differences in how local communities specifically benefit from ecotourism versus traditional (mass) tourism. 

1 night RaftWith ecotourism estimated to be the fastest-growing sector of the global tourism market (UNWTO), it is imperative that those of us seeking to reduce our environmental impact while traveling find ways to easily distinguish between authentic sustainability and greenwashing.  

While we don't want to simply latch on to the green travel trend, we must be able to recognize travel organizations that are pushing beyond universally acceptable standards of reduce, reuse, and recycle

One may retort that any steps taken by tourism companies to reduce their impact is a step in the right direction, but the curse of traditional tourism is that the positive feedback loop (which we create through social media) also enables massive increases tourism development and access.  

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  • Social Impakt
    Social Impakt says #
    Raising awareness while travel...
    Great article guys, thank you ! Authentic Eco-tourism is a key for a better understanding of the world in which we are living. Lif
  • Tom
    Tom says #
    Ecotourism
    Great article! That's all what ecotourism is about! Another use & management of the natural resources and some benefits to the loc

Small Farmers CowThere are 500 million small farmers across the world producing around 70% of the global food supply. They do this despite the numerous threats and challenges that they face on a daily basis. This is no small feat.  So, in order to support production, we are working with these small farmers to develop their own innovative low-cost solutions.

We are Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) and we are a charity with difference. We are led by small farmers and owned by 38 producer organisations and their 280,000 members across Latin America and Africa.

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  • ZHI QING
    ZHI QING says #
    Importance of Sustainable Micr...
    Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation is an organization who works with smallholders in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.Their programs
  • Tynk
    Tynk says #
    My humble point of view toward...
    I am so amazed and inspired by what your organization has done in terms of establishing this great organization and helping in max

PetraMy journey to Jordan began in 2005.  Having never travelled to the Middle East, the first time I looked at a map of where Jordan was, I was a little unsure what to expect. However, within moments of arriving at Queen Alia Airport, I felt welcome and happy to be there. Ten years later and this feeling of happiness, security and hope has not faded.

Despite the challenges we, as a country, are facing with our neighbours, Jordan has, is, and I hope always, will be a land of safety, legendary hospitality, and breathtaking beauty. With the unrest in the region, tourism has unsurprisingly dropped significantly and in towns like Petra that rely on tourism for their livelihood, times are tough.

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  • Janice Hans Christian
    Janice Hans Christian says #
    ECO TOURISM COMMENT
    I am currently studying in international tourism management course and this blog definitely widen up my horizons about Petra, Jord
  • Yurie
    Yurie says #
    Best place Petra
    I could feel Jordan is a amazing place when I read these article. Tourists could feeling the real middle east life, nature and cul
  • Shernice Goh
    Shernice Goh says #
    Ecotourism Blog
    I am currently studying in international tourism management course and this blog definitely widen up my horizons about Petra, Jord

Monte Rufeno Olive PickingAs we walked along the short trail back from the olive grove, I began to smell fresh mint and other aromatic herbs underfoot, wildly growing on the side of the farmhouse, and instantly felt transported to a simpler time when families had to grow their own food and raise their own livestock to survive.

Although paling in comparison to those more likely difficult times, I still was satisfied with having taken part in the harvesting of an olive tree’s lovely green and purple colored olives ready for the first press. We collected nearly 90 lbs. of olives that morning and, once again, found ourselves at a large family-style Italian table ready for a feast.

For anyone who has traveled throughout the Mediterranean, the scene may be a familiar one. But, once you account for the details, you realize it is anything but common.

Sustainable Tourism: Water Usage in US HotelsI was born with the travel bug. As often as I could, I was off visiting and re-visiting places near and far, soaking in sea air, language, and culture. But as my eco-conscience grew, I realized that my growing collection of seashells and jet-fuelled flights might be satisfying my wanderlust at the expense of the environment. Because my wanderlust was simply impossible to ignore, I turned my attention to sustainable tourism.

Eco/Geo/Green/Sustainable Tourism
No matter the name, the intent is the same: travel with the lightest environmental and socio-cultural footprint possible to maintain or improve conditions in all communities around the world and ensure their health for years to come. A lofty goal, but with a change in perspective and a little bit of effort, travel can be not only guilt-free, but rewarding in unexpected ways.

Researcher at Bidoup Field School VietnamLooking for a unique way to 'pay it forward' and add to your resume with your sustainable travels? Spearheading an innovative program that applies responsible tourism practices with practical scientific research, the Bidoup Field School, will be holding a special 2 week program in January for budding researchers who want to combine their sustainable travels with the opportunity to contribute and advance tropical forest research.  

Located within the Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park in Vietnam, a newly named UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, researchers will first spend 9 days touring Vietnam with Dr. Nhu Hoa Le, bi-lingual guide and leading expert on sustainable tourism in Vietnam followed by a week of environmental research.  

Florie HopTrip Latin AmericaA few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Florie Thielin at the Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism Conference in Quito and learning more about the Hopineo initiative.

It's a deliciously simple, but impactful idea! In exchange for sharing best practices and providing specific recommendations for how a responsible hotel can enhance their marketing efforts, Hopineo provides access to experienced sustainability, marketing and/or photo/videography professionals, among other skills, who only ask that their room and board accommodations be waived.

Wild Atlantic Way SceneThere's so much that surprised me during my trip to Ireland last October from the people (extraordinarily friendly souls who have a penchant for going out of their way to help others) to the vistas (there's a reason people call it the Emerald Isle) to the music (celebrating humanity's full range of emotions from sadness and tragedy to joy and passion) to the food (sustainably sourced by necessity and simply delicious) that it's hard to pick out a moment that stood out above all!

But, I can and that moment was during an e-biking trip along the Wild Atlantic Way.

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  • Mu'izz Naa'im
    Mu'izz Naa'im says #
    Ecotourism is not only 'greene...
    Hello Irene Lane, This post really attractive because I have always wanted to visit Ireland. Ireland has ability to be top ecotou

Scotland BikingThis past summer, our European family vacation was dedicated to experiencing all things local. Whether it was touring a family-owned organic vineyard or seeing a cultural dance performance just outside of Dubrovnik in Croatia, spending a sun-drenched few days on the island of Hydra in Greece, or enjoying the spectacular Highland colors and absolutely delicious family-style meals at the Fraoch Lodge in Scotland, we wanted local and sustainable, and we wanted it to be the best.

So, when my nine-year-old son declared that of the many great experiences he had "Scotland was my favorite because (Fraoch) lodge felt like home", that was saying a lot!

Rock Farm Slane Communal AreaI had just landed in Dublin, after an overnight flight from Washington DC, on a sunny morning a few weeks ago and found myself once again caught in those beautiful in-between hours when the adrenaline for starting another sustainable journey kicks in and the complete exhaustion that I knew was going to set in during the late afternoon.

Well, I certainly made the best of those beautiful hours thanks to the help of Carina Mount Charles at Rock Farm Slane!

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  • Mary Mulvey
    Mary Mulvey says #
    Glad you got to experience one our our Gold members , a really great natural experience and all aspects of sustainabilty covered f

The term "Noah's Ark" can conjure up many images. For some, it's a biblical reference set in modern day Turkey. For others, it's traveling through the lush landscapes of southern Africa while on safari. For Australians though, the term invokes a call to action to protect the endangered species that call Tasmania home.

Tasmania's strikingly picturesque land - with its nature reserves, beaches, clear waters, glacial remnants and World Heritage Sites – provides the perfect ecosystem for migrating blue and humpback whales, kangaroos, southern elephant seals, wedge-tailed eagles, albatrosses, petrels, skinks, wombats, the threatened subarctic fur seal, and, of course, the famed Tasmanian devil.

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  • Ihsan
    Ihsan says #
    Animal Conservation, really gr...
    First of all, I really like this blog because I love the idea of placing ‘Endangered Animal Species’ on an Island where these anim
  • Irene Lane
    Irene Lane says #
    RE:Animal Conservation, really...
    Ihsan, I think you may have misunderstood the intent of the article. There are no animals being placed on the island. Rather, be
  • rekha
    rekha says #
    Thanks for sharing awesome post. I loved your blog.
  • Greenloons
    Greenloons says #
    Noah's ark really conjures now a new image. Nice description. I felt a strong desire to visit this area in Tasmania.

Posted by on in Ecotourism Trip Reviews

Dear Veracruz,

It’s been almost one month since I came home from your amazing State that stretches along the Gulf Coast like “the graceful tentacle of a sea creature” – and I’m still smiling.

I loved how the strong Mexican sun cascaded all over your lovely beaches, mountainous peaks and formidable rivers, and the even friendlier hospitality that permeated through all your people. I loved learning about your indigenous cultures as well as the infusion of Afro-Cuban and Spanish artistry, music, foods, bright colors, and traditions. More huachinango a la veracruzana, (red snapper in a spicy tomato sauce) por favor!

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  • Gaby Vega
    Gaby Vega says #
    Very nice, Irene. I was wondering how to make a posting distinctive since all blogs seem to be constrained to a certain graphic st
  • Irene Lane
    Irene Lane says #
    I very much appreciate your comments Gaby! To readers, if you want inside knowledge about surf and adventure tours in El Salvador

The following guest post was written by Nick DiMatteo, who is the President & Founder of Nomadico Travel. By coincidence, we were both staying at the lovely Anahi Boutique Hotel in Quito for a couple of nights before heading into the Amazon Jungle and had a lovely time sharing our experiences in the city.

While I've already discussed my visit to Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, I wanted Nick to share the life-changing experience he and his family had while visiting the Huaorani community (in Central Ecuador).

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  • Wan Harris
    Wan Harris says #
    Community Ecotourism
    Dear Greenloons, My name is Harris and I am a second year University student from Malaysia. It has been an absolute treat reading
  • Irene Lane
    Irene Lane says #
    RE:Community Ecotourism
    Dear Mr. Harris, You may be interested to read this recent article about the closure of an eco-lodge due to oil drilling. We are

According to the International Ecotourism Society (TIES), 83% of developing countries rely on ecotourism as a major export while others, such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nepal, Kenya, Madagascar and Antarctica, also rely on ecotourism as the major contributory factor in their gross domestic product and employment level calculations.

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  • Cris
    Cris says #
    This is why I appreciate Costa Rica so much: ecotourism. I live most part of the year in this beautiful country and yes, "ticos"

Ecotourism is full of what educators call teachable moments or, more definitively, unplanned opportunities to explain a concept that has unintentionally captured a child’s interest. Whether it is touring the rainforests of the Amazon, observing blue footed boobies throughout the Galapagos Islands, or understanding the water issues that surround the Okavango Delta in Botswana, ecotourism is a vacation experience that provides boundless opportunities to teach younger generations about the fragility of ecosystems and the significance of heritage.

The United Nations Global Compact (Global Compact) is a voluntary, strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations in support of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and coordinating their strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the four issue areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Since ecotourism addresses each of these four issue areas, some international ecotour operators have aligned their business practices with the Global Compact.

In the last installment of the family ecotourism series that takes you through the highlights of Northern Europe, I invite you to appreciate lovely Gothenburg. Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden, after Stockholm. It is located on the southwest coast of Sweden and is equidistant between Copenhagen, Denmark and Olso, Norway. According to the Gothenburg city council, each resident enjoys 300 square feet of green space, which explains how one can readily reach the forests, meadows, lakes, parks and gardens that are peppered throughout the city.

In the seventh installment of a family ecotourism series entitled Ecotourism in Northern Europe, I invite you to appreciate the beauty of Copenhagen. Personally, I have never visited a city so environmentally conscious. From carbon neutral taxis to taxi bikes to eco-labeled hotels to specially designated bike and pedestrian paths that surround the city, Copenhagen is a wonderful mix of history, maritime industry, business, culture, and tourism. It is impossible to walk down a street day or night and not see hundreds of residents (some with toddlers wearing helmets) safely meandering through the streets on their bicycles. The city also is resplendent with parks and canals that allow for many opportunities to quickly step away from city-life and get back to nature.

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  • VisitDenmark
    VisitDenmark says #
    Great entry. Thanks for telling the world about Denmark. If you or your readership should find it interesting, we do have a lot o

In the sixth installment of a family ecotourism series that provides suggestions for families traveling through Northern Europe, I invite you to appreciate Oslo. A remote Scandinavian land of a thousand fjords and islands, Norway always ranks high in environmental surveys for its water quality and hydro power plants. Its capital, Oslo, is located at the start of the 100-kilometre Oslofjord. The fjord’s 40 islands each have unique character and abundant recreational activities. Over half of Oslo is covered by forests and parks, making it a truly green city. What I found most appealing about its architecture was the abundant use of turf roofs, which allows for natural insulation.

In the fifth installment of the family ecotourism series entitled Ecotourism in Northern Europe, I invite you to appreciate the promise of Stockholm. Built on 14 small islands joined by bridges, Stockholm is a wonderful mixture of busy city life and plentiful, beautiful parks. As the capital of Sweden, it enjoys a reputation for taking the best of socialist and capitalist economic systems as people are extraordinarily egalitarian yet technologically dominant and environmentally strong-minded. Sweden, together with Norway, shares the top spot for the world’s greenest country and Stockholm is a city filled with young people and young families eager to put its city on the world stage.

In the fourth installment of a family ecotourism series entitled Ecotourism in Northern Europe, I invite you to appreciate the potential of Visby.  Visby is the capital of the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.  It is located 53 miles off of coast of Stockholm and for the typical Swedish family, Gotland is the main island to visit for a summer vacation.  With picturesque beaches and cliffs, Gotland is also home to the Swedish sheep farming industry. 

In the third installment of a family ecotourism series covering Ecotourism in Northern Europe, I invite you to appreciate the wonder of Gdansk. A coastal city on the Baltic Sea, Gdansk combined with the rest of its “tri-city” Polish neighbors, Gdynia and Sopot, features a great amount of lakes and forests; lots of recreational activities including kayaking, canoeing and hiking; and spa and health rejuvenation vacations all with a conscious eye toward environmental preservation. Although 12 miles separates the “tri-city” neighbors, car and bus transportation is a bit difficult due to a lack of road infrastructure – a legacy from the days of Soviet rule. A better alternative is the electric train that runs frequently through the “tri-city” neighbors and only takes 35 minutes.

In the second of a family ecotourism series entitled Ecotourism in Northern Europe, I invite you to appreciate the splendor of Riga. On the banks of the Daugava River, the capital of Latvia is not only a UNESCO heritage site but is widely considered to be the cleanest city in Europe. In addition to it being one of the few countries that actually reduces greenhouse gas emissions year over year, Riga has the lowest carbon dioxide emission per capita among the EU countries and has the second best (after Sweden) policy related to renewable natural energy sources.

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