Travelers are increasingly weighing their effects on the environment and local communities when deciding on a vacation destination. In fact, a 2012 TripAdvisor survey reports that green travel is gaining momentum among the site’s members; 71% said they plan to make more eco-friendly choices in the next 12 months. One such avenue of green tourism is ecotourism, and as explained in this ecotourism infographic, it is used to describe a set of environmentally sound practices that take into account every aspect of travel, including transportation, accommodation, and daily activities.
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as the practice of “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.” Greenloons has its own set of criteria as listed here.
Ecotourism best practices are holistic: they affect both the traveler and the destination. Whether it’s a short domestic trip within the United States or to more far-off places like Peru, Switzerland, Greece, India, Costa Rica, and Botswana – just to name a few of the countries that have embraced ecotourism – the practices in place ensure that everything, from their natural areas to their local businesses, benefits from tourism.
Ecotourism vacations give travelers unique experiences and new insights into the world at large. Ultimately, an eco-friendly trip provides a holiday you can feel good about taking, in more ways than one.