With 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 ecotourism and greenwashing. This infographic helps clear the confusion.
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.
Therefore, the very destinations that we may most enjoy could be degraded due to popularity.
In order to ensure long-term sustainable development of destinations for visitors, locals, and the environment, it is necessary to carefully assess the type of access being granted to visitors and what effects that causes on the local community and ecosystem.
The infographic below depicts a few of the first questions a traveler can ask a travel company to ensure the support of the triple bottom line.