Before a good week’s head start tomorrow, I decided to use some of my “tree photos” from my various amazing trips as backdrops to inspire ecotourism as you travel.
Ecotourism – what is it and why should we care? Ecotourism, as defined by the International Ecotourism Society is:
“Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. It is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
- Raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate
Tourism, as we know, is a major source of economic activity. It creates employment, prevents migration of the local population, and promotes local products. However, the downside is that the flow of tourists in an area causes increased consumption of resources, increased pollution, discharges into land and sea, and destruction of landscapes/ deforestation to give way to new infrastructures for hotels, restaurants and shops.
Tourists and travelers (regardless of whether you place a distinction between the two), and the host country should realize that the economy may be at the winning side now. But if we look at the long-term impacts, the negative environmental impacts of tourism development can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which we derive these economic benefits. In the end, it becomes a situation where both the environment and social aspects are on the losing side.
An important issue it is but I don’t want to get heavy on it in this blog. So on a lighter side, I’m sharing with you a collection of quotes to inspire you as a traveler to be sensitive to the environmental, social and economic aspects of your tourism activities. All photos I included were taken while looking up to the trees. I hope these be a reminder for us to respect nature and the people in our destinations.
You may check out my “The Whys and Hows of Traveling Green“, if you want to know more concrete ways of being a responsible traveler.