Eco-tourism is an immersive experience for every kind of traveller. Nature provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience for people who are stuck in the daily humdrum of life. This offers highly authentic experiences while uplifting the communities and conserving natural resources.
This guide will discuss the role of eco-tourism in promoting sustainable travel. With the help of governments and other institutions, the local economy can thrive by combining responsible travel practices and inclusion of indigenous communities. Future generations will be able to experience the beauty of natural resources for years to come.
The Benefits of Eco-Tourism
One the main goals of every traveller should be to minimise negative environmental impacts. Through eco-tourism, people can engage in fun activities while promoting respect for their surroundings.
Eco-tourism encourages environmentally friendly travel methods that minimise the negative effects of tourism on the environment and nearby communities. When more tourists visit these destinations, it revitalises the local economy. It places a strong emphasis on spreading awareness on issues and offering concrete solutions for environmental protection.
Eco-tourism creates income opportunities. Members of communities can be trained to become proficient in guiding tours, managing events, and other tasks. By empowering communities, they will have the necessary skills and resources to be caretakers for the environment. Meanwhile, tourists can also engage in programs such as tree planting, coastal clean-ups, and more.
Improvement of Wellbeing
Eco-tourism promotes health and wellbeing. Tourists can engage in physical activities like hiking, biking, and sightseeing. Governments and non-government institutions can improve the community’s quality of life by creating jobs and programs. This is a mutually beneficial set-up that can lead to the preservation of historic and cultural sites.
Eco-Tourism & Conservation Efforts in Asia
Asia is home to diverse animals, plants, species, and natural resources. Over the years, communities have been working to preserve nature while empowering people to take action.
Masungi Georeserve (Rizal, Philippines)
Masungi Georeserve is a limestone rock garden located deep in the lush forests of Rizal. Visitors can go on an adrenaline-filled hike through bridges and rope courses. Tour guides will explain the biodiversity of plant and animal species. Masungi has gone through reforestation efforts over the years due to constant threats of illegal mining and logging.
Can Tho Floating Market (South of Saigon, Vietnam)
The Can Tho Floating Market is a community of over 300 boats on water. Each boat sells a specific item, such as pomelo fruits, rambutan, coffee, and more. These products are locally produced from Mekong Delta, which houses fruit farms, handicrafts villages, and other sites. Tourists can support this community by attending rice noodle cooking classes and buying from vendors.
Elephant Conservation Centre (Sayaboury, Laos)
The Elephant Conservation Centre offers guests an immersive experience by taking an active role to protect wildlife. Visitors can observe elephants, learn about elephant conservation, and volunteer for programs to address the animal poaching crisis. The ECC creates partnerships with local and international organisations to maintain the centre and create jobs for the community.
Promoting Responsible Travel Practices
Tourists from all ages and backgrounds can find ways to engage in responsible travel practices. These are some tips for making a sustainable trip and reshaping the way you travel.
- Skip tourist traps. You can avoid overcrowded tourist traps by giving a chance to underrated destinations. The world has so many sights to offer, so it’s a good change of pace to choose less-traversed places.
- Use efficient modes of transportation. If possible, you can opt to take a bus, tram, or bicycle to explore towns and cities. Planes and cars leave large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Save resources like water and energy. Tourists tend to put a strain on the local community’s supply of water and energy. While traveling, you can turn off lights and electronics when not in use.
- Respect local communities. It should be common courtesy to research on the etiquette when dealing with locals. As you immerse yourself in their area, be mindful of your words and actions.
- Avoid products that will harm the environment. Thousands of animals die from plastic pollution. You can opt to use sustainable bags and products that can be reused for future trips as well.
Eco-tourism has been part of the tourism industry for ages. By safeguarding the integrity of the ecosystem, we preserve a bright future for our descendants. This is a collaborative effort between governments, private institutions, and travellers like you. Let us continue to advocate for sustainable practices and take action to protect the earth.