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The Basics of Eco Tourism

July 6, 2009 by · 1,483 Comments 

Traveling and experiencing new cultures is quite possibly one of the most influential experiences in life. Ecotourism promotes discovery of new destinations while bridging the gap between traditional tourism and local culture. Reducing the social and environmental impact, ecotourism aims to preserve communities while allowing travelers to broaden their horizons. Ecotourism can include traveling to exotic places and volunteering your time for conservation or just incorporating sustainable practices into your travels. No matter how you go about it, being a responsible traveler is the backbone of ecotourism.

Start by researching several destinations and activities of interest. Consulting travel books and searching the web will allow you to make informed decisions before and during your adventure. When researching accommodations and tour guides seek out businesses that work to protect the environment and benefit the local community. Many of these companies are affiliated with Green Globe, an international ranking system for the travel and tourism industry. Once you have chosen your destination do your homework prior to arrival by learning several words and phrases in the native language of the area you are visiting. Also, consider taking time to research local customs and culture. Once you have arrived at your destination continue your sustainable practices by buying local products, hiring local guides, honoring customs, and avoiding purchase of items made from threatened or endangered animals. Incorporating these tips will ensure a unique experience and prevent leaving a negative mark on the environment or culture. Remember when executed properly, ecotourism will boost local economy while continuing to protect the natural environment.

Traveling in the spirit of humility and having a genuine desire to experience new cultures can be an inspiring and life altering experience. No matter who you are, a truly successful trip will change the way in which you see the world

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