Ecotourism and nature travel are popular buzzwords in the travel industry, but not all ecotourism opportunities are created alike. While some companies offer these travel options, not all trips meet the requirements to qualify as a responsible ecotourism trip. In order to participate in true ecotourism, be sure that the trip you are taking gives back to the area you visit instead of taking away from it.
Nature travel is a general term for any trip that involves a visit with nature. Cruise ships that travel to Alaska or Antarctica, for example, would fall under this category because they allow passengers an opportunity to visit natural sites.
Purpose of Ecotourism
True ecotourism seeks to give back to the earth. In an ecotourist trip, participants would support local people in the tourist area and seek to enhance the natural environment of the area in some way.
An ecotourist traveler would seek to support the indigenous people of an area. It might include helping them to build local tourist businesses, purchasing the crafts they make or establishing resources for them in some way.
Helping the Environment
An ecotourist traveler also seeks to help the environment where she visits. It might raise funds for conservation efforts or establish nature preserves during the trip.
Beware of Scams
Some companies advertise "ecotourist" trip opportunities, but in reality they are simply visits to areas of ecological interest. Touring the rain forests or visiting the desert doesn't count as ecotourism if you don't do anything to help improve the conditions in the area while you are there or as a result of your trip.
Article Written By Jessica Cook
Jessica Cook has been writing since high school when she wrote for TeenGrrl.com and GirlZone.com. During college she wrote for her university's e-zine, department newsletter and an education journal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio Northern University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Grand Canyon University and an Educational Specialist's degree in curriculum and instruction from Liberty University.