Traveling in an environmentally friendly way means that when touring a place, whether in a city or in the wild, you do your best to minimize your impact, travel responsibly and build cultural respect. Ecotourism benefits the communities that host ecological activities, such as wildlife viewing, trekking and other tours.
Ecotourism stimulates the economy while improving international relations and sustaining the environment. Travel and tourism is the largest business sector in the world, and, according to the International Ecotourism Society, tourism is the second most important source of foreign exchange besides oil for the world's 40 poorest countries.
Ecotourism benefits the traveler. Anyone can travel responsibly by choosing more environmentally friendly transport, such as trains, buses, bikes or walking. Participating in a carbon offset program and consuming no more than you need are also part of ecotourism. Traveling within these paremeters is not only good for the host communities but creates a better life for the travelers by allowing them to explore our beautiful world without harming it.
Ecotourism benefits the communities that host travelers. The hope is that with ecotourism people will travel in ways that not only sustain the natural environment, but also benefit the communities that host the travelers in those environments. This can be done directly (sometimes by volunteer work) or indirectly, from the good actions of those traveling through other's homelands.
Ecotourism builds cultural respect. Choosing to eat locally, stay at locally owned lodging, attend local entertainment and immerse oneself in a local language is conducive to cross-cultural respect and admiration. This strengthens ties between cultures.
Above all, ecotourism benefits the ecosystem. If done properly, ecotourism should only impact the land and the wildlife in a good way, if at all. Wildlife viewing should be conducted in a noninvasive way, from a distance that does not affect the natural lives of animals. Eliminating the negative effects on the land is what ecotourism is all about.