What is Ecotourism and Why is It Important?

If you’ve ever done some traveling before, you may have heard of ecotourism or sustainable tourism. This way of exploring your travel destinations is defined by having a general respect to the environment around you and being mindful of the ways that you could be degrading it.

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With the way we relate to the world around us today, it’s not common to feel out of touch and perhaps oblivious to our impact on the environment. This makes the idea of ecotourism extremely important, as it plays a significant role in reminding us of the importance of sustainable development.

So why is ecotourism important to us? Let’s take a look at the reasons and hopefully give you a new perspective on the way you spend time abroad.

Ecotourism for Yourself

When we travel, we usually have a certain set of goals or ideas in mind. It could be getting a taste of the local cuisine, taking the perfect photograph or encountering people with unique ideas and beliefs. Whatever your goals are for your destination, being more mindful of everything located in that environment can also help you experience it better.

You won’t only be learning the facts about that destination. Instead, you can immerse yourself in the local cultures and lifestyles. This can leave a lasting impression and possibly give you a fresh perspective on many things in life, whether it’s appreciation for what you have or a new idea that changes your career path, beliefs or values.

Ecotourism for Locals

Many unspoiled regions of the world thrive from the tourism industry. When locals welcome tourists into their homeland, it’s not only a means of supporting themselves, but also a means of being able to support the very environment you’re coming there to see.

If we’re not mindful of the negative impacts we have on our travel destinations, they can quickly degrade, and tourism there will eventually come to an end. This not only means there won’t be a destination for anyone to see, but also an economy for the locals to survive on.

Ecotourism for Wildlife

If you look anywhere in the world that’s known for its wildlife today, you may notice a shift away from unethical zoos and more towards sustainable, ethical sanctuaries and reserves where the flora and fauna can flourish. This is a great example of ecotourism in practice.

Not only does the wildlife benefit, but tourists are also able to explore a more real and diverse environment with countless opportunities to explore. The best elephant sanctuaries in Thailand are living proof that everyone benefits from a sustainable approach to wildlife tourism.

As local authorities took measures to protect their wildlife, everyone thrived. Let’s face it, a relaxing safari drive through the grasslands or a magical hiking trail through the mountains is significantly more enjoyable than walking the concrete pathways of a zoo.

Being mindful of ecotourism will make traveling better for not only yourself, but also the world around you. You will learn more, see more, feel more and eventually come back home with a greater sense of satisfaction and joy for your traveling experience.