Ecotourism (or sustainable tourism) is when one goes on holiday visiting pristine and relatively undisturbed natural areas, simultaneously being cautious of the environment, where tourists will usually stay in the homes of the hosts.
It is seen as an alternative to mass tourism, who can be significantly unsustainable. Its purpose is to learn about the locals culture, perhaps to help benefit the economic growth of local communities, to encourage understanding and respect for different cultures and human rights, to support personal growth and of course to have fun and relax. All of these with the smallest carbon footprint as possible and in a most responsible and sustainable way.
The whole idea behind ecotourism is that it equally benefits the tourists, as well as the locals. Here are some guidelines to ecotourism:
- Protecting the environment – this means keeping to the footpath, not living litter and not starting fires, or protect the resources (not using to much water).
- No interference with the wildlife – meaning that we shouldn’t feed or scare the animals.
- Respecting the local culture and traditions – by wearing appropriate clothing and behaving appropriately.
Ecotourism can include many activities, like surfing, cycling, walking, kayaking, swimming, diving and many others. When traveling at longer distances, public transport is recommended, especially electric ones.
An example of the whole idea, as well as emphasizing agrotourism, is Constantin Furtuna. He owns a house with a beautiful permaculture garden in the countryside of Moldova. All year long he hosts people from all around the world who want to learn about the Moldovan culture, traditions, surroundings and much more. He organizes different activities like gardening, camping, cycling, birdwatching and more. You can also learn about different plants and herbs crops, or plant and harvest different vegetables, picking up berries, fruits and grapes. He can also cook delicious foods, giving you nutritional tips about the vegan and raw vegan diet. Find out more here.
Over the last years, Ecotourism has expanded and created many new businesses and jobs which are directly related to tourism. The forests, wildlife and nature have been protected, as well as local communities which have been restored.
According to UN, 2017 is the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development” so let’s encourage more this way of traveling.