- Dave Groebel
World Travel And Social Responsibility A Guide To Your Next Vacation Experience
Traveling the world is an exhilarating prospect, but few of us consider the economic and environmental implications of moving around to our favored vacation spots. A prominent environmental movement began in the 60s, with many companies promoting and marketing themselves as “going green.”
The tourism market has recently jumped on board with clean and green travel initiatives, promoting vacation destination opportunities that were designed to build up local culture, climate, and economy. As more and more people are jumping on the socially responsible world travel train, we are finding delightful new ways to experience the delicate world we live in with minimal damage to the economy, people, and natural resources.
From the very beginning, green tourism was known as “small-scale” tourism, encouraging people to visit underdeveloped, natural areas while minimizing their environmental impact. A simple nature hike, birdwatching in a thick patch of forest, or quiet time spent on a remote beach are all great examples of green tourism, as we leave our chosen destination as we found it. Many vacation destinations are now offering local stay options with residents to provide an authentic cultural experience while boosting the local economy.
Eco-tourism refers to a particular niche of tourism that focuses on visiting natural tourist areas without significantly impacting the destination itself. Eco-tourism is primarily used for describing tourism opportunities where both flora and fauna are the main attractions.
Eco-tourism focuses on conserving land and marine environments. Core principles of eco-tourism include:
Reducing the impact of travel on ecosystems.
Improving awareness of sound environmental practices.
Educating people on the importance of operating low-impact tourism options and facilities.
An essential part of eco-tourism must be long-term sustainability, bringing together local communities, preservationists, and the tourism industry to create lasting change.
Sustainable changes to the industry
The World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as the “participation of stakeholders and travelers in a well-contoured, intentional environment. Sustainable tourism is an ongoing process that will need maintaining and monitoring by local communities and businesses. Regular evaluation of environmentally friendly actions must be done to ensure that best practices are being implemented. As more countries are jumping on board, options for sustainable tourism become available to travelers, and exciting opportunities for education and environmental awareness will surely change the world we live in.
Ideas for eco-friendly travel
If you fancy yourself a socially responsible traveler already, consider upping your game and taking advantage of these one-of-a-kind travel experiences and destinations:
Game-watching safari. Get up close and personal with animals in their natural habitat. African destinations such as camps in Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa offer you local accommodations while providing a top-notch, eco-friendly experience.
Participate in a wildlife rescue tour. Reducing your carbon footprint while participating in a recovery mission for injured wildlife is a win-win, in our book. Travel the world while saving the lives of animals on the verge of extinction.
Tend to community gardens across the world. Eco-friendly gardens are popping up around the globe, and communities are begging for assistance in getting these projects going to feed millions and educate them on the value of clean, green living. Community garden planting initiatives in cities like Copenhagen are one of many where you can educate yourself and others on the importance of sustainable food sources.
Explore a swamp ecosystem. The Everglades of Florida offer magnificent, serene Noosa waterways, twisted mangroves, and several diverse creatures lurking in the murky waters. Explore Great Sandy National Park and gain a new appreciation for this unique and highly varied ecosystem.
Take a tour of the beautiful coral reefs. There’s no eco-tourism experience quite like a unique tour of the beautiful coral reefs off the coast of the Virgin Islands. Soon Alpha Submarine Adventures offering these eco-friendly, educational tours to give you an up-close and personal look at the diverse and magnificent marine life present in the reefs. Coral reef preservation and protection are critical to the health of our environment, and the best way to spread the word is through participation in and support of these award-winning tours. Visit www.eco-alphasub.com for more information.