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Traveling "Green": The Wide World of Ecotourism
Learning About Ecotourism
- Is focused on appreciation of nature and native cultures
- Provides educational opportunities
- Minimizes the negative impact on the local natural and cultural environment
- Generates economic revenue for host communities through sustainable activities and businesses
- Does the hotel/lodge use sustainability practices such as water and energy conservation?
- What kind of educational programs are offered to guests? Who operates them?
- What has been the most significant program developed to positively impact the local environment?
- Are native people employed? Do they give input into programs and operations?
- Are there opportunities to enjoy locally made crafts and locally grown foods?
Doing Your Homework
- Weather— Ask your tour organizer about climate changes. For instance, though the Aquipucuna Reserve is in the middle of a tropical rain forest, guests need light jackets to wear in the evenings.
- Distance from civilization—Be aware of how far you are from the nearest city and what transportation options are available.
- Level of activity—Find out what choices you have when it comes to organized tour time versus free time. Is hiking required, and if so, how difficult are the trails? What accommodations are there for any health-related restrictions?
- Wildlife and disease—Ask about any special precautions to take or supplies you will need.
The Good of Going "Green"
Traveler's Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
Travel Information US Department of State http://travel.state.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Developing ecotourism. Conservation International website. Available at: http://www.conservation.org/learn/culture/ecotourism/Pages/ecotourism.aspx. Accessed December 23, 2013.
Ecotourism hotspots. Ecotourism website. Available at: http://www.ecotourism.ca/ecotourismhotspots.html. Accessed December 23, 2013.
What is ecotourism? The International Ecotourism Society website. Available at: http://www.ecotourism.org/what-is-ecotourism. Accessed December 23, 2013.
Eco--trips and travel: What is ecotourism? The Nature Conservancy website. Available at: http://www.nature.org/greenliving/what-is-ecotourism.xml. Published September 30, 2011. Accessed December 23, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 12/23/2013