Ecotourism is now a popular way for travelers to enjoy their vacation, whether alone or as a couple, in other words, a vacation like no other. Ecotourism is basically a type of tourism where travelers go to natural places, preserving the environment, and enhancing the well-being of those who live in the tourist destination. Ecotourism has grown in popularity over the years because nature is beautiful when it’s not overcrowded and has time for those who wish to see it. Most tourists on ecotourism tours stay at hotels, lodges, or campsites. The goal of these trips is to get as close as possible to the wild animals and plants of the area they are visiting, and still be within sight of civilization.
Tour operators are responsible for ensuring that ecotourism activities are carefully monitored to ensure that people’s right to privacy is protected. The monitoring of ecotourism activities takes place through strict guidelines set forth by various governmental organizations. Tour operators must also make sure their employees have proper training in order to monitor wildlife. Tour operators must employ state of the art technology that is highly secure and fool proof. This is done through night vision, sound recording, and GPS tracking devices.
In most ecotourism tour experiences, tourists are provided with food and shelter in the local communities where they are staying. Since tourists do not bring money or credit cards, local communities are more than willing to provide these services and even more so since they are often given commissions for doing so. Tourism promotes sustainability not only for the ecotourism industry but for the local communities as well. Sustainable tourism encourages economic development by attracting tourists who are often prepared to help in the economic development process.
An ecotourism definition doesn’t always take into consideration the importance of each individual experience. In many cases, the experiences that tourists have simply mirror the industries standards for ecotourism. For example, one ecotourism definition states: “Ecotourism refers to a mix of scientific knowledge, social science, economics, and environmental ethics that seek to understand and promote ecological tourism.” While this sounds good in theory, there is no mention of the necessity of maintaining a balance between the different aspects of ecotourism. The practice of ecotourism definition in this sense often promotes blind ecotourism, wherein the tourism operator may not be aware of the consequences of his or her actions towards the local people living in the natural areas.
Ecotourism is more than just saving the environment. It also takes into consideration the people whose lives and livelihoods are deeply affected by the tourism industry. Local communities depend on tourism revenue and without it, their existence is threatened. The longer tourists do business in their area, the fewer jobs they will generate for the locals, the less money they will spend for local goods and services, and the more they will deplete the natural resources of their area. Some ecotourism activities are also developed to address these issues.
Ecotourism, on the other hand, strives to educate tourists about environmental issues and cultural awareness. An ecotourism camp, for example, aims to provide its customers with educational knowledge about conservation, sustainability, environmental policy, and environmental justice. These activities are part of an ecotourism policy called “fairtrade”. Ecotourism organizations work closely with local governments and other stakeholders to achieve sustainable tourism development. They also encourage consumers to take responsibility for their own eco-tourism. They remind tourists that their choices not only impact their pocketbook but the ecosystems that surround them.