As much as we love to travel the world and experience its beauty, some of this travel can be harmful to nature and all that live in it. Ecotourism is a way to experience the wonders of the world without challenging the locations way of life.
Defined as “responsible travel” to areas of the world that “conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people and involves interpretation and education,” many people are embracing this holistic travel experience.
In hopes to sustain the elegance of nature and the locations culture, the industry of ecotourism has reached all corners of the globe. The goal: provide visitors with an amazing, “green” vacation experience and bring the area financial benefits while expanding environmental and cultural respect.
Traveling in the ecotourism industry have come a long way in a short time. It wasn’t too long ago that a “green” travel experience would find you sleeping in a yurt and foregoing indoor plumbing. These eco-friendly travel options, below, are among the many worldwide that are bringing environmentalism in travel to a more sophisticated, even luxurious level.
Responsible Romance. Lovebirds of all ages and income levels are seeing the appeal of enjoying nature’s solitude together. At the 35+ Six Senses Spas and Resorts around the world, an eco-friendly retreat for two doesn’t have to mean sleeping outdoors and living out of a backpack. The luxurious accommodations are as cushy as a traditional spa, but come without environmental guilt due to the resorts’ focus on water conservation, all-natural treatments, renewable energy and on-site organic gardens.
Affordable Agritourism. For those whose budgets are a bit smaller than their travel aspirations, a number of well-regarded working ecotourism opportunities may be the answer. One such program is World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, which provides travelers the chance to stay on organic farms around the world in exchange for their labor. It probably not be for everyone, but imagine harvesting organic grapes in the scenic Italian wine country for only the cost of your transportation and a small registration fee. If you’re able-bodied and short on cash, there are worse ways to travel.
Family Friendly. There are plenty of eco-friendly resorts and destinations worldwide that cater to families, but Kingfisher Bay Resort in Australia is among the top picks, if only for location alone: the Great Barrier Reef. This is arguably one of the world’s greatest environmental treasures. With tons of wildlife; a kids’ club for the little ones; activities for older kids, teens and tweens; and a variety of family-friendly meal and program options, there’s something for everyone at this eco-tourist’s haven.
Green and Galactic. Of course, you could always celebrate the Earth by viewing it from above. Virgin Galactic’s space tourism program will not only give you the chance to see the planet from a whole new angle, but will also do so in an environmentally responsible way. By using cleaner technology, such as air launch systems and hybrid fuel mechanisms, to power their spacecraft, Virgin Galactic tries to reduce their impact on the Earth – even as they soar above it.