Sustainable Ecotourism…What is it and Why is it important?

What is ecotourism?
Ecotourism:
 Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.  It is a type of nature-based tourism that benefits local communities and destinations environmentally, culturally and economically.
In order to be a part of the ecotourist community businesses must meet a set of principles and execute them in a way that positively impacts the development of social and environmental tourism. 

Principles:
*Minimize Impact.
*Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
*Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
Raise sensitivity to host countries political, environmental and social climate.

Have you ever visited an established that participates in ecotourism?
 Who are ecotourists? Are you?

*Are you a responsible consumer interested in social, economic and environmental sustainability? 
 *Do you seek authentic local experiences and chances to give back to the community you visit? 
*Would you consider or do you volunteer while you vacation for the greater good of the local people?  
*Are you aware of the carbon footprint you create when traveling and do you seek to minimize it  by planning your trip wisely? 
If you answered yes to a few or all of these questions then you are or are on your way to being an ecotourist!!!

 Why is it important?

The positive contributions to the social, cultural, environmental and economic communities provide incentives for conserving and nurturing diversity and helps protect the natural and cultural heritage Earth offers.  When we make an effort to enhance the local communities it in turn empowers them to take a stand and fight their own poverty and work towards sustainable development.  Environmentally, the impacts of our efforts to conserve and enhance the biodiversity around us creates a healthier Earth.

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Check back tomorrow to find out what the best destinations are for ecotourism and how you can become a part of it!
  

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