Advantages of Eco-tourism for Travel Lovers: What Types Are There?
written by: Marina Hanes•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 2/22/2010
There are different types of eco-tourism, so if you're a travel lover, the advantages of eco-tourism are endless. In general, eco-tourism is a more purposeful type of traveling meant to increase your awareness of other cultures while keeping the natural ecosystem in tact. So where do you want to go?
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Opportunities for Eco-tourism
When you travel regularly, going to a brand new destination can be exciting, especially when it's considered uncharted territory in your book. The EcoTourism Society has defined eco-tourism as a more purpose driven traveling that doesn't effect the natural landscape and looks to understand the local culture. There are several advantages to eco-tourism including broadening your awareness, and depending on what you're looking to accomplish on your travels, it's beneficial to consider all types of eco-tourism.
There are opportunities for eco-tourism all over the world even in the United States and Canada, so you just have to choose the trips that will interest you the most and fuel your passions. For example, maybe you want to understand the Hawaiian culture, or you can go to a more remote location in Northern Panama where you can get to know the Naso People.
Other examples of places you can eco-tour include Mexico and Ladakh. In Mexico, you can explore the Yucatan jungle and learn about the Indian villages. Ladakh is near the Great Himalayan Mountains and the Karakoram in India. At this high altitude location, you can increase your knowledge of natural health, herbal plants, geology and metrology. When you're traveling with a purpose, you can stick to more commercial areas or go deeper into a country where not many choose to go.
Sometimes the best ways to find eco-tourism opportunities would be to contact conservation organizations or at least read their websites.
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Types of Eco-tourism
The main advantages of eco-tourism are environmental preservation and global awareness. Without these advantages, eco-tourism wouldn't be what it is. In addition, eco-tourism can also enrich your body, mind and soul, especially when you share the experience with a friend or family member. Below are some types of eco-tourism that you should consider checking out.
Agro-tourism (rural communities and agriculture)
Local tourism (local culture and heritage)
Pro-poor tourism (improving developing countries)
Whichever type of eco-tourism you decide to pursue, it's important that you remember the main purpose behind this type of traveling. Whichever adventure you decide to go on, plan your trip so that your impact on the environment is minimal. You don't want to pollute or contaminate the place you are eco-touring. Also, remember to keep an open mind throughout your travels so you can get to know your hosts and develop an appreciation for the new region and culture you have experienced. Although there are some disadvantages to eco-tourism, the advantages can really go the distance, particularly when you spread your positive eco-tourism stories with friends and family.
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UNESCO - http://www.unesco.org/education/tlsf/TLSF/theme_c/mod16/uncom16t03.htm
David Thyber: Advantages of Eco-tourism - http://www.travels.com/vacation-ideas/outdoors-adventure-vacations/advantages-ecotourism/
EcoTourism: A Review on the Different Types of Ecotourism - http://ecotourism-sites.blogspot.com/2007/07/review-on-different-types-of-ecotourism.html