The term ecotourism appeared in the 70’s, the exact definition is "environmentally friendly trips and visits to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature, promote conservation, have a low impact on visitors and allow for an advantageous and active socio-economic participation of local populations."
Whereas traditional tourism is often synonymous with pollution (tourists trample certain places, throw their garbage).
Today, many travellers are turning to this new form of tourism. The goal is for travellers to reduce pollution by respecting ecosystems and nature. Ecotourism intensified after the announcement of global warming, giving us a real awareness of the impact our carbon footprint is having on the earth.
Since then, several actions have emerged to counter the negative effects of travelling abroad. This tourism is focused mainly on volunteering, in places where the fauna and flora are still wild. And so this sustainable tourism has a beneficial impact on our environment, the people and also on the economy.
- Promotes environmental awareness among ecotourists and the local population
- Allows the creation of direct jobs, strong potential for links with other sectors of the local economy
- Stimulates the protection of the environment (protected areas) both formally and informally
- Encourages the restoration and conservation of modified habitats
- Enables the active participation of ecotourists in the development of the habitat (donations, maintenance of order, maintenance, etc)
There's also numerous organisations that were created to promote ecotourism, such as See The Wild, a website offering users different destinations around the world. You can choose the type of trip you want (family, cultural getaways, adventure or sunny holidays) at an affordable price.
This site aims to promote travel operators and non-profit organizations. They have several partners who:
- Support the conservation of wildlife
- Offer education and applied learning programs
- Reduce the environmental impact during operations
- Support local businesses
On the website, there is also a 'WildHope' category, which allows you to see and learn more about animals, their eating habits or simply about the release of animals that were held in captivity.
In addition, many organic hotels have developed in Germany, Austria and Italy. These hotels are committed to using organic products (food, cosmetics and local beverages) and to be respectful of the environment. They are also committed to producing a low carbon footprint.
Other companies have gone one step further to ensure that environmental concerns are taken seriously even when you are shopping in another country. Through the creation of Ecolabel you can now know which product has had a lower impact on the environment based on environmental criteria and performance criteria. A product must meet all these criteria in order to obtain the EU Ecolabel.
Moreover, you can even take ecologic planes. The plane would be responsible for only 2.5% of global emissions of greenhouse gases. Some airline companies have already been rewarded for lowering their CO2 emissions. For example, in 2012, German airline Air Berlin reduced its total CO2 emissions by more than 100,000 tonnes.