ecotourism, as well as other forms of sustainable tourism such as responsible
tourism, community tourism and fair tourism, is wanted as an alternative to
mass tourism, this form of tourism that involves large masses of tourists,
activities and products marketed and controlled by tour operators. Ecotourism
rather seeks to minimize the negative impacts of tourism on ecosystems and
communities. This tourism form has grown to become an important economic
activity, supported by governmental bodies and many tourism agencies, worldwide.
Well, that's all well and good, but how does this translate once on the field? How and where can we practice ecotourism, or any form of responsible tourism?
A few tips
1 – First be aware of your surroundings.
Our beautiful planet is not a trash can, and resources, even renewable, may be jeopardized. Choose your accommodation according to its environmental qualities. Solar energy is used? Good! The vegetables from the restaurant come from their organic garden? Perfect! Part of their income is used to help reforest an area that really needs it? We love! Remember that a healthy environment is nicer than a place having bad environmental conditions. Who does not love to wake up to birdsong, near a (healthy!) beautiful river or forest?
2 - Focus on local populations.
A journey is a thousand times nicer when it has contacts with local people! Open your eyes, ears, and learn. There are so many traditions and knowledge to observe in the world! A recipe here, a construction there ... And it's even better if the income of your accommodation benefit the village. Get involved in a local entrepreneurial project, while you are there! You'll be a positive vehicle for change wherever you will go.
3 - Choose your destinations wisely.
There are more than one ecolodge or village accommodation in the world. There is something for every taste, for every budget, on all continents! There are also organizations that are there to help you in your choices, led by the desire to do things well and to contribute to sustainable development, one village at a time. And it is here that we give you our favorite lodging ideas or organizations that contribute to responsible tourism!
Quebec (and Quebec City): Village Monde, a new social innovation business in the village tourism sector, doing the connection between travelers and village destinations around the world. The collaborative platform was launched in December and bookings will be available in March!
And there are plenty more! Simply go out to get some information and keep your critical sense in mind to find the perfect destinations... have a nice trip, responsible people!