The eco-touristic way of travelling began to gain momentum in the late 1980s following the large environmental movement of the 1970s. The movement largely focused on the promotion of cleaner air and water alongside environmental threats – views that are still prominent within ecotourism today.
This specific form of tourism aims to involve visitors in the protection of wildlife and the environment. Over 41,000 species are now classified as endangered around the world and arguably, ecotourism proposes a way around the complete destruction of the natural landscape and environment when we travel. Eco-tourists are encouraged to visit the natural areas, and activities are often conducted to reverse the negative effects of tourism. These may include the option of helping to plant trees or ensuring the safety of wildlife.
Almost 8 billion ecotourism visits are made every year to varying sites and these visits turn over an amount of US$600 million. Within the UK, one of these sites is located on the Cornish coast; The Scarlet Hotel promotes an eco-way of living and offers eco-dining initiatives, as well as using biomass boilers.
This protection of the environment is hugely successful and the changing attitudes of the eco-tourists is staggering. A survey conducted by World First Travel Insurance in 2017 concluded that, out of 1,384 people, the top 3 most popular ways of travelling around whilst on holiday were: 38% on a bus; 29% hire car and 28% taxi. This is much better than the 6% who used planes as a method of travelling from one point to another whilst on holiday. These efforts all work towards the same goal as eco and sustainable tourism, travelling with a smaller carbon footprint and protecting the environment as you go.
Sustainable tourism is similar to ecotourism, however, instead of its primary focus being on the protection of wildlife and nature, its focus is on the reduction of our carbon emissions as we travel. The two strands of tourism often go hand in hand.
Travelling with the protection of our planet at the forefront of our thinking is one simple, easy and effective way to contribute to the reversing and lessening of the damages to our planet which, if we do not save, is expected to go beyond the point of no return in 2050. Think about your travel plans, think about eco and sustainable tourism as an option. Think about 2050.
Thea, Head of Poore Company
Martin Shields / Photo Researchers / Universal Images Group