Magazine: Ecotourism

Nowadays, many of us try to live in a way that will damage the environment as little as possible. And we want to take these attitudes on holiday with us. Ecotourism is becoming more popular.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercise.

Imagine the scene. You're sitting in the hot sunshine beside the swimming pool of your international luxury hotel, drinking your imported gin and tonic. In front of you is the beach, reserved for hotel guests, with motor boats for hire. Behind you is an 18-hole golf course, which was cleared from the native forest and is kept green by hundreds of water sprinklers. Around the hotel are familiar international restaurant chains and the same shops that you have at home. You've seen some local people – some of them sell local handicrafts outside the hotel. You bought a small wooden statue and after arguing for half an hour you only paid a quarter of what the man was asking. Really cheap!

Is this your idea of heaven or would you prefer something different?

Nowadays, many of us try to live in a way that will damage the environment as little as possible. We recycle our newspapers and bottles, we take public transport to get to work, we try to buy locally produced fruit and vegetables and we stopped using aerosol sprays years ago. And we want to take these attitudes on holiday with us. This is why alternative forms of tourism are becoming more popular all over the world.

But what is ecotourism?

There are lots of new forms of tourism: responsible tourism, alternative tourism, sustainable tourism, nature tourism, adventure tourism, educational tourism and more. Ecotourism probably involves a little of all of them. Everyone has a different definition, but most people agree that ecotourism must:

  1. conserve the wildlife and culture of the area
  2. benefit the local people and involve the local community
  3. be sustainable, that is, make a profit without destroying natural resources
  4. provide an experience that tourists want to pay for.

So, for example, in a true ecotourism project, a nature reserve allows a small number of tourists to visit its rare animals and uses the money that is generated to continue with important conservation work. The local people have jobs in the nature reserve as guides and wardens, but also have a voice in how the project develops. Tourists stay in local houses with local people, not in specially built hotels. This way they experience the local culture and do not take precious energy and water away from the local population. They travel on foot, by boat, bicycle or elephant so that there is no pollution. And they have a special experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

This type of tourism can only involve small numbers of people, so it can be expensive. But you can apply the principles of ecotourism wherever you go for your holiday. Just remember these basic rules:

  • Be prepared. Learn about the place that you're going to visit. Find out about its culture and history. Learn a little of the native language, at least basics like 'please', 'thank you', and 'Good morning'. Think of your holiday as an opportunity to learn something.
  • Have respect for the local culture. Wear clothes that will not offend people. Always ask permission before you take a photograph. Remember that you are a visitor.
  • Don't waste resources. If the area doesn't have much water, don't take two showers every day.
  • Remember the phrase 'Leave nothing behind except your footprints and take nothing away except photographs.' Take as much care of the places that you visit as you take of your own home. Don't buy souvenirs made from endangered animals or plants.
  • Walk or use other non-polluting forms of transport whenever you can.
  • Be flexible and keep a sense of humour when things go wrong.
  • Stay in local hotels and eat in local restaurants.
  • Buy local products whenever possible and pay a fair price for what you buy.

Choose your holiday carefully. Don't be afraid to ask the holiday company about what they do that is 'eco'. Remember that 'eco' is very fashionable today and a lot of holidays that are advertised as ecotourism are not much better than traditional tourism.

But before you get too enthusiastic, think about how you are going to get to your dream 'eco' paradise. Flying is one of the biggest man-made sources of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Friends of the Earth says that one return flight from London to Miami puts as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the average British car driver produces in a year. So don't forget that you don't have to fly to exotic locations for your 'eco' holiday. There are probably places of natural beauty and interest in your own country that you've never visited.



Language level

Advanced: C1


I think it is an absurd idea, we can not say waow.. to each and every thought. Economy of many countries based on tourism. If tourists will not travel by planes for the sake of not emitting carbon dioxide., how these countries will survive

I have never read this kind of article or idea before. Such a great idea. It is indispensable for the creator of this article to share or make this article popular more and more so that people can undersand the idea of Ecotourism. This is just a great idea. People must choose their destinations in a way which could save earth. In this way, people will become jubilent and the journey will be memorable for the people. Moreover, it will give benefit to the earth as well as people , ofcourse. It will also help in the developnment of the place where the person has visited. There is a need to promote these kind of articles to the enormous people. Great points are written as using non polluting mode of transport, wearing clothes which would not offend local people living there, etc. I have also travelled to different place in my country as well as outside my country but never thought about this idea. But, from now, I will make a habit of following these rules whenever I travel. However, a colossal number of people have no idea about these rules. It must be promoted more and more in order to enrich the journey and make more memories.

ups sorry, i wanted to say "must be", and reduce their pollution.

Hi everyone, i honestly think that the article says what "most be", but actually it is not. Many people travel by airplanes; and more, in our own houses we spend resources needlessly and also cause pollution by using industrial products, gas, too much wáter, and throwing away bags, packages, etc. I propose to use non-disposable articles and ask factory owners to reduce its pollution.

(Ideally, a holiday in line with the principles of ecotourism is sustainable. )
I could not understand the sentence.

Hello m7am_medo,

You can find the meaning of most of the words in a dictionary (for example, 'ideally'). Basically, it says that in the best cases, a holiday that is created with the principles of ecotourism is sustainable.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Why is the answer False?

Hi bootstirol,

It's false because of the third point in the definition of a holiday in line with the principles of ecotourism must be sustainable. If we say that a holiday 'ideally' is sustainable, that means it is not necessary, whereas 'must' indicates that it is necessary.

Does that make sense?

Happy trails!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

We my wife and l usually open the bike season. It happens in the summer. We travel along forest trails and have already seen a rare bird. Traveling alone can watch animals violating their. Ecotourism is good!

They travel on foot, by boat, bicycle or elephant so that there is no pollution.
Travveling on a elephants is ecotourism?
People should be more aware about the abuse of elephants. More and more travel compagnies say no to elephant rides and with good reason. .It seems to me that sustainable elephant-friendly tourism is more like eco tourism. Not to ride one.