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


Hi everyone  :-)

It  gives me a sense after reading, we should protect life enviroment I agree !
But I can't imagine travel around world by bike or go on food. Maybe some of you will thinking I am strange but when I go somewhere I want to stay in perfect Hotel not in cabin with rednecks and milking cow. :-D  Things like learn new words in abroad and respect their relations and culture is interested me. My mind is always open....

Traveling is a part of our life. Ecotourism is responsible traveling to protected areas. It is a opportunity to learn something new and spend beautiful holiday at once. We can learn about history or observe the nature. We can protect our planet and at the same time we can explore interesting places. In my opinion, it is better spend holiday by traveling than sitting at hotel swimming pool.

Ecotourism seems like a great idea. It's healthy for nature and for you as well. You can travel by bike, by boat or just on foot. You will experience more adventure and fun without burdening the environment.That's great. It is boring to eat in restaurants, it is better to try the local cuisine. I try to ecotourism and I will not hesitate to recommend it to friends.

The ecotourism is very interesting. But it is not for everyone. Somebody prefer relaxing by the sea or visiting popular building. Life on farm can be difficult. You must geting up very soon, you must make hard work. But in ecotourism we can learn many news. We can changed our life and be better to environment. It's very different tourism but it's good for your character.

Protect the countryside is very important. I admire people who is interested of ecoturism and who can realize it. But I am not one of them. I wont visit very much places and sights. I must use bus or plane or car to do it. BUt on holiday we was in Mohelnice, we go there by car, but there we go to shop and trip only by bike all week. 

Hi guys :)
Ecoturism is very beautiful idea but i think thats a little complicated. For example I wanna go to Brazil. May I go by bicykle? Definitely not. Plane is indeed better choice. I know sometimes Ecouturism could be a very good change it´s romantic, other than stay at the sea, adventure,... Definitely I want to try it one day :) I think It´s very important project nowadays because our planet is polluted a lot.

After reading this article I thought about Ecotourism and I see it as very good and important idea for our world. Our world and a nature is in horrible condition now and this type of tourism can help to give better condition. I know that it´s not always possible because when we want go abroad over ocean, so it is better take a plane in my opinion. What do you say on it? I think Ecotourism helps more to enjoy a trip, for example when we take bikes or by foot.

hi friends!!This artikel was very good!!I`ve already learnt about it at mine universitat.
I had a experience about living whit the local people.I and my friends have remained a few hours in the home of a shepherd and we have drunk whit him a glass of tea in a cold weather!!it was very good!!

The article was interesting , I learned new things , I must go first to my local area , respect the others culture and save recourses

now, i have deeper understanding of ecotourism. As a concern citizen of my country (Philippines), I would love to share this very important information to my family members and relatives and if possible, also to my friends specially those who love to travel.