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 the article explains very well the ecotourism term, because first says the meaning, then the article describe the many ways for do ecotourism such as don't damage the environment or local culture with the tourism, to learn to respect with local people and the place, the ecotourism gives us amazing and unique experiences, and the most important: to help economic to the community with our consume. But still nowadays practice this new form tourism is difficult for the companies and government, tourist and local people, in my opinion this happens because everyone we must be responsible with the environment and future and many people don't do it. however the ecotourism is the best way to start to take care with the earth. Finally I agree with the article, the activities proposed are good, they are truth they are eco friendly. 

From my poin of view the ecotourism is a very important part of the tourism, because nowadays the sustainability is a term use in all over the world,but ít´s a recent term because the people in the past thought the resorces never end, but t ...oday is clear that the people was wrong and start the concern for the environment and this way born the ecotourism and all kind of tourism ecofriendly. The article encourange us to do a responsable tourism and are very good ideas. I think is almost imposible practise a sustainable tourism because unfortunately the economic part is more important than the environmental, but we, as tourists can contribute to do responsable activities to involve the local people and environmental and as profesional people help to design sustainable strategies for new destinations and help to fix other from pollution and we can try to be ecofriendly when we travel.

From my point of view approaches ecotourism should contain social, economic and environmental factors to make a good project that benefits the local community.
I think the big companies and the government seek the return on such projects, but forget the most important thing is the welfare of the community and environmental protection.
To make an ecotourism project must follow an appropriate methodology to manage and monitor is feasibility and viability.

I agree with article, because is important to protect the earth and all the resources. Many people still do not understand that ecotourism is a way to earn income and care for the environment, nature and the local community. Therefore it is necessary to implement measures to raise awareness of conservation rules and who are interested in visiting places ecological, thus obtaining new experiences so thoroughly aware of ecotourism. I hope that many tourism graduates are more interested in doing research or articles on this topic. IRIS SUAREZ. GasTur D2

hi. my name is Isabel Sanchez Garduño.
in my opinion in this article, tanks about the different ways in which tourism today is more popular in terms of nature. I'm totally agree to what he says, too speaking to that projects tourism has big number of tourism equalities that having the tourists and visitors.
The article to refers to experiences, services, pollution, and the awareness they have to achieve conservation.
Also speaks of the basic rules of environmental protection, starting with their language, industries, hotels, restaurants and traditional tourism and new forms of tourism such as:
responsible tourism
alternative tourism
sustainable tourism
adventures tourism
education tourism and finally ecotourism

hi every body:
I am a tourism student, in my opinion this is an article very interesting and the topic of these days.
Its very important to create a culture of environmental stewardship and very successful and I think the fact of creating a service hotels that provide the environment in mind.
In general is a lecture educational and very easy to understand.

Tourism is improving nowadays, and ecoturism has been increasing due to people is becoming more and more aware about taking care of our world. The fact that many people is thinking about traveling in a green way is a big achievement because with so many negative natural changes in the world this kind of things are necessaries.

I’m agree with the article, I think that tourism must change the way in which it is developed, I mean, trying to find sustainable alternatives, in this case Ecotourism. In my country –Colombia- there are many different natural paradises, such as, the Chicamocha National Park, The Cocuy,, Amacayacu Park and many others. I expect to visit all this natural paradises always having being conscious about preserving the environment.

Very good article!Balancing ecosystem is very important nowadays.There are many good ideas in this article.But some tourisms  have hidden aims.