As tourism trends are increasingly abundant, Ecotourism seems to be on its way to becoming a mainstay for travel enthusiasts. This buzzword turned global movement is a mutually beneficial revolution to our current traveling zeitgeist. As the long-term effects of globalization are widely apparent, this seems to be an ideal green makeover for the tourism and travel sector.
So, what exactly is Ecotourism?
Think of it as an organic option of big business tourism- a sort of anti-capitalistic option that encourages tourism revenue to profit more environmentally beneficial causes. Contributing to sustainability goals seems to be a benchmark of this alternative twist to traditional travel. Whether volunteering to help with trail maintenance on a hiking trip or visiting a highly undisturbed natural attraction, Ecotourism builds on the platform of developing traveling habits that ensure the existence of these remarkable locations for generations to come.
This Costa Rica-born alternative to mass tourism travel comes in many flavors, but generally has a green focus as well as an emphasis on traveler education as encouragement for personal growth and raising awareness of the importance and relevance of this movement. Although this is also a popular option on an international scale, by nature of definition Ecotourism encourages the avoidance of environmentally detrimental travel.
Fortunately, we offer plenty of incredible options right here in the states. Although many Americans have already unknowingly participated in this movement while traveling domestically, our generation is known for diving head first into a destination abroad before they have fully experienced their own backyard.
The majority of our ideal Ecotourism options are out west- specifically Alaska and Hawaii. These two states have countless options for Ecotourism, which may seem obvious considering their reputation for incredible natural attractions. Alaska boasts unique wildlife experiences including anything from fishing for wild salmon or guided outdoor excursions. Hawaii offers a wide array of beach water sports, but also prides itself in its cultural options such as dance lessons and unique culinary experiences. Both states take very seriously their creation of a sustainable tourism industry as these attractions play an integral part in their economies. Therefore, both states take very seriously the existence of eco-friendly options and the maintenance of this lifestyle in their communities.
The west of the contiguous U.S. also has quite a plethora of options considering it’s diverse geographical characteristics. Some specific states well known for their numerous Ecotourism options include Montana, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Maine and Texas have also received honorable mentions in this category.
As tempting as it may be to venture to an international Ecotourism attraction, don’t forget to consider investing in sustainable options close to home. If you’re aiming to be especially eco-friendly consider traveling exclusively by train, as studies have shown this mode of transportation to be the least environmentally detrimental.