Ecotourism – What does the future hold?
My biggest passion is life is to travel and explore the world. The last 3 years it’s been my biggest hobby and I’ve been traveling once a month with everything from weekends in Europe to month long trips to Oceania and Central America. The number of flights I’ve takes has not gone my conscience by unnoticed.
Ecotourism is about traveling in a responsible way that protects and favour the nature, culture and locals of the destination. For me this should be the foundation of travel, not a niche of the industry.
When I travel I try to support the local businesses before the big international ones. I’d rather do a home stay than stay at a fancy hotell, and hostels or couchsurfing is to me my starting point when it comes to accommodation. And I rarely buy souvenirs that are bought in souvenir shops made in another part of the world for starvation pay. When I do buy souvenirs, it’s usually something handmade from a local that I meet. Actions and awareness like this makes sure that my money goes to the locals and the community and not to the giant multinational chains that keep the money to themselves, making it harder for locals to make a living.
What does the future hold?
My perception is that today’s tourists, and people in general, are becoming more aware about our impact of our environment.
Somewhere along the way the reason for travel seems to have gone off track. I feel like it for many people have more to do with getting a break from the working life and to get sunshine and heat, and has nothing to do with the actual destinations of where they’re going. The hotel resorts look all the same around the world, and some people never leave the resort, which makes the visit seem… Unnecessary to me. Sure, it gets them some vitamin D and time to relax, but it’s on the expense of the locals and their lands.
But I do feel very hopeful for our future. I feel especially hopeful for my generation. Young enough to still have hope. We want to save the world for our and our children’s future. We care. Growing up with the world being so close to us thanks to the internet. Other continents don’t seem as distant or strange to us as it might to those who grew up not knowing, seeing or hearing about distant lands.
The more people who take responsibility and share their knowledge, the more people will learn about it and hopefully want to do the same – to do what’s right.
The time of now and the future is a time of knowledge spreading fast and easy. It’s starting to be impossible to hide behind lack of knowing that you’re doing things that are bad. Just like no one can say that they think the meat industry is fair and that they have no problem with how the animals are treated – because everyone knows their life conditions are torturous and inhumane, the knowledge of how tourism can hurt the communities are spreading, and soon more people will want to get away from the hurtful ways of travel and to do it in a way that profits the nature and the locals, just as it should’ve been all along.
I feel hopeful. And I want to spread my knowledge, and I want to learn more about how to do right from other’s who know more about this.
What are your thoughts about this?
Have you learned anything new? Do you disagree on anything or do you want to add something?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below, I would love to know what you think!