The aim of an ecotourist is to be a responsible and sustainable traveller. Most of the time they give more than they take from the destination they’re exploring. See yourself as one?
Whether you are – or not – there’s many ways you can benefit from following their ethos, while having a positive impact on the wildlife and nature you encounter.
It’s easy to be an ecotourist. Especially if you’re fond of wildlife and want to enhance your health on holiday. When planning a holiday include some of these things ecotourists do and you’ll help wildlife and nature, while enhancing your health in the process.
1: Fly less or fly direct
In 2020, air and rail trips emerged to challenge our dependency on flights. If you fly into Paris today and wish to take a short, internal flight you’ll need to travel by train. This change has been in place since December 2022 after being approved by the European Commission. It forms part of France’s Climate Law.
While you’re exploring France, any domestic flight that can be completed by train – within 2.5 hours or less – can’t be made by plane. This includes popular services, such as routes from Paris to Bordeaux, Lyon and Nantes.
With regards to direct flights, your journey will use much less carbon dioxide than two or more connecting flights. Also, a direct flight can be more inexpensive. Visit the FlightConnections website to find the best direct route for you. Engaging with a local community may be another inexpensive way to support the locals and your pocket…
2: An ecotourist engages with local communities
Look for small communities you can connect with outside a city. You can support them by taking part in conservation projects, purchasing items from a family-run business or helping out at a local beach clean up.
During this, you’ll gain a unique and in-depth perspective on that country. You may find yourself chatting with people who’ve lived there all their lives. This is how to learn more about a country’s culture – by immersing yourself in it.
On the other hand, if you can find an eco-hotel away from a city find time to explore the country’s natural environment. Some may offer tours and activities run by the locals, such as fly fishing, freshwater swimming, and yoga within the surrounding landscape.
3: Enjoy nature at a sustainable eco-hotel
A sustainable or eco-hotel means more than just being friendly to the natural environment. More and more eco hotels aim to train and employ local people to provide them with a stable income. So, to support local people while away, book into an eco-hotel in Asia, Africa or South America.
For instance, stay in a hotel, mountain lodge, or cabin in Costa Rica. Costa Rica takes sustainable tourism seriously. Its tourism board created the Certificate of Sustainable Tourism (CST) program for tourism companies. Each tourism company across Costa Rica must follow the sustainability model.
Overall, each company must focus on following the sustainability model. The model focuses on three essential factors – maintaining natural and cultural resources; enhancing the quality of life for local communities; and economic success.
4: Find solitude – immerse yourself in nature
Some of the most imaginative eco-hotels and retreats are designed for you to immerse yourself in nature to boost your mental wellbeing. Find one within a unique location that you’d never find at home – such as the Avana Retreat in Vietnam. When you’re within a lush or leafy location like this try the Japanese practice of forest bathing (Shinrin-Yoku), to establish a deep connection with your surroundings and enhance your mood.
If you’d prefer a destination in Europe, there are plenty to choose from. Try a meditation retreat on one of the Greek islands of Lefkada. Surrounded by mountains and the azure sea this blissful environment will give you an opportunity to focus on yourself as you breathe in the sea air, listen to nature, and observe the wildlife around you…
5: Go on a wildlife holiday
Wildlife tourism aims to stop all harmful activities by encouraging people who visit natural environments to celebrate animals – rather than engage in ways that would harm them. To celebrate and appreciate wildlife around the world, book a wildlife holiday to capture your favourite animals on camera.
Wildlife watching holidays – such as spotting friendly dolphins on a boat trip – can be immensly rewarding. On land, track sea turtles, rhinos, or the mighty mountain gorilla when visiting the depths of Rwanda. If you opt for this type of holiday, make sure that part of your fee goes towards funding the right rangers and top surveillance systems to ensure the animals remain safe from harm.
6: Plan a rewilding holiday in the UK
If you’d rather support rewilding and animals in the UK, book a tailormade rewilding holiday for an educational staycation. During this holiday you can learn how indigenous species, such as beavers and bison are being welcomed back into their habits across the UK by visiting reintroduction sites.
When booking a guide or meeting with an expert, you can see the positive impact conservation projects have had on the environment and wildlife too. For instance, learn how the rare large blue butterfly has emerged in Daneway Banks, Gloucestershire.
Other examples of rewilding include wildland projects, habitat restoration and breeding programs. Most can be seen while staying in nearby accommodation, within a nature reserve or national park like the Peak District.
7: An ecotourist finds opportunities to see more
Plan your own adventure by exploring a country by public modes of transport such as trains, ferries, open-top buses or river cruises. The benefit of river cruises and train holidays is that they’re a great way to enjoy a country’s natural landscape as you’re travelling through it. Not over or around it. In other words, embrace this new and growing travel trend called slow travel.
Travel Insurance for an ecotourist
Have we inspired you to travel like an ecotourist or adopt some of the activities they do on holiday? As you can see there are many ways you can have a positive impact on the wildlife and communities you encounter, while enhancing your health at the same time. Also, you don’t have to travel to far from home to do so.
Whatever you include in your next adventure and where you go take Free Spirit Travel Insurance to travel, with confidence.