Marine ecotourism: the most natural way to take vacation!

Definition of ecotourism.

Ecotourism, or ecological tourism, is a form of vacation where particular focus is given to ecological and social issues. It involves travels to special destinations where the environment presents a high value in flora or fauna or peculiar habitats.

Benefit of eco-tourism

Eco-tourism includes activities or programs of study or discovering of the local environmental reality, and to minimize the negative impacts of tourists on the environment. Where it is possible, ecological initiatives as recycling or alternative energy production are supported.

Many eco-tourism projects are focused in building environmental awareness and numerous of them provide directly financial funding for local conservation programs.

Normally, ecological tourism is very sensitive also to cultural aspects and to local population: it enhances the cultural integrity of local people as well as promotes the creation of economic opportunities for them. In several critical circumstances it supports also human rights and democratic movements. For this reason is included in the category of sustainable tourism.

But not everything that shines is gold!!

Advantages and disadvantages of eco-tourism

First of all, it is important to distinguish between ecological tourism and greenwashing, as it is called. This is a sort of tourism that, using the label of nature-friendly, promote instead activities based on destructive environmental practices, with high impact and low sustainability.

Moreover, ecological tourism itself could produce direct environmental impacts, as environmental degradation due to high impact infrastructures, or to the garbage accumulation in the area.

In many cases, ecological tourism activities as flora and fauna observation could cause direct disturbance to the wild animals, influencing also their vital activities as nesting or feeding. In other cases the continuous passage in a determinate trail could determine soil erosion or plant damage.

So, as it is suggested also by Wikipedia, it is very important when you chose your eco-tourism destination that it contains some important points:

* Involves travel to areas of naturalistic interest where flora, fauna or local community represent the main attraction.

* Minimizes impact on the environment promoting suitable use of biodiversity.

* Builds environmental awareness and enterprising where possible ecosystem or species protection.

* Provides direct financial benefits for the conservation of biological diversity.

* Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people.

* Respects local culture and indigenous peoples.

* Supports human rights and demographic movements, where needed.

But first of all, love and enjoy nature is the MUST in eco-tourism!

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