Besides having less of an impact on the planet when you travel, what exactly defines eco tourism?
According to the Centre for Ecotourism, Hector Ceballos-Lascurain created the term “eco tourism” in 1983 to mean “nature-based travel to relatively undisturbed areas with an emphasis on education.”
The term “eco” is a combination of three words environment, culture and oriented travel. The International Ecotourism Society says eco tourism can be defined as “responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people”. In short, ecotourism is an insightful, mindful and participatory travel experience to natural and cultural environments, assisting the well-being of the local cultures and environments for future generations. Eco tourism, however, is different from nature tourism because it puts more emphasis on conservation, education, traveler responsibility and active community participation.
As the first county in the US to ban genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Mendocino has long been recognized as eco-friendly and environmentally-oriented. Mendocino County has been at it so long say some, they have actually advanced living in harmony with the earth to the point where being green doesn’t forsake luxury.
Your next vacation can be as much about education as it is about relaxation.
In an attempt to reduce the suffering endured by animals used for tourist entertainment, the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has launched a new website, CompassionateTravel.org, which educates travelers on ways to make their trips animal-friendly.
“Many people may be aware that thousands of bulls are killed and maimed each year during bullfights, but most do not realize that donkeys, horses and elephants are sometimes forced to carry tourists for hours without food or water or that performing animals are often trained using cruel techniques,” says Dena Jones, WSPA’s U.S. programs director.
Travel networking site, TripSay.com has launched an eco-travel theme. The site’s co-founder Jussi Huotari (pictured right) says he believes eco-travel will continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of travel. The Dove wanted to know more, so headed straight to the source…
THE GREEN DOVE: What is your definition of eco-travel?
JUSSI HUOTARI: This is a very good question. At TripSay we think most definitions of eco-travel focus way too much on technology and arbitrary calculations, such as carbon footprints. We think eco-travel is traveling to see the natural wonders of the world. For example: you travel to the Great Barrier Reef to experience the clean waters, colorful corals, and a myriad of different fishes. The locals make their living out of the reef and it is in their best interest to maintain the reef vivid and lively to keep travelers coming back and telling their friends about the amazing underwater sceneries. An ecotraveler goes to places, where nature is not a resource but a value as such. In doing so, she enables the locals to make their living out of the nature in sustainable way. I wrote about this in my personal blog.
The InterContinental Hotels Group has received the Eco-lodging Award at the China Hotel Investment Summit. The award demonstrates an industry-wide recognition of the companys pioneering initiatives and long-term commitment to operating and maintaining sustainable hotels across the region.
The Award was created to honor operators and owners of existing environmentally friendly hotels and recently completed green hotel projects
Every element of this hotel, restaurant and spa is wrapped in an earth-friendly blanket of luxury. Secluded on five lush acres of gardens and vineyards, the 62-room hotel boasts a “green spa,” heated and cooled by an underground geothermal system, smart guestrooms in buildings crafted from hand milled, reclaimed wood and steel and 93-seat restaurant headed by Executive Chef Sean OToole, former group operations chef for Michael Mina. If approved, Bardessono would be the second U.S. hospitality entity to receive platinum certification and the first in California.