According to Greenglobaltravel.com, “ecotourism” originated in the 1980s and umbrellas “green travel, nature travel, responsible travel, ethical travel, mindful travel, conscious travel, pro-poor tourism” – essentially travel that respects and helps maintain the integrity of the destinations. Megan Epler Wood, the co-founder of The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) and author of multiple books on ecotourism, defined it as ““Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.”
Ecotourism is not only traveling with a great appreciation of nature and eco-friendly initiatives (think bamboo straws and not flushing the toilet paper), but rather it must have an actual positive impact upon the people and environment of where it is you are going. Epler Wood continues to say “… But if a destination or business’ tourism development strategy does not actively provide concrete financial benefits for the indigenous people, it’s not truly ecotourism.” By supporting and empowering local people and initiatives, ecotourism not only gives back, it’s supposed to give more.
(Taken directly from the Imvelo Safari Lodges website:)
” ‘Ecotourism’ at Victoria Falls Retreats at Zambezi Sands River Camp – Imvelo Safari Lodges What is “Ecotourism”? Ecotourism focuses on socially responsible travel whereby portions of the funds generated from visitors are used to directly benefit and empower local communities and promote environmental sustainability.
“Game water supplies and our interactive ‘pump runs’ that involve guests directly, mobile dental clinics, village boreholes, water pumps, building schools and school libraries and providing educational aids… the list goes on. We have spent over 20 years creating symbiotic relationships between man and nature and we have at last formed some mutually beneficial relationships with our surroundings. You can become part of this by joining us on a safari of a lifetime.”
Sukha Yogi Retreats takes great pride in adhering to and choosing eco-conscious locations for holding retreats. As destinations are decided upon, ecotourism is held at the forefront of decisions. Through holding retreats at eco-conscious resorts and getaway locations, we are able to give back to the local community and help support the local economy. Tourism on the whole has had very negative impacts on locations across the world, and it is with great pride that we support these efforts through any and all means possible.