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Ecotourism and Nature tourism



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Ecotourism websites directory  


Ecotourism Organisations:
General Eco-sites
Tour organisers and information sites
  • Green-club.fr - French ecotourism portal, with maps and information. A directory of ecotourism sites and rural accommodation.
  • Green Path Transfers  + A global, eco-friendly airport transfer and ground transportation network operational in a growing number of destinations around the world in partnership with local operators committed to environmental sustainability.
  • Leap Local + Leap Local seeks to connect the traveller to the local, enabling the communities that you visit to benefit from your travels.
  • Long-distance hiking trails in France, with map  +  information from About-France.com
  • Nature tours New Zealand + Tours off the beaten track and avoiding commercial traps. Small groups. Friendly guides. 
  • SouthernUplandWay ~  Information for the preparation of  walking holidays across Southern Scotland.
  • Wild Earth Adventures - Adventure Holidays Canada, Wilderness tours and Eco tours.
  • World Outdoor Web  -  Dedicated to the world of outdoor sports, travel and adventure.
Eco-lodges - nature tourism: Voluntary work abroad
  • Unity Charitable Trust, + is a registered N.G.O. based in Virudhunagar, Tamil Nadu, India combining cultural tour and community work opportunity for volunteers from abroad.
  • VSO + Voluntary Service Overseas - UK NGO which is the world’s leading independent international development charity working through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries

What is ecotourism?  

Tourism is one of the world's biggest industries, and it's one that is particularly important for the development of many areas and regions even within the developed countries. Rural areas, sparsely populated areas, poor countries, often offer little in the way of economic opportunities to local people, and this can lead to economic migration, loss of services and general decline. Tourism is one industry that can stop this decline.
     However, in order to contribute to the regeneration or the conservation of such areas, tourism needs to be conducted in a responsible manner. Mass tourism can lead to the destruction of the very resources that tourists initially came to enjoy; clean beaches, local cultures, beautiful environments, an escape from the rat-race of modern urban living. Just look at the terrible environmental damage that has been inflicted by the tourist industry on much of the Mediterranean coast of  Spain - a jungle of motorways, tower-blocks, fast-food outlets and golf courses that are rapidly draining the subterranean water tables on which the region has survived for thousands of years. This is unsustainable tourism at its worst.
     Ecotourism - also known as green tourism or nature tourism - is not just tourism for bird-watchers or going hiking in a national park; it is tourism designed and managed to ensure that tourists contribute positively to local economies (instead of being of most benefit to big hotel companies and tour operators based in the cities of the industrialsed nations of the world), and that their impact on the local environment is positive or at least neutral, rather than negative. It means hiking, cycling tours, using existing infrastructure, buying products and services locally in the community, helping to conserve rural areas and local heritage; it means respecting natural environments, avoiding waste and damage.

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