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Travelling as an eco-tourist brings with it the added responsibilities of  trying at every turn to eliminate or at the very least minimize impacts on the local environment, cultures and economies that would have a negative impact on the area you plan to visit.

Planning Your Trip

  1. Your choice of tour operators should be based on their philosophy on eco-guidelines and practices.
  2. Before leaving on your trip take the time to do a little research about the eco-destination you are interested in travelling to. Local libraries are an invaluable resource in terms of guidebooks to get you started.
  3. Research local customs, culture and history before leaving on your eco-trip. Even if you only learn enough of the local language to be polite, local people will appreciate the effort you have taken and your effort will go a long way to making your eco-trip more rewarding.
  4. Many times when vacationing tourists like to bring gifts to distribute to the local communities. Resist the urge to bring candy when thinking of what to pack to bring as gifts. Practical gifts such as pencils or pens are a much better choice if you are insistent on packing gifts. When possible have your guide or tour operator distribute these offerings to the local elders. This will discourage children of the community from begging.
  5. Gain as much knowledge as you can about the all important ecosystem wherever you travel to minimize your impact on the local environment.
  6. Keep in mind the carbon footprint you create when utilizing air travel to arrive at your eco-destination. Many times you have the opportunity to offset your carbon emissions by using companies that specialize in Carbon offsetting.

While You Are There

  1. Awareness of what local people consider acceptable clothing is very important when travelling. Do not assume that it is ok to photograph local people. Always ask first before snapping your photos. Common sense can go a long way in enjoying your trip. Take the time to observe first.
  2. As you are a visitor to wherever you are travelling it is imperative that you remember that what you deem as culturally acceptable may not and in most cases is not acceptable to the locals. Examples of this include: perceptions of time, what is acceptable in terms of personal space as well as having different forms of communication. Bear in mind that these differences are neither wrong nor of any less value, just that they are different from your perceptions. By keeping an open mind to new ideas and experiences you will enrich your holiday. 
  3. Your examples of responsible behaviour will go a long way in showing others in your group that you appreciate local customs and cultures.
  4. When ever possible promote local economies by patronizing transportation,restaurants hotels and markets that are locally owned and operated. 
  5. Many times bad feelings can be generated by you without you even being aware of what is happening. Many people in developing eco-economies do not appreciate tourists who openly display their wealth, i.e. high end camcorders, jewellery  etc. A little sensitivity on your part will go a long way in ensuring your enjoyment of your trip. 
  6.  Good Eco-tour guides and eco-tour operators will  indicate to you what their plans and guidelines are in respect to what tourism impact will have on their local environment. Many times these guidelines involve staying on only clearly marked trails when hiking. Another example of guidelines involve establishing minimum distances you can use to approach local wildlife.These guidelines are put in place to minimize your impact on local flora and fauna.  
  7. if approached during your vacation, never buy any animal products while travelling. It is also essential that you do not remove any objects, plants or animal products from nature. By doing so you can devastate a local ecosystem.
  8. Make an effort to conserve local resources. As ecotourism continues to grow in popularity ,pressure will only increase on resources such as food and water.
  9. Don't allow your guide to hunt endangered or threatened species or harvest rare plants for your consumption.
  10. Make every effort to conserve the environment, including the use of renewable resources in a sustainable manner and the conservation of non-renewable resources. 
If you have any tips or suggestions for eco-travelling, please do not hesistate to contact us at We would be more than happy to post your ideas  here

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