How to Do Ecotourism. Ecotourism began in the 1990s and is now growing faster than the entire tourism industry. However, many people still don't know what ecotourism entails. It means traveling to natural places that actively protect the environment while bettering the lives of local people. With growing global concern, you can make responsible travel decisions with ecotourism.
Travel to ecotourism locations. In the United States, only Alaska, Hawaii, West Virginia and Virginia have active ecotourism groups. Sustainable National Parks include Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wisconsin), Great Basin National Park (Nevada) and the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (Alaska).
Look at giving your business to travel companies that address environmental factors.
Make travel plans that minimize the impact on the environment. Never buy products made from endangered animals. Explore alternative travel that avoids upsetting the environment.
Find out if the businesses you consider have an eco-label rating or have won eco-awards. This certification or proof demonstrates that a business is committed to the environment. Ask hotels about environmental policies and practices.
Look for ways to increase awareness of the environment and different cultures. Learn all you can about destinations. Ask yourself what you can do to benefit conservation efforts. Support efforts that use tourism dollars for conservation.
Use tour operators, transportation and accommodations that hire local people. This puts tourism dollars in the pockets of the people who need it most. Use local business whenever possible.
Promote sensitivity to the political, environmental, and social situations in other countries. You are a guest in that country and should act accordingly. Make an effort to learn the language. Dress and behave in a way that shows respect to the culture.