What is ecotourism and how can I care for the planet while vacationing?
This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Travel consumption habits are changing, and we are increasingly aware of the mark we leave on the environment. People are concerned about the potential impact of their activities on the planet while traveling and wonder how they can take care of it.
What is ecotourism?
A number of travel trends have arisen over the last few years such as ecotourism and regenerative tourism, with the end goal of preserving and conserving the environment. According to a survey done by the students of the UAB and IATI Master’s Degree in Travel Journalism, 8 in 10 young people are worried about tourism’s potential impact on the planet.
Ecotourism encourages specific practices and values to incentivize environmentally-responsible trips, i.e., trips that respect both the destination’s natural surroundings and the local community.
What are the primary characteristics of ecotourism?
- Caring for and preserving the destination’s ecosystem, flora, and fauna.
- Environmental awareness and education.
- Respecting local communities and their traditions.
- Supporting local businesses.
It should be noted that ecotourism offers huge advantages that boost individual and collective quality of life:
- It benefits health, as it promotes the consumption of organic products and activities and sports in nature.
- It teaches ethical values that foster the well-being of the local people and their traditions, caring for the region’s nature and culture and preserving local resources. In the words of the Eco-Bay Foundation, “Understanding, respecting, and loving the forms of life and the nature around us is the only way to make a sustainable lifestyle possible.”
- It raises awareness and offers advantages for society as a whole. Protecting nature means protecting our home, our resources, and future generations’ quality of life.
How can I look after the health of the planet on my next trip?
To help you with this goal, we’ve created the #Weareecocentric movement and 10 commandments you can easily follow to protect the planet. Here are the commandments!
Ecotourism vacation destinations
The Riviera Maya is an ancient destination where history, tradition, and biodiversity abound.
It is also surrounded by the white sand beaches and waters of the Caribbean Sea, as well as ocean floors with natural treasures like reefs, turtles, colorful fish, and other spectacular species.
When you visit the region, you can also work with foundations and programs that protect the environment, including the Eco-Bay Foundation, founded in 1999 and promoted by Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts. It leads nature preservation actions such as one of the largest sea turtle protection operations in the state of Quintana Roo; flora rescue with a nursery where protected species can reproduce; nature walks for travelers; and environmental education activities for hotel guests. Watch the video below to learn more about the foundation
Where can I stay?
Bahia Principe Grand Tulum Hotel was recently renovated with designs inspired by the nature, roots, and origins of Maya culture. It is on the beaches of Tulum and has a special “Zamá Fun Area” with Eco-Bay Foundation activities for kids.
You can also book excursions to discover the surrounding area: the island of Cozumel, the Maya ruins of Coba, Tulum, Chichen Itza, and the underwater jungle, or explore the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, the third largest reserve in Mexico, protecting more than 500 hectares of ecosystems, 800 species of plants, and 360 species of birds and other animals.