Derived from the word, tourism, ecotourism means, responsible way of traveling to the natural areas. Moreover, ecotourism means the kind of traveling where you support the flora, fauna as well as the local economy. Ecotourism or eco-friendly tourism has attempted to minimize the adverse impact on the environment. Moreover, it has proved to be ecologically sound and avoided the negative impacts of large-scale tourism. Let us read further about eco-friendly tourism and the benefits it has.
In the mid-1960s, the term ‘ecotourism’ appeared in the Hetzer(1965), who identified the four main principles of responsible tourism. Which were, minimizing environmental impacts, respecting host cultures, maximizing the benefits to local people, and maximizing tourist satisfaction. Within the womb of the environmental movement in the 1970s and 1980s, ecotourism developed.
Seeking solitude with nature, driven by the pressures of urban living have encouraged people to escape to nature. However, eco-friendly tourism has many dimensions to it. Not every form of traveling to the natural areas comes under ecotourism. Therefore, these major points differentiate any nature-based tourism from ecotourism. The activities that depend on nature, which are enhanced by nature and for which the natural setting is incidental.
However, the characteristic of eco-friendly tourism is to travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas. Tourism causes environmental damage. Therefore, ecotourism minimizes the adverse effects of hotels and other infrastructures. Also, ecotourism educates both, the tourist as well as the residents of the host community. It also provides financial benefits for the conservation as well as to the local people, therefore, empowering them. Ecotourism is also less culturally intrusive and exploitative than conventional tourism. Therefore, it teaches you to respect the local culture.