As an eco-
traveller it is your responsibility to prevent or minimise any negative
impacts on the environment, local community and economy of the
destination you are visiting. Our aim is to provide guidelines that will
help you to remember the principles of ecotourism throughout your trip.
Before you go
Choose your travel
provider on the basis of their eco principles and practices.
about the destination you are visiting by reading guidebooks and travel
Be aware of local
history, culture and customs of the locals before arriving. Learn enough
knowledge of the language to be polite i.e. hello, please and thankyou.
By making the effort to learn even the basics it will be appreciated by
locals; and enrich your experience.
When packing, if
you want to bring gifts for local people in developing countries don't
give sweets; instead bring clothes and pens, and ask your tour operator
or driver to give them to community elders so that you don't encourage
begging from children. learn about the vital eco-systems before
During your Stay
Be sensitive to the
local culture by wearing clothing that is accepted. Be aware of people's
sensitivity to being photographed; always ask first. Observe local
Remember that you
are a visitor and therefore be aware that your cultural values may differ
from those of the locals. This may include different concepts of time,
personal space, communication etc. which are not wrong or inferior, just
responsible behaviour to other travellers who are less informed than you
by acting as an example.
transportation, guides, inns, restaurants and markets to benefit the
Be sensitive to
displays of wealth in front of people from developing countries. By
displaying possessions such as cameras and jewellery, feelings of
jealousy may be created which then generates barriers that inhibit
genuine interactions between travellers and locals.
Ask your tour
operator or guide what their established environmental guidelines are for
limiting and improving tourist impact on the environment and local
culture. General guidelines involve staying on trails, maintaining set
distances away from wildlife, and not encouraging drivers to move too
close to wildlife, even if it is tempting for getting a better picture.
international environmental conventions. Do not buy any animal products
while travelling. Do not remove any objects, plants or animal products
from nature. Not only can these affect fragile ecosystems, but is also
Be aware of resource shortages such as water and food as many tourist
destinations are under increasing pressure.
Don't allow your
guide to hunt endangered or threatened species or harvest rare plants for
to conserve the environment, including the use of renewable resources in
a sustainable manner and the conservation of non-renewable resources.
Continue with your
commitment to conservation at home by incorporating it into everyday
life. Support organisations or societies that follow eco-principles and
share your experiences with others with the goal of increasing awareness
of environmental issues.
guidelines should be followed by all eco-travellers. However by choosing
a tour operator through EcoTour Directory, a small part of the work has
been done for you as the eco-policies of every listed operator has
already been reviewed; and is displayed for you to read about.
encouraging the tourism industry to comply with these policies on a
local, regional and national level the aim is to restructure the tourism
industry into making a positive impact towards environmental
sustainability, economic sustainability for all stakeholders and
the preservation of culture. By choosing only travel providers that hold
eco-principles, the rest of the tourism industry will be forced to follow
due to the power of consumer demand