The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as the “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” (TIES, 2015). Unfortunately, mass tourism can often be harmful to an environment. Even the most well intentioned travelers can unknowingly leave a negative impact on their destination, but these negative impacts can be avoided.
Ecotourism aims to redeem the tourism industry by developing appreciation for diverse cultures, creating incentives for conservation efforts, financially benefitting both local people and private companies, and educating travelers and host communities on the natural heritage of the environment.
Both the host and the traveler benefit from ecotourism. The traveler experiences a more authentic experience while being immersed in the host’s culture. Focus is directed to the people of an area and not just the beautiful sights or monuments. Additionally, hosts benefit from ecotourism while learning about the different cultures of the travelers, and they have an opportunity to show travelers what they love most about their home. Ecotourism creates sustainability for a region by creating jobs and promoting the wellbeing of the natural resources of an area, as well as its cultural heritage.
Environmentally minded and socially conscious travelers can engage in ecotourism by connecting with their destination through like-minded organizations. We’d love help you customize your own ecotour in Jordan, or we can introduce you to some of our friends in Jordan who are also engaged in authentic, immersive, eye-opening, sustainable travel.