Most Popular Eco-Tourism Destinations To Experience in 2023
These days, people are more aware of their carbon footprint than ever before. The average consumer wants to support businesses that promote sustainability while making healthy, eco-friendy practices in their travel choices. While traveling isn’t often considered as being all that “green,” eco-tourism is becoming more popular, and it’s a great way to see the world if you’re concerned about your personal sustainability efforts.
Eco-tourism refers to any form of sustainable travel that focuses on visiting natural environments. While there, your goal should be to educate yourself and learn what you can do to help and protect those environments. According to Sustainable Travel International, travel and tourism contribute to 8% of carbon emissions throughout the world. Sustainable travel can change that and can improve global awareness of how to protect and preserve our natural environments.
Let’s take a closer look at eco-tourism, and some of the top destinations you can visit in the coming year to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, greener future.
Iceland is known for its natural beauty. Almost anywhere you go in the country, you’ll be met with incredible scenery. However, heading to Þingvellir is the best way to experience eco-tourism within the country. The volcanic island features hot springs, geysers, and so much more.
Most importantly, the park is maintained by Iceland’s environmental agency. They use sustainable resources and offer eco-friendly advice to visitors. You can take those tips home with you, and educate others on what they can do to use more sustainable resources to protect these natural wonders.
New Zealand is a popular travel destination for people who want a luxury vacation, but it’s also a wonderful way to see the undisturbed landscape of Tongariro National Park. Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction many people refer to as “Mordor,” thanks to its use in the Lord of the Rings film. But, it’s a perfect example of a destination that can be viewed and experienced without ruining the natural ecosystem. Even if you’re going as a movie buff, it’s impossible not to appreciate the serene beauty the park provides, and understand why it’s so important to protect it.
Costa Rica is another popular tourist destination, known for things like:
You can enjoy these natural wonders while respecting the environment — especially if you visit Monteverde Cloud Forest. You’ll find incredible adventures like ziplining and kayaking while enjoying native plants and animal species.
While the Galapagos Islands are famous for their lizards, there’s so much more to experience — especially from a “green” point of view. Tourism is strict on the islands because they’re so invested in their delicate ecosystem.
Take the time to learn more about how you can respect that system, and what you can do from afar to protect it, even after you arrive home. But, make sure to immerse yourself in the natural beauty while you’re there. Places like Punta Suarez, Bachas Beach, and Rabida Beach are all fantastic locations for taking photographs. By capturing the beauty of the islands on your phone or camera, you can show your family and friends back home exactly why it’s so important to protect those places.
Norway might not be a tropical travel destination, but it’s a great one for eco-tourism. Visiting Geirangerfjord is a wonderful way to experience the country’s natural beauty, including stunning waterfalls along the roads.
This particular area of the country is working to become a certified Sustainable Destination. It’s Norway’s highest standard for sustainability, and there are strict qualifications to become certified. While it’s not the only place in the country working on certification, it’s one of the most notable, so you can feel good about visiting and knowing you’re doing your part to promote healthy, eco-friendly tourism.
While Kenya might not be as openly popular as some of the other destinations listed here, it’s a wonderful place to visit. Kenya is home to multiple National Parks, and about 8% of its land is protected for wildlife conservation. Consider going on a safari or working with a guide to learn more about the wildlife in the area and what you can do to help — even from a different country. Neighboring Tanzania is another great option for an eco-friendly visit. The country is making huge strides in sustainability, and the more you learn about their efforts the more you can support them to inspire other areas of the African continent to do the same.
Why Is Eco-Tourism Important?
Whether you’re new to the idea of eco-tourism or you simply want to make it a priority in the new year, it’s essential to know why it’s so important for the global ecosystems of today and the future.
Eco-tourism supports more positive connections to the communities we travel to. When you’re visiting different countries with sustainability in mind, you’re more likely to make healthier choices while you’re there. Those healthy, green choices can impact your entire life and make it easier to build healthy habits. If you’re new to eco-tourism, consider taking a yoga or meditation retreat to one of the places listed above. It can be a great way to “find” yourself and learn more about why the beauty of the natural world is so important.
Of course, eco-tourism isn’t just good for your individual health, it’s better for the state of the planet. It helps to reduce carbon emissions that can contribute to global warming. Focusing on sustainable travel options can even help with energy conservation.
People make changes to their travel behaviors when they craft their own views about what’s important. Eco-tourism is a fantastic way to push that along and help people realize the importance of sustainable travel. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or you’re just planning your next trip, don’t be afraid to dive into the eco-tourism trend, and learn what you can about the conservation efforts of the location you’re visiting. It might end up being the trip that changes your habits and inspires you to live more sustainably wherever you are.
About The Author: Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on Twitter.
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