Now that the most travel heavy time of the year is sadly coming to a close, it’s time to take a look at the trend in tourism that is expected to slowly but surely take the travel industry by storm. Over the past couple of years, the public has been inundated with prompts to live a “go-green” lifestyle. Fuel efficient cars & airplanes are becoming more readily available to tourists. Reusing hotel towels has become an option at almost every hotel, and things like air hand dryers are replacing paper towel dispensers at lightning speed. Whether traveling or living locally, going green is becoming a way of life. Businesses are also making the eco friendly switch. This wave of what is called sustainable tourism goes hand in hand with the idea of ecotourism. These words and concepts are thrown around quite a but and have somehow become accepted as one in the same. Is there really a difference between the two? What do these words really mean?
Sustainable tourism is the ongoing effort to make tourism as low impact on the environment as possible. The main goal of sustainable tourism is to ensure that both locals and tourists are having a positive experience. One awesome organization striving to get the word out is the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, or GSTC. Their website, found here, offers countless tidbits about their organization, interesting blog posts, what they do, and how YOU can get involved. It truly is tourism of the future.
On the other hand, ecotourism is often viewed as specifically for you nature loving beatniks of the world. Ecotourism is not just living in the environment, but living with the environment. Visiting worldly destinations with only the basic amenities and having an extremely low impact on a particular place is a staple in the meaning of ecotourism. Some may argue that sustainable tourism and ecotourism are the same, while others choose to believe they strive for two different goals.
Whether definitively different or not, both ideas strive to foster the same fantastic purpose; to help save & preserve our environment, the local community in which it resides in, all while basking in the glory and beauty of mothe r nature. What do you think? Do you think these two ideas are different?