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Green Tourism - What Green Travel Means

Green travel doesn’t necessarily refer to vacations with a concentration on nature or wilderness ...

The terms green travel, eco travel, and green tourism are basically interchangeable. The term doesn’t refer necessarily to vacations with a concentration on nature or wilderness. In fact, green travel can take you anywhere from the Australian Outback to the bustling cities of the United States and Europe.

To become an eco traveller, you simply need to incorporate the basic ideals of green living into your travelling experience. For instance, if you are careful to recycle at home, you will want to carry that habit over into your traveling and be careful to recycle wherever it is you might journey. Perhaps take a bicycle tour instead of a bus tour, and leave a lighter carbon footprint on the place you are visiting. Don’t litter when visiting another country, city, or community.

There is also a social context to green tourism. You don’t want to do anything that would have a negative effect on the eco-structure of the place you are visiting, and neither would you want to do anything that has a negative cultural impact, as well. Be respectful and mindful of tradition and culture. Many societies outside of our own have time honored methods of doing things that differ greatly from ours. Before you visit a foreign place, try and learn a little about the traditions and heritage of that locale. Green travel extends to socially aware travel. It’s a natural crossroads.

Green travel seeks to turn the negative effects of tourism into something more positive. Travel and touring can be beneficial to a region’s economy and disastrous to its eco-system at the same time. This is especially significant to keep in mind when visiting nature sites. An eco- traveler does everything he or she can to increase their positive impact and eliminate the negative impact of their visit. Like taking a hiking tour instead of a driving tour, being sure to leave the location as clean or cleaner than when you arrived, purchasing mementos from native artisans instead of purchasing factory-produced items from fancy gift shops.

If your idea of green travel, however, is to experience nature or wilderness, then you may want to visit some of the world's most exotic green travel destinations, which include:

  • Belize City, Belize - Belize is deeply committed to eco-tourism and is home to the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, as well as boasting a number of cayes, some of which have been turned into eco-resorts, while ensuring that others remain pristine homes for local birds, lizards and marine life.
    Lebanon - Lebanon is among the 25 top countries in terms of biodiversity and has a fledgling ecotourism business that provides visitors with access to wildlife, stunning natural landscapes and many other exotic treasures.
  • Dubai - The ecotourism industry in Dubai helps to protect the desert habitat and the species that live in it, like the exotic Arabian oryx, a large white antelope that was once close to extinction.
  • Daintree Rainforest, Australia - The oldest continually surviving rainforest in the world, with an intricate ecosystem that supports species found nowhere else on the planet.
  • Luan Prabang, Laos - Luang Prabang's ecotourism industry has been growing since 2003 and aims to draw enough tourists to the area to help support and maintain it. Some of the places not only offer green travel accommodation, but also allow visitors the opportunity to experience local activities like fishing, rice planting and harvesting.
  • Loango National Park, Gabon - A mostly unspoiled area of Africa, and home to free roaming large mammals like elephants, gorillas, hippopotamus and forest buffalo.
  • Madre De Dios, Peru - Rainforest conservation groups promote ecotourism to the area in the hope of creating an economy that depends upon the rainforest remaining healthy and intact.
  • Kenya - Kenya is not only home to some of the world's most sought after safari destinations, it is also full of virgin rainforests, mountains, lakes and pristine white sand beaches.
  • Desert Rhino Camp, Namibia - Namibia, the second most sparsely populated country in the world, is increasingly becoming one of the world's most popular up-and-coming ecotourism destinations.
  • Costa Rica - Costa Rica is one of the world's most sought-after eco-travel destinations, with hundreds of companies that specialize in providing sustainable services.
  • Great Bear Forest In British Columbia, Canada - A global ecological treasure, this coastal forest extends for 250 miles and is home to rare and exotic bird species.
  • New Zealand - One of the most beautiful places on earth, this isolated island country draws ecotourists in droves and engages in environmentally and culturally sensitive tourism strategies and practices at local community, private business and government levels.
  • The Galapagos Islands - Visitors to the Galapagos are accompanied at all times by an accredited park ranger to ensure that you enjoy the natural beauty of the islands and the threatened wildlife that inhabits these without causing damage to their environment.
  • Madidi National Park In Bolivia - Bolivia's diverse landscape offers a variety of different ecosystems to explore, from the Altiplano – a high mountain plateau where Andean civilization first flourished – to dense Amazonian rainforests like the jungles of Madidi National Park.

(source: WebEcoist)

Adequate planning can ensure a great green travel experience. Nowadays, all types of eco-friendly options are available to visitors who are willing to take the time to plan ahead. You can start your green travel by planning to offset your carbon emissions from air travel. Some airlines, like British Airways, offer you the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of your trip by making a donation based upon your flight plan. These donations are then passed on to eco-friendly technologies like hydroelectric production or solar production. Such an offset will generally cost you anywhere from $10 to $50 depending on your flight.

The next thing you might want to consider doing while making your green travel plans is to book lodgings at an environmentally friendly hotel or hostel. There are more and more places to stay that will give you green travel options and they can easily be found online while researching your trip.

Finally, try to book activities that are more earth friendly.

These are just a few easy ways that can help make your next vacation a green travel experience.

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