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The Green Life: Ecotourism: Too Much of A Good Thing?

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May 14, 2009

Ecotourism: Too Much of A Good Thing?

A waterfall in Costa Rica With all the attention being paid to living green, you may be wondering how you can enjoy a summer vacation while staying environmentally friendly. You may have considered an ecotourism vacation, which is defined as a nature-based tourist experience.

Ideally, ecotourism promotes natural ecosystems’ conservation and biodiversity while supporting local economies. The problem with ecotourism arises, however, when it becomes too successful, and when too many people flock to a destination, disturbing natural habitats and encouraging the destruction of  natural resources to build tourist amenities like hotels, restaurants, and roads.

But ecotourism doesn’t have to lead to environmental degradation. By making an effort to understand how to preserve the places they visit, travelers can enjoy the beauty of nature without harming it. Oganizations like the Sierra Club and Global Sustainable Tourismhave set criteria and principles for ecotourism businesses; if these guidelines are implemented, ecotourism will have less of an impact on the environment.

Thinking about taking an ecotourism vacation? Keep the aforementioned standards in mind and plan a vacation that allows you to observe nature without disrupting it.

-- Megan Fletcher

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