By travelanswerman | March 9, 2009
If you share a love of both the environment and travel, then an ecotourism vacation could be a way to combine the best of both into one great adventure. You’ll get to see some of the most remote and beautiful locations on earth, all while making sure you preserve them for those who follow. Whether you’re new to ecotourism or an old pro, these sites can help you get some basic information, book a trip, and even contribute to making sure that the world’s most spectacular sites stay that way.
Organizations and Associations
There are numerous organizations worldwide that are dedicated to preserving and protecting the environment while promoting tourism. Here are a few you can get some great information from or even use to get involved.
- VISIT: VISIT stands for “Voluntary Initiative for Sustainability in Tourism” and this site was created to help tourists and tourist destination countries work together to protect the environment while still making it accessible for everyone.
- Tourism Concern: This organization focuses on issues related to tourism and the environment. You can read up on campaigns and get helpful information for your next trip.
- The Travel Foundation: This charity website can be a great place to find information on how you can better learn to travel without harming the environment. Even if you can’t take a trip, you can also get involved and give back through the site.
- EcoClub.com: This international tourism club is a great place to meet up with others interested in ecotourism, find environmentally friendly hotels, and even get links to jobs in ecotourism. Join the site or sign up to receive emails with loads of useful ecotourism information.
- International Ecotourism Society: This worldwide community can help you to learn more about ecotourism, support programs, find ecotourism experts, and locate exciting destinations and environmentally friendly accommodations for your next vacation.
- The Blue Flag Organization: This Foundation for Environmental Education-run site can help you plan your next beach getaway. Blue Flag rates and certifies thousands of beaches in Europe, South Africa, Morocco, New Zealand, Canada and the Caribbean on water quality, environmental management as well as a number of other factors.
- The Nature Conservancy: It’s only natural that one of the largest organizations dedicated to preserving nature would have a whole portion of its site dedicated to ecotourism. Learn how to reduce your impact, take trips through the Nature Conservancy, or check out their list of resources to learn more.
- The Rainforest Alliance: Rainforest lovers will find numerous resources on this site about preserving the rainforest, rainforest friendly tours, and even a place where you can adopt a little piece of the rainforest for yourself.
- South American Explorers: This non-profit organization can help you to book your next trip to South America. Whether you want to try out your Spanish in Lima or travel down the Amazon in Brazil, you’ll find help on this site to do so all while being ecologically responsible.
- World Tourism Organization: Find out everything you ever wanted to know about tourism on this site. The sustainable tourism section has articles on the latest developments and important issues in ecotourism.
- Green Cross International: According to the mission statement on this site, Green Cross “provides unbiased environmental analysis and expertise, information dissemination, education, objective evaluations for public debate, scientific studies, and social and medical support.” This site can be a great way to learn the real statistics of any place you choose to visit.
Whether you want to book an exotic rainforest vacation or a camel ride across the Sahara, these sites can help you find a trip that will be both environmentally friendly and fun.
- Sustainable Travel International: On this comprehensive site, you’ll find all kinds of ecotourism resources including trip bookings, eco-certification, newsletters and even advice on how to carbon-offset your trip.
- ResponsibleTravel.com: At this site, you’ll find loads of great ecologically friendly holiday getaways as well as travel tips, an ecotourism blog, and even an ezine to help keep you informed.
- MesoAmerican Ecotourism Alliance: Recognized for their ecotourism trips by National Geographic, the MEA offers numerous exciting vacations that will help inspire your love for the environment and nurture your adventurous spirit.
- GreenStop.net: GreenStop.net contains a directory of accredited green hotels and travel companies to help make finding and booking your next ecotour easier than ever. With destinations on every continent, you can find sustainable vacations just about anywhere.
- EcoTour: If you want to book an earth-friendly vacation, EcoTour is a great place to start your planning. With hundreds of ecotour providers, you’ll find tours to everywhere in the world from the Congo to Sahara. Additionally, you’ll find travel guides and articles to help you learn more about your destination of choice.
- EcoTourism at Conservation International: Whether you’re looking for an African safari or a trip to the Galapagos, you can find information on how to do so responsibly and even find some very special destinations the organization has helped set up in Brazil, Bolivia, Ghana, Venezuela and more.
- EarthFoot: This small company can help you create a fun and personalized environmentally conscious vacation. See the bright avian residents of Guatemala on a birding getaway or swim with the dolphins in beautiful Hawaii.
- GAP Adventures: Ecotourism doesn’t have to be boring. Turn your trip into an unforgettable adventure with this booking site. You can visit the new seven wonders of the world or get up close and personal with the mountain gorillas of Uganda.
- Global Exchange: Global exchange offers what are referred to as “reality tours”. Travel to Cambodia to learn about and how you can help stop child prostitution or get informed on protecting the coastal environment of Costa Rica.
- Intrepid Travel: This award winning company specializes in environmentally responsible tourism and can help you arrange your next eco-friendly vacation. With trips to just about every corner of the globe, you’ll undoubtedly find something that interests you and won’t leave you feeling guilty.
- Journeys International: You’ll find a wide variety of small group tours on this family-owned site. Whether your interests lie in trekking through the Andes or exploring the wildlife from the icy decks of an Antarctic cruise, this site has something for you.
- Blue Ventures: Combine education, research and conservation with the trip of a lifetime. This site’s tour of Madagascar was named one of the top 50 tours of a lifetime by National Geographic Traveler.
- Tribes Travel: This fair trade travel company offers expeditions to Africa, South America and Asia that can allow you to watch lions sleeping away the day or enjoy an eco-friendly honeymoon in a posh hotel in Marrakech.
- Wildland Adventures: Make your next trip an adventure by booking a safari or trip down the Nile with this small ecotourism company.
- Peregrine Adventures: This Australian based company offers small group adventure tours to destinations worldwide including far-flung locales like the Himalayas and Antarctica.
- World Expeditions: Get adventurous without hurting the environment with this ecotourism company. Book trips to volcanic landscapes, the lemur filled jungles of Madagascar or follow in the steps of Genghis Khan on the Mongolian Steppes.
- Earth Routes: Find your next earth-friendly vacation through this site. You’ll find tours to the Caribbean, Switzerland and even a few small ship cruises as well as travel tips and green travel information.
- Orbitz.com: Orbitz isn’t one of the biggest travel sites without a reason: they offer travel tailored to just about any need, even ecotourism. You’ll find a list of destinations, information about ecotourism, travel tips and more on this part of Orbitz’s site.
Blogs are becoming and ever more popular source of information for Internet users, and these ecotourism blogs can be a great way to learn about everything eco-friendly.
- Ecotourism Blog: This blog covers some of the most beautiful destinations in the world in regard to protecting and preserving them as well as reporting on various news stories that apply to ecotourism.
- EcoTravelLogue: This blog provides all kinds of information for the potential ecotraveler with posts on destinations, planning a trip, accommodation, things to do, and more.
- Development Crossing: Whether you’re looking for information on global warming or issues concerning ecotourism, this environmentally conscious blog addresses it all.
- Beautiful Oceans: If your ecotourism dreams lie in the coral reefs or kelp forests of the world’s oceans, then you’ll find plenty to read about here. Learn about reef conservation, eco-diving, and even a little bit about underwater photography.
- Low Impact Living: Focusing on all aspects of low impact living, this blog contains some great information on vacations that won’t take a toll on the environment. Learn about organic eating, green spas, hybrid car rentals, environmentally friendly hotels, and more.
Information and Guides
Before you ever leave your home, read up on all kinds of ecotourism tips, facts and other information on these great sites.
- EcoHoliday Guide
- Planeta: Find resources on ecotourism, recommendations on books, and guides on everything from bird watching to local crafts on this site.
- GreenTraveller: Get some great tips on how to have a greener and more environmentally friendly holiday at GreenTraveller. You’ll find directories of green hotels, tours, and low impact ways to travel to them.
- Eco-Index: Sustainable Tourism: Here you’ll find a list of businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean that have been certified to be environmentally friendly. It can be a great way to protect the beautiful rainforests and beaches of these destinations while making sure they stay that way.
- EcoTravel.com: This online magazine features stories from all over the world about the most exciting ecotourist destinations. It also features a directory of tour companies and agents to help you book your next trip.
- Transitions Abroad: This site addresses a wide variety of travel issues, but it does contain a valuable section on ecotourism. You’ll find responsible travel programs and article archives, as well as links to important websites and organizations.
- NewConsumer: This UK based magazine is dedicated to stories about how you can live a more ethically, vacations included. Check out the travel section for articles on environmentally friendly vacation ideas all over the world.
- Big Volcano Ecotourism Resource Center: Find information on the history of ecotourism, codes of conduct, and loads of other ecotourism articles and resources on this site.
- Best Ecotourism Vacations: Not sure where you want to head to? Get some ideas of the best and most popular ecotourism destinations in this article from SmarterTravel.
Take ecotourism to the next level with these sites that allow you to get your hands dirty working on various humanitarian and environmental projects all over the world.
- GoEco: This organization arranges volunteer trips to South Africa, Kenya, Nepal and much more to help improve the welfare of the local people and the environment.
- EcoVolunteer: Just like the name suggests, this site helps set travelers up on various volunteering vacations, and users can choose their trips based on preferred destinations or particular animals they are interested in helping.
- Global Vision: Make a difference in some of the world’s locations that are in most desperate need of conservation help. Work at preserving marine environments, do wildlife research or even help teach others about conservation and wildlife.
- Voluntourists Without Borders: Use your volunteer power and vacation time to work on issues involving rural poverty, conservation and environmentally friendly tourism. Work to help preserve the Pang Soong Nature Trails or the village of Ban Mae Lai.
- People and Places: On this site, you’ll find a diverse assortment of volunteer projects that range from wildlife conservation in India to building Habitat for Humanity houses in Madagascar.
- Green Volunteers: With one of the largest collections of conservation volunteering opportunities, this site is be a valuable resource for those who want to provode a little environmental help on their vacation. Just purchase the guide and choose your exciting vacation from hundreds of options.
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