Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” – TIES, 1990

Green travel is a becoming an increasingly hot topic today as travelers are becoming more aware of the environmental and cultural impacts on the destinations they travel to. According to the Center for Responsible Travel, ecotourism is on its way to comprising 25% of the world’s travel market. That’s huge.

Thanks to this rising demand, more and more tour operators, resorts, cruise lines, and other suppliers are becoming more environmentally contentious and sustainable in their business models and practices overall. As someone who believes strongly in giving back and being responsible to the areas we travel in – not to mention my crazy love for animals – these types of qualities are especially important to me when planning your trip.

Planning your trip with a goal of being an environmentally, socially, and locally responsible traveler means we’re looking for authentic, comfortable, customized, private, and unique experiences that give you an opportunity to experience a destination while also contributing to the local economy and minimizing your carbon footprint. I specialize in finding, working with, and supporting these companies and operators who are not only being responsible with their resources, but are also supporting the local economies and investing their efforts there.

To understand and further my education in this area, I am a member of the International Ecotourism Society and am currently working on obtaining a Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Management from the George Washington University.

[column type=”one-third”][promo image=”/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/camping-in-greenland.jpg” alt=”Sustainable Leave-No-Trace Camping in Greenland”]Green Travel Itineraries[/promo][/column]

[column type=”two-thirds” last=”true”] Peruse sample itineraries that feature sustainable travel and focus on ecotourism. These trips (and the suppliers that run them) are invested in giving back, paying forward, and helping support local cultures and communities. [/column]

Further Reading

[icon_list] [icon_list_item type=”leaf”]What is Ecotourism? (The International Ecotourism Society)[/icon_list_item]

[icon_list_item type=”leaf”]What Does Luxury Mean for Eco-Tourists? (The International Ecotourism Society)[/icon_list_item]

[icon_list_item type=”leaf”]Growing Interest in Green Travel (Virtuoso)[/icon_list_item]

[icon_list_item type=”leaf”]My Green Travel Board (Pinterest)[/icon_list_item][/icon_list]

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock