Ecotourism is fast gaining pace in the environmentally deprived world today. The objective of eco-compatible excursions is to make the tourist aware of the importance of ecological conservation and other related issues. The tourists are taken to places that are relatively undisturbed by human intervention in comparison to the regular holiday destinations.
The top 10 eco-travel destinations of the world are discussed further.
Sweden is one of the best ecotourism destinations of the world. If you are serious about having a quality ecotourism experience you should not miss out on this Scandinavian country that holds the ecotourism quality certifications, ‘Nature’s Best’, which was a unique certification in Europe during 2002, when it was first awarded to this tourist destination. The objective of the ecotourism activities of this place is to ensure that economical worth is added to resources of ecological and cultural importance. The tourists of this place are offered to view the most remarkable places of this country, while contributing to the cause of its ecological conservation and economy. The tours of this country are organized by government tourist organizations such as the Ecotourism Society of Sweden, which works on the motive of offering the best tourist experience of this place and promoting new ones, while enhancing the economy of this place with the revenues generated through such activities.
Awarded Eco Tourism destination of the Year award in 2011 by the Business Destinations magazine, this location is guaranteed to provide you a hundred percent authentic ecotourism experience, as many of the facilities that you use for your stay or transportation are environmentally and sustainability certified.
Iceland tops the list of eco tourism destinations, as its scores high on the sustainability scale. The administration emphasizes on the usage of clean energy and conservation. Tourists visiting this place are educated by the tourism officials about the importance of environmental sustainability, in the present times. This is an ideal tourist destination for a person who wants to witness breathtaking natural beauty along with eco-conservation education. In the process, one gets to experience natural phenomenon such as the Aurora Borealis. The Blue Lagoon and Gulfoss are the other scenic wonders that one should not miss here.
Though a trip to the naturally well-endowed Austria may prove to be expensive for people outside Europe, the prices are mediocre for the Europeans. The country, with its abundant greenery and clear blue skies, has a number of tourist destinations where ecotourism is available along with other holiday activities such as Skiing, History and Culture Tourism, and sight-seeing of important monuments.
If your ecotourism has cultural and historical studies on the agenda, you can always opt for Greece, which has organized ecotourism excursions. Guided tours, organized by tourism administrators, take care of the entire educational trip of the tourists and ensure that they safely complete their trips.
Estonia can be the dream destination of ecotourism enthusiasts who want to delve deep into forest life and study about the flora and fauna of forests. About half of this small country is covered with luscious forests and woods. Expect to meet some brown bears and wolves in these forests, the other prominent inhabitants of this region being eagles and the lynx.
This country, with its marvelous and varied landscape consisting of wildlife, snow-covered mountains, rocky fjords, and its virgin water bodies, is one of the most popular ecotourism destinations. If you are a true ecotourism and sustainability buff, you will not mind using the bicycle as a means of transportation during your excursion in this place, as bicycle is an eco-friendly mode of transportation.
8. United Kingdom
Endowed with 27 cultural heritage and scenically breathtaking locations, as per the UNESCO, the United Kingdom comprises England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Though a well-developed tourist destination, some regions of the United Kingdom are naturally undisturbed. These can serve as excellent ecotourism destinations. Scotland’s Western Islands, with their sustainability and energy conservation consciousness, and the breathtaking charm of the virgin landscapes make one of the best choices for an eco trip.
If you want to truly experience the serenity of being in the lap of nature, you should visit Lapland where you get to visualize rare natural phenomena such as the Midnight Sun and the Aurora Borealis. The untouched wilderness of this place provides an awesome experience.
10. Bosnia Herzegovina
The term Bosnia Herzegovina automatically brings up thoughts of terror and strife in the minds of many, but in the present times this place is fast emerging as one of the hot eco-tourist destinations of Europe and the world. If you are on the lookout for some eco-sport while on your stay in this place, think about white rafting which has emerged as the favorite eco-sport of this region, the beauty of which is based on the innumerable rivers that gracefully meander across the landscapes of this region.
Top 10 eco tourism destinations in Americas
Though ecotourism may be visualized as confined to remote regions of the world where native life and virgin landscapes dominate, the Americas have a lot to offer in terms of ecotourism, which constitutes a major chunk of its eco-tourism industry. Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, and Peru are some of the most important Latin American ecotourism destinations that have gained international attention in the field.
Belize, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Panama, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador are other high-demand ecotourism destinations of Central and South America. Though scientifically advanced, USA cannot be left behind, in the field of ecotourism. Alaska, Hawaii, California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Montana, New York, Texas, and Maine are some of the locations which can be of interest to the eco-tourists.
The top ten ecotourism destinations of the Americas are discussed further.
Costa Rica tops the list of Latin American eco-tourism destinations. The country has a number of Government-organized thriving programs on ecological sustainability. The Manuel Antonio National Park, with its virgin beaches, rainforests, and a range of wildlife, is a major attraction for both national and international tourists from around the world. This national park has earned a place for itself in the Forbes list of “World’s Most Beautiful National Parks” in the year 2011. Kayaking, horse riding, fishing and hiking are some of the adventurous activities that tourists can engage in.
Ecuador is one of the most thriving ecotourism locations of the world. The country is rich in its ecological resources and the government is taking adequate efforts to conserve them through ecotourism and environmental awareness programs. The national park at the Galapagos Islands is one of the parks where ecological conservation measures are strictly enforced. The involvement of big industry names such as Yachana in the environment conservation initiatives of the country has helped in rapid progress and prosperity of ecotourism in the region.
The ecotourism destinations of Brazil can be organized under certain major categories. The Amazon rainforest, covering approximately 3 million square kilometers of Brazilian territory, is the largest rainforest of the globe. Pantanal, the biggest wetlands of the world, also contribute to the eco-wealth of Brazil. The Atlantic Rainforest, of which only 10 percent remains today, was one of the magnificent rain forests of its times. Cerrado, comprising the Brazilian heartland, is the place for eco-tourists who want to experience the ancient ecosystems of South America. The vegetation at Caatinga, in the Brazilian backlands, is another attractive feature on your eco-tourism package.
Alaska is a topper when it comes to the list of most preferred ecotourism destinations of the USA. The Alaskan government is serious about improving, maintaining, and promoting its sustainable tourism industry, and has successfully enforced a number of rules, regulations and norms to this effect. The stunning biodiversity of this region is its strongest point for attracting eco-tourists. Bears, whales, mountain goats, puffins, moose, and otters are subjects of eco-studies for the ecotourism enthusiasts. The highly accoladed Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge is worth mentioning. Mount McKinley, Denali National Park, and Skagway are other tourist attractions of Alaska.
Guyana is fast developing into a popular ecotourism spot. The stupendous Amazon rainforests are a crowd-puller. The Kaieteur Falls, the largest single-drop waterfall of the globe, by volume, has visitors visiting in short trips of twenty four hours each. Next, the Kaieteur National Park is a region where you will be pleasantly greeted by toucans, golden tree frogs and macaws.
Hawaii is one of the best ecotourism destinations when your area of interest is the flora and of the ocean. The undersea volcanic activity of this tropical ecological hub is the main cause of its remarkable biodiversity. The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is one of the most unpredictable geographic features of this region. You will come across many rare marine life forms such as the humpback whales. As you travel around this place, you will find barren lands as well as forests, and plain lands as well as mountainous regions.
The eco-richness of Venezuela is conveyed by the fact that the Canaima National Park ranks sixth in the in the largest national parks list of the world. This park has also been declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This national park, with its luxurious greenery, and the Angel Falls, which is the biggest uninterrupted waterfall of the world, make an attractive ecotourism package.
Peru is one of the hottest ecotourism destinations of the world. Machu Picchu is the main attraction of this place. The amazing rock cuts of the mountains, the Incan ruins, and its rich bio-diverse flora and fauna make it a dreamland for many tourists. Sacred Valley organizes community tourism. You can enjoy bicycle rides through the Incan Ruins of Mornay.
California figures up amongst the top ecotourism sites of America. Surprisingly, San Francisco, which is one of the most urban cities of the state, offers adequate opportunity to the eco-aware persons to pursue eco-friendly activities such as cycling and walking. California offers about 125,000 jobs in the ecological development and environment conservation industry. The Aquarium of the Bay, the Golden Gate Park, and the Ferry Building marketplace have certain things of interest to the eco-tourists.
The gigantic Rocky Mountains contribute to the major chunk of ecotourism of this region. It is divided in to a number of bio-zones which consist of their typical flora and fauna. The Rocky Mountain National Park offers a number of eco-sports. The Never Summer Mountains, the Longs Peak and the Milner’s Pass are the main attractions of this park. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mesa Verde and the Garden of the Gods State Park, El Paso County, are other invaluable assets of Colorado.
Top 10 Asian travel destinations every eco tourist would love to visit
Asia, with its climatic diversity and abundant greenery and water systems, is home to a large range of flora and fauna in its ecosystems. This makes some of the Asian countries, especially the Southeast Asian countries, remarkable eco-tourism destinations. Laos, Malaysia and Philippines are some of the locations that are internationally recognized as highly acclaimed eco-tourism hubs. Well-organized guided ecotourism is practiced in these countries. Some of the best Asian ecotourism destinations are discussed further.
Laos is fast emerging as a major eco-tourism destination of Asia. Lauang Namtha, Khammouane, Luang Prabang, and Champassak are the ecotourism hotspots of this country. The Luang Namtha region has mountains that are relatively less explored in comparison to the regular tourist destinations. The Namha National Protected Area, tagged as an ASEAN Heritage Park, offers ample scope for the eco-tourists to study the cultural and wildlife aspects of the region. Laos is home to about 300 species of birds and 38 species of mammals, many of which are of the rare varieties. Kayaking, rafting, cycling and trekking are some of the eco-friendly sports that you can engage in. Bokeo is the home of black-cheeked gibbons and it has a forest camp program called the Gibbon Experience.
Malaysia is another hot Asian eco-tourism destination. East Malaysia, specifically Malaysian Borneo, is fast rising as a favorite international destination. The Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary attracts visitors from every corner of the globe. Sabah opens up a 74.000 sq. km tropical jungle with its myriads of explorable wildlife. Remote rainforests and beaches are the other attractive natural features of this place.
You could try out a host of eco-sports such as trekking, diving (wall, macro, reef and wreck), and water sports. Sarawak, also known as the” Land of Hornbills”, is another East Malaysian destination that has a number of national parks. You can perform cultural studies on the indigenous inhabitants of the region. The Similijau National Park, the Niah Caves, the Kubah National Park, and a number of wildlife centers provide shelters to endangered species of animals. Sarawak is approachable by motor boats.
Philippines comes next on the list of the Asian eco-tourism toppers. Awarded the title of “Ecotourism Destination of the Year” in 2009, by a French travel company, it stands out amongst other Asian eco-tourist destinations. Palawan was recognized by the National Geographic Travel magazine as the most worthy East and Southeast Asian travel destination in 2007. This region consisting of 1768 islands ranks 13th on the list of islands with impressive landscapes and seascapes. The ecological conservation and sustainability consciousness of the place is indicated by its Biosphere Reserve programs. Bohol is an agricultural, fishing and handicrafts destination of this country.
Thailand is a leader in the ecotourism sector. It has a number of regions that have gained prominence individually in the field. Surat Thani, with its limestone islands with jungle waterfalls, hidden caves, and abandoned beaches, and a variety of tropical flora and fauna, attracts a large number of travelers from across the world. Amongst the regular eco-sports, Nature Trail is an interesting activity that is offered by the national parks of the region. Chiang Mai is another Malaysian ecotourism destination with impressive natural landscapes, and wildlife. It has been chosen as the location for the PATA Eco and Adventure Conference where it was considered as an ideal location for ecological and adventurous activities. Koh Kong has a number of virgin jungles that are meant for exploration by adventurous eco-tourists. Chiang Rai should be your destination if you want to experience some out-of-the-world mountain and valley landscapes.
Vietnam is not all about political unrest. There is a brighter side to this country that is fast emerging as a tourism hub, especially as an ace ecotourism location. Ninh Binh, with its breathtaking landscapes, commendable national parks, and awe-inspiring limestone peaks, makes an ideal weekend retreat for adventure and relaxation. The Cuc Phuong National Park, with its stunning mountainous and forest landscapes, limestone mountains, cultural heritage, and rare wildlife species, requires special mention as it is the oldest Vietnamese national park and is visited by tourists from all over the world.
India is remarkably diverse in its climate, landscapes and wildlife. Mountains, desserts, river-plains, and forests are some of its greatest attractions. The rich cultural heritage of the country is one of the highly revered in the world. The ancient Indian historical, cultural and religious monuments have always been considered as one of the most remarkable in the world. The Sariska Tiger Reserve, in Alawar Rajasthan, which provides shelter to the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, deserves special mention.
Cambodia is very impressively naturally endowed. Special mention must be made of its Mekon Discovery Trail which is an ecotourism program that aims at studying the flora and fauna of the Mekong river and the lands flanking it. As the Mekong is a long river, you may find independent programs for studying the ecology associated with this river, in small segments.
The Satwa Elephant Eco Lodge, Way Kambas National Park, Lampung, Sumatra is one of the best ecotourism national parks of this country as one can find the endangered Sumatran elephants, tigers and Rhinos here.
The ecotourism locations of this place hold eco-sporting activities such as skiing. The natural attractions, history and culture of this country are the major attractions of eco-tourism activities.
The Maldives, with its host of unexplored beaches, is an attractive eco-tourism destination. Diving is a popular sport of this region. It is one of the expensive tourist spots of Asia.