Concept - According to the Quebec Declaration on Ecotourism, ecotourism "embraces the principles of sustainable tourism..." It is said to "Contributes actively to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage; Includes local and indigenous communities in its planning, development and operation, contributing to their well-being; Interprets the natural and cultural heritage of the destination to visitor; Lends itself better to independent travelers, as well as to organized tours for small size groups". In other words, it is environmentally and socially responsible travel. However, in reality, it is often just a marketing tool used by operators to promote any tourism which has slight relationship to the principles above. This sections explores more deeply the developing field of sustainable tourism, and links to some fascinating examples of projects which are leading the way.
Cambodia - In the last two years, an estimated one Million tourists plus have arrived every year to see the magnificent Angkorian legacy and temples. The sharp rise in numbers of tourists in recent times, and the rampant development that ensued, are threatening the very foundation of the experience - trying to make it through the hordes stampeding in the Angkor Wat walk away on their way to take that fabulous 'original' photo, one cannot but wonder how long the temples can handle these numbers. Explore the links and people who are trying to create a different kind of travel experience.
South-East Asia - more operators, links and groups actively promoting sustainable tourism in the region.
The real act of discovery is not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.