Everything You Need To Know About Eco-Tourism Before Your Next Trip

*books trip away*

Pic: Pexels

Ecotourism has become increasingly popular all over the world, as many tourists look for ways to make their travelling more sustainable and beneficial to the environment. But what is ecotourism, and how is it making a difference?

What Is Ecotourism?

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education (both in its staff and its guests)”.

Essentially, ecotourism is a way of making the tourism industry as helpful to the environment and local communities as possible, while at the same time spreading awareness and education on conservation. Ecotourism also gives us the opportunity to appreciate and connect with the nature around us, which is always important.

Pic: Pexels

How Is Ecotourism Helpful?

Protects Wildlife and Promotes Natural Conservation: Unlike other tourism initiatives, ecotourism revolves around the preservation of natural ecosystems and wildlife.

It aims to offer tourists a unique and enjoyable holiday surrounded by nature, without the negative impacts that can often come with tourism. Through educating visitors on the nature around them, ecotourism businesses can emphasise the importance of conservation and respect for other species and habitats.

The money generated from these businesses can and should be put back into the welfare of the environment and local community, meaning it’s a win-win for everyone. 

Provides Sustainable Income for Locals: When managed correctly, ecotourism businesses can be incredibly beneficial to the local community. By providing locals with employment opportunities, ecotourism can reduce poverty rates in areas by offering locals a substantial and a sustainable form of income.

This aspect of ecotourism benefits communities all over the world, but it is especially helpful in communities where poverty rates may drive locals to generate income in unsustainable ways, such as poaching.

Ecotourism also encourages tourists to become more educated and sensitive to the community and culture that they are visiting, making tourism more enjoyable for both visitors and locals. 

Offers travellers a unique and eye-opening experience in nature: Everyone loves a good trip to the city, or a nice warm beach resort holiday, but it is also important to show nature some love and appreciation.

Embracing ecotourism offers you the opportunity to not only explore unique natural spaces, but you can also learn so much from your trip. Ecotourism aims to provide a style of tourism where you learn why conservation is so important, and it feels good to know you have the power to make a positive impact on this beautiful planet.

The ecotourism industry is rapidly increasing and there are thousands of amazing experiences offered all around the globe. Multiple countries in Africa, including Kenya and Tanzania, offer stunning, once-in-a-lifetime safari experiences, where you can see the beauty of wildlife in their natural habitats with your own eyes.

Why not go on a rainforest adventure in Costa Rica, and take in the wonder of the lungs of the planet?

The Galapagos Islands, a region threatened by the impacts of the oversaturated conventional tourism industry, have embraced ecotourism as a way to protect their natural areas while also offering ecotourists a chance to visit beautiful national parks. If you prefer a staycation, don’t worry, because ecotourism has been quickly gaining popularity in Ireland too. 

Pic: Pexels

How Ireland Is Embracing Ecotourism

There’s no question that Ireland is full of beautiful and diverse natural spaces, from mountains, to forests to beaches, and it’s about time we work to appreciate the nature of this country and promote its preservation and well-being. Here are some Irish ecotourism businesses that are doing just that: 

Trinity Island Lodge, Cavan

Built by the farming O’Dowd family, Trinity Island Lodge is the perfect spot for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Tucked away on the small, remote Cavan island, this beautiful lodge offers visitors a luxurious stay including a jacuzzi, sauna, herb garden and even a games room.

The lodge is also run by almost completely renewable energy, as the family have installed solar panels and a windmill onto the property. There are also boats and bicycles that visitors can use free of charge. The sauna and stoves are powered by wood-burning, sourced from land reforested by the family. Why not book a stay through their Airbnb here.

Macalla Farm, Clare Island


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Macalla Farm (@macallafarm)

For all the yoga fans out there, why not check out this beautiful yoga retreat, situated on a stunning and rugged remote Mayo island. Owners Christophe and Ciara have incorporated multiple sources of renewable energy and natural materials to give their guests a cosy and sustainable experience.

They also support many other local businesses through their own, so they’re definitely worth a look. Check out their website here

Blackstairs Eco Trails, Carlow


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Mary White (@blackstairsecotrails)

If you’re looking for a more interactive experience with Irish nature, then look no further. Blackstairs Eco Trails, run by Mary and Robert White, offers you the chance to explore the beautiful mountainous regions of Carlow.

They provide a number of fun and insightful experiences, including foraging, tree walks and stargazing. You can read more about their engagement with ecotourism on their website.

Words by Aicha Chalouche