What is Ecotourism?
Within the supportive context of the explanatory definitions available, tOES has selected this short and simple definition of ecotourism:
” Ecologically sustainable and socially responsible nature and culture based tourism.”
The Four Pillars of Ecotourism
Protecting, conserving and/or restoring environments and resources to ensure the long term health of life-sustaining ecosystems. Green practices, including accommodations with recycling, water and energy conservation and other sustainable features such as: organic foods and spa products, public transportation links, self-propelled travel modes and activities or fuel-free travel methods, minimal impact camping practices.
Local Economic Vitality
Supporting local economies and communities. Tourism businesses employing local staff, sourcing food and other suppliers produced locally, supporting local events, festivals and social organizations, eco tourist investment being retailed in communities surrounding and including protected areas and parks.
Respecting and appreciating cultures and cultural diversity to ensure the continued well being of local or host cultures. Tourism packages developed by and with the first nations of Ontario, partnerships with aboriginal tourism associations, programs sensitive to the needs of environmentalists from diverse cultures around the world…
Providing enriching and satisfying experiences through active, personal and meaningful involvement with nature, people, places and/or cultures. Green living retreats, environmental leadership camps, nature interpretation programs, ‘volunteer vacations’ in our parks, trails, biospheres, small groups and individuals…