The European Travel Commission says that eco-tourism is on the rise throughout Europe, as more people seek vacations to unpolluted areas where they focus on the natural environment and supporting the economy and practices of the indigenous people. Often times, eco-tourism is a learning experience for the vacationers, and it can be an important factor for governments and localities in conserving the natural environment in an area. If you're looking to make your next vacation an eco-friendly trip, here are a few destinations you might consider:
1. Sri Lanka
This is a great place to go if you're interested in local wildlife, as the beach at Rewaka, Sri Lanka is a very popular nesting place for sea turtles. Sri Lanka is also home to several resorts and spas where you can relax and enjoy the good life in the midst of the local culture while supporting the local environment. If you're more into adventure vacations, an off-road mountain biking trip in Sri Lanka could be just the thing for you.
There are several eco-friendly destinations in Cambodia, including the interesting silk farm in Siem Reap, which is run by the government in order to train workers for better skilled professions and to promote the local culture and art of Cambodia. Koh Kong is another popular place for eco-friendly travelers to visit in Cambodia; the region is full of interesting natural attractions, as well as the attractions of the traditional Cambodian culture.
3. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is home to an amazing array of plants and animals, making it one of the most popular eco-friendly destinations in the world. Between the rainforests and beaches, there's much to do and see in Costa Rica. Some of the resorts in the area specialize in green and sustainable practices, and you can even take a canopy tour in places like Quepos to see the amazing variety of wildlife and plantlife in the rainforest.
If you're in the mood for cold, stark forests and snow better than the sweltering rainforests of many of these other eco-friendly destinations, take a trip to Alaska. Places like the Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge and Ridgewood Lodge offer a comforting environment close to nature. In Alaska, you can hike, fish, sky, watch bears, or take eco-tours to see the beautiful wildlife and plants the area has to offer.
One of the most interesting things to see on an eco-friendly vacation to Iceland is the Strokkur Geyser in Geysir Center. It shoots up to thirty feet high on a regular basis! As with Alaska, there are many lodges and resorts in Iceland that specialize in eco-friendly travel and that will help you get in touch with the local culture and wildlife.
As one of the safest spots in Africa to visit today, Botswana is popular with the eco-tourism crowd. It is home to both grasslands and the Kalahari Desert, which means it has a huge diversity of wildlife and plantlife with which to entice visitors. If a safari is your idea of the perfect eco-friendly vacation, Botswana is certainly an appropriate destination.
As a popular destination for those who want both to come into contact with nature and local culture and to be pampered during vacation, Belize is home to many eco-friendly luxury resorts. You can enjoy outdoor adventures by day and gourmet organic meals by night, or relax in a spa that sources its materials from local providers around the country.
Financing Your Trip
One of the advantages of some eco-friendly travel is that it can also be easier on the wallet, especially if you're choosing to rough it in an environment that puts you in close contact with nature. Often times, the most expensive part of an eco-friendly trip is the airfare.
Daniela Baker from CreditDonkey says, one way to save on airfare for these eco-friendly destinations is to get the best airline credit card. By using a credit card responsibly for several months before your trip, you can rack up enough rewards to pay for part or all of your trip. Even booking a trip on a credit card can provide you with some extra benefits, such as built-in travel insurance.
Another good thing to think about while trying to finance an eco-friendly vacation is whether or not you should use a travel agent. It's worth checking out local travel agents who specialize in eco-friendly trips, as an agent may be able to find you savings that you didn't even know existed.
These seven destinations are certainly not the only eco-friendly destinations in the world, but they're some of the most popular. If you want to travel in a way that supports the environment and lets you come into contact with nature on your vacation, these are particularly great destinations to check out!