When people speak about vacations, holidays and heading out into the wilds in order to set up that perfect campsite, spend time with the family and hunt or fish to their heart’s content, a true calm and sense of peace comes over them. (You can see it in the eyes, trust me).But there is a form of ‘vacation’ that many don’t think about when making their getaway plans that is now becoming all the rage.
For those who don’t know, ecotourism is a form of travel/vacation that not only combines the fun of camping in the great outdoors and being a part of nature, but also involves taking the time to visit relatively undisturbed natural areas – which, as we all know, are extremely hard to find. These are the areas that are untouched by human hands. These are the areas that business and industry have not laden with pollutants or ‘cleared away’ in order to build the next small city. They maintain their fragile, majestic beauty, and are relatively small when put up against mass or commercial tourist areas.
The benefits of ecotourism, however, are far more immense than any commercial vacation. Believe me, Disney has nothing on these areas. Simply because not only can you enjoy the hunting, fishing and camping, but you and your family also get the chance to get a real ‘education,’ by seeing the land at its absolute finest. Many of these areas are there in order to receive funding for ecological conservation or to help the local community that is trying to keep the area just as it is – just as it was created. This not only helps the community resources, but it also teaches respect for various cultures that perhaps have died out in many other areas around the globe.
It was in the 1980s that ecotourism came about; it began as a truly critical project by environmentalists who wanted to save nature so that all future generations could have the experience of seeing land, forests, and habitats that sustained life – animal, vegetable and mineral. Ecotourism also concentrates on making vacationers more socially conscious when it comes to how fast our natural resources are depleting. In this way, not only do people experience an unforgettable vacation, but they also get to know everything from the history and heritage of the area to learning about flora and fauna that – in some cases – no longer exists anywhere else in the world.
Seeing as that hunters and anglers play such a large part in wanting to keep habitats safe and sound from ‘business,’ as well as using heir organizations, license fees, etc. to fund various projects to bring back habitats that have been ruined over time – it makes complete sense that ecotourism ‘spots’ are what they choose to visit when getting away from the house and into the ‘real’ great outdoors.
Responsibility is the key that ecotourism tries to teach. These communities, towns, areas – all of them include a variety of programs that educate everyone on how to minimize the loss of the environment and try to uphold the culture that was and still is a part of that particular ‘world.’ They promote everything from recycling to water conservation to finding a way to keep up with energy efficiency and sustainable living for one and all, and they do this with the monies they receive from tourists.
Hunting, fishing and trapping, as seen by United States and Canadian tour operators, are absolutely considered ecotourism activities. And there are many travel companies and guides that take small groups through our most precious places (i.e., the Rocky Mountains), utilizing the hunter and angler to help them in their endeavors, such as allowing hunters to keep overpopulations of deer in check in order to preserve and maintain the habitat. These groups are absolutely responsible and extremely aware of what to do and what not to do in regards to maintaining the cultural history of the native people and their lands, and have worked together to make ecotourism a huge industry that helps the national economy while at the same time offering vacations that are unforgettable.
As ecotourism continues to expand and evolve, national and international programs are being brought to light, with tours and tour companies cropping up everywhere from Australia to Kenya. Not only will this help the world economy, but it will offer even more choices for you and your family to experience pure and utter magic that you will never forget.
So before you make plans for that next ‘getaway,’ look into all the ecotourism websites and tours that will – I promise you – lead you to a paradise you never even knew was there!