One of the greatest things we can do in this life is make the world a better place. That sounds like a massive undertaking and sometimes it is; people dedicate their entire lives to this cause. But positive changes can be small and still have an impact. Everyone is capable of improving the world they live in. That’s why our Royal Robbins team has carved out a section of our blog and dedicated it to making change (for the better).
To begin our Making Change series, we thought we would share something that we’ve been interested in and want to help spread the word about. It’s called EcoTourism: part vacation, part volunteerism, with a heaping dash of personal growth and cultural enrichment.
Officially, The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” But what does that mean?
Minimal Impact: exploration should be done carefully and with consideration to the surrounding environment, reducing if not eliminating one’s footprint.
Enriching the Community: it could just be economically, but ideally it’s making a positive, long-term impact for the local people.
Cultural Exchange: both the traveler and the traveled-to should have a positive experience, and each person should have a better understanding of one another’s cultural and societal differences.
At the heart of EcoTourism is improving the world, expanding your experiences and enriching the lives of others, all in one swoop.
EcoTourism enthusiasts have a distinct attraction to developing regions of the world such as Central America, the Caribbean, South America and Africa. And deservedly so. However, EcoTourism isn’t limited to those areas. There are places even within the United States or other developed countries such as Sweden and Australia that have regions where an EcoTour could make a significant positive impact.
Here at Royal Robbins, we walk the talk. Our owner, Stephen Sherrill has been doing some ecotouring himself, building a lodge in the Kingdom of Bhutan, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas. The idea is not to alter or westernize Bhutan, but highlight their culture and way of life. Take a look:
In our next EcoTourism post we will discuss the best ways and places to get started, so be sure to stay tuned to our Go Everywhere blog. If you just can’t wait, there are some great resources to get you going, such as www.ecotourism.org (the International Ecotourism Society) and www.nature.org (The Nature Conservancy).
We hope you find the notion of EcoTourism at least a little inspiring. Even if it’s not for you, you can do good by simply sharing this post and helping us spread the word of EcoTourism.
Or perhaps you’ve already participated in an EcoTourism experience? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below to get the conversation started.