What is Eco-tourism?
Eco-tourism is an amalgamation of different forms of tourism that allow us to appreciate nature in its barest form while valuing the importance of conservation, with the least amount of impact on our surroundings. This term now has many additions to make it all the more diverse, with eco-tourism as the main umbrella, that encourages a form of travel which lets visitors enjoy the local culture, nature and wildlife while being eco-friendly. Eco-tourism is about visiting an ecologically sensitive site where a traditional form of tourism is discouraged which includes usage of elements that can cause harm to the surrounding environment. Nature Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Community Based Eco-tourism, Eco-lodges, Agro-Tourism and Cultural Tourism are some of the types of eco-tourism that are fast catching on with most travelers who want to be conscientious while visiting a new destination.
Ecotourism is also about Responsible Travel. The latter is about an attitude and a set of behaviour that brings about a win-win situation for the tourist, the destination, the community and the environment. It is the inherent sense of responsibility we feel while visiting a site by posing the least amount of impact on a site and be as eco-friendly and respectful towards the locals as we can. Ideally, Responsible Tourism enhances the local identity of a site through its culture and traditions.
Why Responsible Tourism?
The Sundarbans mangrove Forest is not only the largest mangrove forest in the world, but a network of rivers, canals and creeks that meander through the spiky Mangrove halophytes, home to some of the most exotic and endangered species in the world. These features call for an intrinsic sense of responsibility displayed by tourists visiting an ecologically sensitive zone like the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, where their visit causes the least amount of impact, paving the way for Sustainable tourism.
What is Cultural Eco-tourism?
Cultural Eco-tourism is the preservation of cultural norms and traditions of a community living in the vicinity of a fragile eco-system where respecting and valuing the ways of living of these communities, is an extension of a tourist’s overall experience. The Artists, performers, cuisine and everyday religious rituals, all bundle up to form a unique package that deserves to be preserved and Cultural Eco-tourism is the latest thread in the world of tourism that allows us to experience this heady mix of culture and nature.
Cultural eco-tourism looks at how the local culture of a site can be the main focus and draw in visitors who can enjoy a taste of local norms, traditions and cuisine set against the backdrop of an ecologically diverse area.