With Wenhai Lake near its front steps and the peaks of Jade Dragon in the background, the community-operated Wenhai Ecolodge is a scenic, peaceful mountain retreat. The converted Naxi courtyard house has been recently renovated and updated with sustainable energy systems. Photo: The Wenhai Ecolodge
In approaching ecotourism, you may find yourself asking some of the following questions:
- Why should I choose to stay at an ecolodge over a traditional motel or hotel?
- Why choose ecotourism over a traditional vacation?
The answer to these questions can be found within the book, “Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise?” by Martha Honey.
In her book, Honey describes what she considers the seven main points of ecotourism:
- Involves travel to natural destinations
- Minimizes negative impact on the environment
- Builds environmental awareness
- Provides direct funds for conservation
- Provides funds for the empowerment of local people
- Respects local culture
- Supports human rights and democratic movements
If any of these points appeal to you, an ecolodge may be the perfect choice for your next vacation!
Of course, not all ecolodges and eco-tours will meet each of these criteria, but you should look for something that comes close. With true ecotourism, it is possible to have a vacation that is both personally rewarding and good for the community you visit. A good ecolodge can offer you a vacation that, without jeopardizing the local environment, helps contribute to the local community and welfare of the area. After staying at an ecolodge, you can feel proud that you have become a responsible traveler. And that can be just as important as the vacation itself.
Source: How Stuff Works