Later to the tree series on the blog posts, we are starting with the Eco-Friendly topics in this section. To start with we will talk about Eco Tourism.
Eco tourism is about been responsible when you travel, explore, and discover paths hitherto unknown.
Incredible India is a country rich in heritage, culture and biodiversity; a country brimming with some of the best scenic and natural wonders in the world. Communities hitherto unknown to the world, culture that is unique and paths waiting to be tread and discovered- that is India. The world only knows about our priceless monuments, spiritual ashrams and the Kohinoor; it is time they discovered our biological parks, tea plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, mighty mountains and lush green jungles. It’s time the world awoke to India as the destination for ecotourism.
What is ecotourism?
Eco tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world according to the World Tourism Organization with an annual growth rate of 5% worldwide. Essentially, ecotourism comprises of responsible tourism wherein there is no damage done to the wildlife, the natural habitat and the local population of a tourist place. The International Ecotourism Society has very aptly defined ecotourism as “a responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and improve the well-being of local people.”
What are the main features of ecotourism?
Here arises a question about what exactly ecotourism comprises of:
• Minimal impact on natural habitat, flora and fauna and wildlife
• Spread awareness of the indigenous population of the area
• Empower the local people
• Generate revenue which can be used for conservation of nature
• Lead to development of remote areas
• Spread importance of nature and why it should be preserved.
Ecotourism in India
Our country has been blessed with natural wonders and unmatchable beauty. Be it long stretches of beaches, unsullied forests, wildlife sanctuaries, glorious mountains, India has it all and is waiting to be explored, discovered and popularized. Ecotourism is still taking baby steps in our country but with the recent awareness among the rulers and the people of the nation we are moving in the right direction.
We have innumerable Eco tourist destinations in our country which can offer the peace, the quiet and the union with nature far from the madding crowd bitten by the technology bug. There are also activities to enrich your mind and body.
Some of the famous ecotourism destinations in India are:
• The Camp Kyari (one of the finest models of Eco-tourism in the country) – Village Kyari, Ramnagar
• Camp Silver Sands – Rishikesh, Uttaranchal
• Camp Lunagarh – Mori, Uttaranchal
• The Himalayan River Runner Camp – Rishikesh, Uttaranchal
• The OAI Camp – Rishikesh, Uttaranchal
• The Leopard Beach Camp – Rishikesh, Uttaranchal
• Kerala: Munnar, Backwater waterways, Thenmala, Thodupuzha, Eravikulam National Park, Periyar National Park,
• Karnataka: Coorg, Nagarhole, Nagarhole National Park, Bandipur National Park
• Goa: Galgibaga Beach
• Andhra Pradesh: Tyda, Maredumilli
• Odisha: Chilika
• West Bengal: Sunderbans National Park,
• Sikkim: Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
• Assam: Kaziranga National Park, Majuli
• Meghalaya: Mawlynnong
• Nagaland: Jotsoma village
• Arunachal Pradesh: Namdhapa National Park
• Ladakh: Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve
• Madhya Pradesh: Kanha National Park
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Ecotourism activities in India
India has started its journey on the ecotourism trail because some of the best destinations are right here in the lap of this great nation.With improving infrastructure and connectivity the day is not far when India will be the most sought after ecotourist destination. What add to the attractions of natural wonders are the thrilling activities that one can undertake when here. Mentioned below are ecotourism delights that every tourist should experience on an eco-tour to India:
• river rafting
• scuba diving
• bungee jumping
• rock climbing
There are options of village homestay and bird watching too for those less adventurous folks who want to just enjoy some quiet time with pristine nature.
Be an Eco tourist
Nations across the world have realized the importance of preserving nature and the flora and fauna unique to the region. The onus is on each one of us who wants to travel the world and see new places to preserve the natural resources of the place. It is upon us to be responsible tourists who respect nature, wildlife and the culture of the indigenous population of a place. We shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that our sojourns do not contribute to the carbon footprint of the world by not wasting energy and other natural resources. Irrespective of the place we travel to let us try and become Eco tourists and try to bridge the gap between nature, culture, heritage of a place and conservation of the environment. Let us spread the motto of, “Go Green,” in tourism too.