According to the International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is often defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that converse the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people and involves interpretation and education”.
Here at Ozford, we constantly remind ourselves and our students to be conscientious about the environment and ways to protect our planet.
Ecotourism is about preserving the natural world by encouraging people to look after the natural resources that attract them to that particular region. We are all guilty of picking national areas that are aesthetically pleasing, but it’s usually these areas that are most susceptible to being impacted by us. It is our responsibility to ensure that the natural environment is preserved for current and future generations.
Parks Victoria has partnered with Ecotourism Australia to help preserve our national and state parks. Ecotourism Australia aims to promote sustainable travel, focusing on educating tourists on how to travel green.
What can you do to reduce the carbon footprint of your travels and become an eco-tourist? Here are some, but not limited to, ways you can become an eco-tourist:
- Plan wisely and choose consciously
Take the time to research destinations. In particular, try to choose destinations during off-seasons. Over tourism harms not only the environment but also local communities.
- Book eco-friendly accommodation
Many eco-friendly accommodations can be found (including eco-lodges!). By choosing to stay at an eco-friendly accommodation, you are lowering your carbon footprint and emissions. Many eco-friendly accommodation sites also offer the possibility to experience and partake in the daily life of the local community.
- Admire the natural environment from afar
By not touching the plants, wildlife, and environment, you protect and preserve the environment and not stress the natural inhabitants. It is always advisable to witness the beauty instead of interacting. So, stay back, take photos and immerse in the beauty.
- Take a walk, or use public transport.
By walking or taking public transport, you’ll be able to immerse yourself like a local, and you’ll be able to take in the environment that you might have missed if you were traveling by car.
- Be aware of your rubbish.
This may be an obvious tip, but you’ll be surprised how many people are not aware of the waste they leave behind. Litter from tourism remains a consistent issue. Always make an effort to keep your rubbish in a sealable bag to dispose of it later when you come across a rubbish bin.
As Ozford continues to welcome students back on campus, we hope to continue to raise awareness to our staff and students on ways to protect our planet.