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2016’s Top Ecotourism Destinations

The summer is just around the corner (well, nearly… it’s almost spring!) So we thought we’d start looking ahead at ideas for the holidays– planning does take time after all!

Everyone loves a holiday, but have you ever thought about the environmental impact which your holiday has? For the people that replied ‘yes’ to that question, ecotourism could be just the answer you’ve been looking for.

But what is ecotourism? Well, the best all-round definition we have found comes from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which describes ecotourism as:

“Environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and accompanying cultural features, both past and present) that promote conservation, have a low visitor impact and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples.”

So now you know what it is, you’ll probably want to know where the best ecotourism spots are. Well, luckily for you we’ve done some research and put together a collection of some of the most responsible and sustainable holiday locations on our planet.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is actually one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet and is made up of 20 natural parks, eight biological reserves and a whole host of protected areas packed with  plenty of wildlife to captivate ecotourists. One of the country’s most popular attractions is Tortuguero – a small village and national park on the Atlantic coast which is both roadless and remote. The main draw of Tortuguero is the four species of sea turtles which nest and hatch along 20 miles of black sand beaches, helping to create turtle viewing tours. The tours are well organised, done in small groups to protect the wildlife and help bring income to locals while preventing the poaching of turtles and their eggs.

Kenya

As well as having its famous savannas which are home to the likes of lions and elephants, Kenya also boasts stunning mountains, lakes, rain forests, deserts, coral reefs and pristine white beaches all packed with their own ecosystems and wildlife. The country pulls out all the stops to protect its beautiful landscapes and has set up over 50 national reserves and parks which include the Kakamega Rain Forest Reserve and the Masai Mara National Reserve which sees an enormous wildebeest migration every July and August. All of the parks are presided over by Ecotourism Kenya, which works to protect the local environments through community outreach and education, as well as grading all Kenyan lodges on their environmental policies.

 

 

Norway

Norway is internationally recognised as a leader in environmental policy, so it is no surprise that it is up there with the top ecotourism destinations. In particular the country’s famous fjords – home to snowy mountains, perfectly clear water and picturesque, rolling waterfalls

are one of the top attractions. Here, tourists can enjoy boat rides through the scaling fjords with hiking and bike trails also available for those who fancy taking to dry land. The fjords are also home to a plethora of wildlife such as seabirds, porpoises, seals and eagles, and visitors can also enjoy exploring small and remote fishing villages where local cultural traditions have been preserved for centuries.

Find out how to stay environmentally friendly at work with our Quick Guide to an Eco Friendly Office.

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