Ecotourism in the world: features and best places

Ecotourism as a business

Under the definition of "ecological tourism" it is customary to combine dozens of types and directions of the tourism industry. This also includes adventure, green, hiking, religious, rural, wellness, recreational and other types. Although this is not a complete list. That is why a clear definition of ecotourism activities in the world has not yet been formulated.

Since the objects of interest of tourists can be not only natural monuments, but also historical and cultural ones, habitats of rare ethnic groups that have preserved unique traditions and customs, objects of spiritual culture. The emphasis is also on familiarization with the above places, on the desire to preserve their integrity as much as possible.

Eco-tourism implies a minimum impact on the environment, a kind of environmental education while traveling. Its main principles are:

  • Acquaintance with the environment, nature, customs of the indigenous people of a certain area, culture;
  • Direct participation in the processes of nature protection and socio-cultural environment;
  • Economic contribution to the development of the most visited regions, stimulation to the protection of natural monuments.

How ecotourism was born

Costa Rica, a small picturesque country in Central America, is considered to be the birthplace of ecological tourism. This is the name given to the amazing place by the conquistadors when they discovered the shores of unprecedented beauty. The only treasure of the state is a rich rainforest. The Costa Rican authorities initially abandoned the deliberate destruction of their own natural resources, selling them to neighbors. Thus, they contributed to the attraction of numerous tourists here from all over the world.

The very direction of ecological tourism appeared in the 80s of the last century. The main idea of ​​the followers was that it is necessary to realize the essence of nature as the basis of life on the planet, to direct all efforts to preserve it, to create a harmonious balance between economic benefits and environmental safety of all its representatives. This thesis was proclaimed by Hector Ceballos-Laskurain at a conference in Mexico in 1983.

Soon, a new tourist trend has received global development around the world. Since the 90s, there has been a significant shift in tourist preferences from traditional to natural destinations located in countries with a high level of development.


The most popular ecotourism routes are the most picturesque places on the planet. However, residents of megalopolises also strive to satisfy the craving for knowledge, to get new impressions, getting acquainted with amazing traditions.


Ecological tourism

This relatively new direction is rapidly gaining momentum. For several years now, the inhabitants of civilized Europe have been storming untouched corners of nature in Africa, Asia, South America ... What are they looking for there?

Recently, the geography of travel is expanding, tourists are becoming more selective and demanding. Sometimes it's not so easy to surprise them with something. There is a funny paradox in the world: the benefits of civilization are in abundance, and people are increasingly trying to abandon them in favor of pristine nature ...

Ecotourism Concept

A striking example is ecological tourism. The trend, which has already become very popular, involves the rejection of luxury hotels, all-inclusive systems, comfortable vehicles and other developments of mankind in favor of naturalness, naturalness and unity with nature.

Would you like to change busy trails with mountain bike trails, stuffy rooms of night clubs with walks under the starry sky, hotel pools with babbling mountain streams? Then you will be interested to learn about the types of ecotourism and the best places on the planet for this type of vacation.

Types of ecotourism

Modern ecological tourism can pursue different goals, which is why it is divided into several areas:

  • Scientific - focused on the study of nature, field research, various observations.
  • Active - hiking, mountaineering, cycling;
  • Historical - supports national identity, introduces cultural traditions;
  • Travel to nature reserves - various kinds of reserves, national parks;
  • Agritourism is the most relevant for residents of megalopolises who go to the village, country houses, to the forest and learn agriculture.

Features of ecotourism

Ecological tourism is a separate direction, which has its own rather specific features that distinguish it from other types of travel. Its concept implies:

Ecological tourism. Future development depends on how carefully the international community carries out scientific analysis of activities ...

What is ecotourism?

Eco-tourism is a trip to nature, the participants of which take care of the preservation of the environment and the well-being of local residents. Ecotourism includes a cognitive component and an element of mutual education of tourists and local residents. This definition is given by The International Ecotourism Society.

Ecotourism mainly develops in specially protected natural areas (SPNA): reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries; but it is also possible in places that have not been assigned a special conservation status. Summer and autumn of 2020 will give you a wonderful opportunity to travel within the homeland. In this article, we will tell you how an ecotourist differs from a person with a tent and share the best places for ecotourism in Russia.

How does ecotourism differ from outdoor recreation?

The International Ecotourism Association highlights the principles that distinguish ecotourism from other types of travel. They address environmental issues, ethics and interaction with local people, making tourism not only sustainable, but also ethical. Eco-trip will take place if its participants and organizers strive to:

  • minimize the physical and socio-cultural impact on nature and local residents;
  • navigate environmental and local cultural issues;
  • provide positive experiences for everyone: tourists and locals;
  • be financially beneficial for conservation areas, locals and organizations to support the commitment to caring for nature;
  • create a memorable experience for tourists , which helps the host territory to draw attention to environmental, political and social issues;
  • Build and use equipment and amenities that leave less damage to the territory (parking lots, hiking trails, dwellings, tourist centers, etc.). ).

In addition, visits to protected areas are regulated by the Law on Specially Protected Natural Areas. And for territories of different protection regimes, different rules have been established. In reserves, places may be allocated where tourists are not allowed.

How to prepare?

Before traveling to a protected natural area, find out if you need to issue a pass. This information can be found on the sites of the reserves. Usually, a scan of the passport and the date of visit are required to issue a pass. If the reserve is located in the border area, a passport may be required.

If you are planning a trip for several days, find out if it is possible to stay in a tent or in a guest house on the territory of the reserve.

Do not pick berries, mushrooms and plants on the territory of reserves. They are here to preserve biodiversity.

Stay away from animals and bird nests. Turn off the sound on your phone and do not make loud sounds. In the reserve we are visiting nature.

In Russia, they began to create and develop tourist infrastructure in 10 nature reserves, parks and reserves. They became finalists of the All-Russian competition for the creation of tourist and recreational clusters and the development of ecotourism, which ended this October. The winning projects will receive financial support from investors and will be implemented in the coming years.

- Thanks to the competition, we managed to draw attention to many problematic issues related to tourism, ecology, recreation culture, regional economics, education and the need to systematize data on the development of tourist places. Within the framework of each project, author's routes and objects will be created related to local features, mythology and history of the place. For example, the Paustovsky cluster in the Ryazan region integrates the natural areas presented in the work of Konstantin Paustovsky. There will be a museum-tea "Telegram", philosophical trails and water routes. As part of the Great Valdai Trail cluster, sites for observing wild animals and birds and themed walking trails of Bianki, Roerich and Miklouho-Maclay will be equipped. The cluster "Smolenskoe Poozerie" organizes cycling routes around glacial lakes, phyto- and cardiac routes through the raised bogs of the lake, a herbalism center and tours with the observation of wild animals. We hope that the created tourist and recreational clusters will become points of attraction for tourists who want to see the beauty of their native country and enjoy them. And the proceeds will go to the development of territories and the preservation of biodiversity, - said Olga Zakharova, Deputy Director General of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

All 10 pilot projects on ecological tourism will not only receive the support of the federal authorities, but will also be included in the new national project "Tourism", which is in the final stage of approval. The winners of the competition have already started work. So, the project "Heart of Bashkiria", covering in Bashkortostan the national park of the same name and natural monument "Mount Toratau", received funding within the framework of the national project "Ecology" for the arrangement of the ecological trail "Mysterious Sumgan", "Beyek-Tau", "Kuperlya" and ecological campings " Antonova Skala "and" 45 quarter ". In these territories, gravel roads will be organized in hard-to-reach areas, an observation deck with a view of the Kuperl waterfall and a floating pontoon will be created, information boards and signs, tourist tents and toilets will be installed.

"Reserved Kamchatka: the land of people, volcanoes and salmon"

Kamchatka is famous for its unique natural monuments - White Waterfalls, which are a source of cold mineral water, Kamchatka bears, Kutkhin Baty - pumice rocks, reminiscent of ancient Itelmen boats.

- The South Kamchatka reserve is highly underestimated from a tourist point of view. On a relatively compact territory, there are many potentially attractive objects for tourist display: wild animals, and volcanic landscapes, and the Kuril Lake, and geothermal springs. We have developed a concept for the development of the South Kamchatka reserve in terms of building infrastructure in the reserve itself and involving local residents in tourism activities. At the moment, all guests arrive by helicopter, watch the Kuril Lake and the bears, and fly away. To develop tourism in the reserve, it is necessary to reconstruct the local runway and use small aircraft, to equip a technological passage using a number of ferry crossings, to involve local residents, who are traditionally engaged in fishing, in interaction with tourists. We have found several investors and partners who are planning to build a recreation center in villages where there are balneological clinics, hot springs and the first geothermal power plant in Russia. We also want to equip recreation sites, restore public baths, build a quay wall in the village of Ozernovsky on the Okhotsk coast to receive expeditionary and cruise ships, a horse farm, a lagoon near a hot water source and thermal greenhouses, put in order the existing hot pools, put a number of treatment facilities in settlements and establish separate waste collection. We plan to implement this by 2030. First of all, by 2025, build a recreation center, reconstruct a number of roads and bridges, conduct surveys and planning solutions for more complex and expensive projects, ”said Roman Korchigin, Deputy Director for Educational Tourism of the Kronotsky State Reserve.

Laguna Busse

In the Sakhalin region, the abandoned Aniva lighthouse with a height of 9 floors, the Bird Cape with a natural arch and blue lakes in the place of craters are of great attraction for tourists.

- The project of the tourist and recreational cluster includes about 10 points of display included in popular tourist routes, which are already objects of attraction for local residents and businesses. This is the symbol of the region - the Aniva lighthouse, as well as the Bird Cape with its rocky arches, turquoise lakes and other unique natural attractions. In addition, the tourist and recreational cluster is part of the Free Port of Vladivostok zone with preferential terms for potential investors. Winning the competition opens up a huge potential for the development of ecological tourism in the Sakhalin region. There was an opportunity to obtain federal co-financing, to organize joint work with the largest domestic and foreign business players in terms of the development of new objects of commercial tourism infrastructure. This will create the best conditions for the islanders to spend their leisure time, attract tourists and create a new level of high-quality tourism product. As part of the project, they will equip dirt roads to popular display areas in the Korsakovsky district, create glamping sites on the territory of Lake Busse, build a resort complex on Lake Tunaicha with an aquazone, a sports ground and a park, a bath complex, guest houses for fishermen and hunters, organize a business for renting kayaks and paddle boards, to build recreation centers with a mini-restaurant on Lake Bolshoye Vavayskoye and a center for sea expeditionary tourism in the village of Novikovo. The implementation of the project will begin in 2021 with the design of facilities, - said the head of the Tourism Agency of the Sakhalin Region Valery Dubrovsky.

Tunkinskaya Valley

Tunkinsky National Park in Buryatia is famous for its beautiful mountain landscapes. In the mountains of the Eastern Sayan, the Tunkinskaya depression stretches 200 km long and 20 to 40 km wide. The Irkut River cuts through the area from west to east. There is a group of waterfalls in the marble canyon of the Kyngarga River. Some of them are located at a height of 7 meters.

- A solid team of 158 people and 17 legal entities worked on the new concept of the Tunkinsky National Park. The project is truly unique and deserves attention. On the territory of the park with an area of ​​almost 12 thousand square meters. m, it is planned to create hiking and horseback trails, develop modern infrastructure, modernize existing resorts and build eco-hotels that meet the latest requirements. Investments in the implementation of the plan will amount to about 8 billion rubles, more than half of which are private. The pool of investors has already been formed, and applications continue to arrive. This means that the implementation of the project will contribute to the rapid development of small and medium-sized businesses: more than 100 commercial objects will be created on the territory of the park: eco-hotels, glampings, campings, catering establishments, visit centers, parking lots and eco-trails, - says the director of the Tunkinsky National Park Aldar Dorzhiev.

Every year the ecotourism sector shows an increase of at least 10%. The growing interest in this kind of pastime provokes the interest of entrepreneurs in this area. The advantage of this direction is that the business can be organized in various ways and with minimal investment.

Ecotourism Concept

The main idea of ​​ecotourism is active recreation in the bosom of nature with minimal harm to the environment. Travels are made on foot, on bicycles, rafts, skis, horses, non-motorized boats. From this point of view, the entrepreneur has significant savings on the organization of vehicles.

Walks can have a different thematic focus. You can organize hikes for berries or mushrooms, collecting medicinal herbs, and sightseeing walks with the local nature. In any case, for walks, you need a guide who will tell you about the features of the area.

The concept of ecotourism includes rural tourism. This means living in a village house of several people who will have the opportunity to experience rural life for themselves, independently participate in agricultural work, and so on.

Main directions of ecotourism

Thus, there are three main areas in which ecotourism as a business can be organized:

  • Weekend trips to nature. In this case, it is necessary to organize tents for accommodation, boat rental, a beach, a barbecue area, horseback riding, nature-related entertainment, etc.
  • Rest as close as possible to nature. It means living in the countryside in a village house. True, in this case, there must be a bathhouse, a well with clean water and a neat toilet. Everything else, including the lack of electricity, will be perceived as exotic and help maximize unity with nature.
  • Rest with the benefits of civilization. Designed for those who just want to be away from the noise of the city, but at the same time have maximum comfort. As a rule, cottage townships with electricity, television and the Internet are organized for this.

Having decided on the direction in which there is a desire to develop the business, you can roughly imagine the level of necessary costs. Obviously, the last option will be the most costly.

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