Guidelines for ecotourists

Ecotourism sets out guidelines for how tourists should behave when visiting fragile environments:

  • Protect the environment - keep to footpaths, don't leave litter or start fires.
  • Don't interfere with wildlife - don't scare or feed the animals.
  • Protect resources - don't take too many showers or use air conditioning.
  • Support local communities - stay in locally owned accommodation and buy produce from local people.
  • Eat local food and drink - avoid products that have been imported from MEDCs.
  • Respect local customs and traditions - some communities are offended when tourists wear inappropriate clothes in religious places, strip off on the beach or behave in a rowdy manner. Locals appreciate tourists who try to learn the language and show an interest in their culture.

Ecotourism is increasingly popular and many people appreciate remote locations, small numbers of tourists and less sophisticated facilities. If a resort becomes overdeveloped then they will choose alternative destinations.