Growing in popularity, eco-tourism is centered around vacations with a purpose. More people today are seeking ways they can relax and unwind with family and friends, while still protecting and preserving nature. Especially in Central Florida, maintaining an environmental balance and harmony with nature has become an important focus for tourists and residents alike.
In fact, TripAdvisor says more than 70 percent of surveyed members plan to take an eco-tourism vacation this year. Meanwhile, travel site Booking.com expects eco-tourism popularity to double by 2020, as more people become aware of their impact on the planet and seek realistic and manageable ways to do their part.
Eco-tourism provides unique insight and novel experiences not available in other destinations or at other attractions. That makes it a great way to enjoy a memorable vacation while knowing you’re making a difference. Here are some of the best ways you can become involved in this growing trend:
Travel with a Purpose
The International Eco-Tourism Society (TIES) defines eco-tourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people.” In short, the main idea of eco-tourism is travel that benefits both the traveler and the destination.
Popular ‘green travel’ locations include South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Still, many people find eco-tourism opportunities right here in the United States.
Since one of the pillars of eco-tourism is to raise awareness of and appreciation for local resources while benefiting the economy, there are dozens of options to meet this goal. For instance, when you book a two-hour tour on The Manatee, you help secure the protection of local wildlife and native vegetation.
Re-connecting with nature is one of the most important aspects of eco-tourism. When people appreciate the natural beauty and wonder of holiday sites around the world, they forge a personal bond with the animals and plant life that live and thrive there. That encourages efforts focused on protection and conservation.
Not surprisingly, some of the most popular ‘green travel’ programs include Kenyan safari, snorkeling/diving in Indonesia and similar remote locations, visiting natural wonders like Costa Rican volcanoes, and more.
Still, if you’re unable or unwilling to travel internationally, there are plenty of eco-tourism opportunities closer to where you live. That includes a relaxing and informative two-hour tour on The Manatee, where you’ll get up-close encounters with a variety of interesting Florida wildlife.
No matter where you visit and what activities you have planned, it’s still possible to be a good steward of the environment while on vacation.
That includes making simple choices such as less frequent room cleaning. In fact, many hotels now offer rewards and incentives (discounts, food and beverage vouchers) to those guests who opt for every-other-day cleaning, including towel washing and laundry service.
Another way to maximize energy efficiency is to turn off lights and adjust the room temperature when you and your loved ones aren’t present. These subtle changes can add up to big energy savings.
Plan Day Trips
Everyone has budget and time constraints that must be considered when planning a vacation. However, not every expedition has to be a globe-trotting affair. Instead, there are many fun and exciting options right where you live, or nearby your guest accommodations.
For example, it’s easy to plan a day trip aboard The Manatee. Conveniently located within driving distance of all major Central Florida attractions, here you’ll enjoy a natural experience in comfort and safety. Featuring a sundeck and onboard restroom (plus snacks and beverages available), our craft is accessible and accommodating for all members of the family.
Browse the ‘tours’ section of our website to find the right excursion for you, and then contact us today to book an exciting and relaxing two-hour tour on the water.