Green-Travel is a form of responsible travel where it’s traveller’s responsibility to conserve the resources, reduce carbon footprint and pollution. A green-travel doesn’t start only at the destination but involves green practices on the way too. How and where we travel and the way we stay at the destination, both should be green. Concepts of nature-travel, eco-travel and sustainable travel come under green travel. “Nature-based tourism” simply describes travel to natural places, whereas ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”, by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) in 1990.Sustainable tourism was defined in the 1992 Agenda 21 for the Industry as tourism that “meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future.”
Tourism Industry defines ecotourism as more focused on ecological conservation and educating travelers on local environments and natural surroundings, whereas sustainable tourism focuses on travel that has minimal impact on the environment and local communities. Ecotourism is a form of tourism, or a category of vacation similar to beach, adventure, health, or cultural, while the concept of sustainability can be applied to all types of tourism.
Ecotourism is the fastest growing sector in tourism industry. Still a new concept, eco-travel is not all about looking and admiring the nature based places, but indulging into various nature based activities like watching animals and birds in their natural habitat, trekking, rock-climbing, river rafting and boating, para-gliding, nature walk, cycling and many more. The rejuvenating and educative activities are eco-tour’s best treat.
Other benefits of ecotourism are the understanding of true value of resources by the local people, motivating them along with the government to demand better protection and strong conservation policies. Involvement of local business provides employment to local people, which ultimately lead to building the nation’s economy better.Exchange of cultural, historical and geographical information is quite enriching during the eco tour.
India is a land of diversity with diverse physical features, people and cultures, natural and biological wonders. This attracts nature lovers from all across the globe to come and explore the natural diversity. There are snow-capped mountains of Himalayas, Hilly terrains of Ghats, plains and plateaus, coastal regions, deserts and dense forests. Every part of the country is full of eco regions with lots of natural sightseeing locations. Hill stations, beaches, rivers, waterfalls wildlife parks and sanctuaries are some of the richest eco places known all over. These are aptly named as “Eco-wonders of India”. The other aspect of eco-travel “conservation or green travel” becomes even more important when we travel to these pristine natural wonders. By 2020, the number of tourists flying to international destinations will grow to more than 1.6 billion people per year [United Nations World Tourism Organization]. That’s a huge amount of carbon footprint if green travel is not opted. Travel green means reduce carbon footprint during travel and at the place just like doing at home. For example, traveler can opt for a hotel which implements sustainable operating techniques(read more).
Planes and cars emit the most carbon dioxide per traveller, green vacationers may choose to travel by bus or train or share transport with friends (tips for green vacation).