Ecotourism is more than a buzzword. It is a sustainable and long-term practice for the purpose of conservation. It comes with an awareness and responsibility. It is about respecting the natural landscapes and local communities and to ensure that the integrity of the ecosystem remains intact. Fortunately, ecotourism holidays in India are a possibility and opportunities for the same on the rise.
Planning Ecotourism Holidays in India
Whether you are a resident or a visitor to the country, it is important to take some time to properly plan your sustainable tourism trip.
You can choose from destinations such as Kerala, all the northeastern states, Uttarakhand, and Goa. Leh and Ladakh region offers many opportunities for ecotourism tours in India.
In Kerala, there are opportunities to trek in some of the tea gardens. The hills of the Western Ghats; a top biodiversity spot in the world, cover a large part of Kerala. These contain wildlife parks, reserve forests, lakes, waterfalls, and many rivers in Kerala flow through these hills. The backwaters and the natural green cover in the state are also idle grounds for ecotourism. In fact, Thenmala in Kerala is often touted as the first planned ecotourism spot in the country. You can easily reach it via Thiruvananthapuram which is some 72 km away. You can take flights to Kochi or any other city in Kerala. You can also reach major cities and towns in the state by train too.
Sikkim has renewed its focus on preserving natural landscapes and conserving its wildlife. Excessive tourism with wild disregard to sustainability in the state led to a lot of waste to the region. Ecotourism is a step to correct the wrongs that occur due to mindless tourism and traveling.
Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and other northeastern states are abundant in natural beauty and contain hilly regions. There are wildlife reserves, rivers, and natural treks in most of these states. Kaziranga National Park is home to the one-horned rhinoceroses and tigers. Manas National Park is a tiger reserve and a biosphere reserve, and it also is home to elephants and one-horned rhinos. On top of it all; it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to the park alone is a great idea for an ecotourism trip. Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) organizes eco tours that are very popular with international tourists. Living Roots Ecotourism Society in Meghalaya is promoting villages around the Living Roots for ecotourism. These make for the perfect site for actually spending time in nature and for understanding manmade efforts to make structures to support natural surroundings.
Karnataka Ecotourism Development Board (KEDB) along with National Tiger Conservation Authority have taken the onus to promote ecotourism in Karnataka. These organizations plan to launch sustainable tourism around heritage sites and forests in the state.
Uttarakhand’s tourism department is planning to convert villages as ecotourism hotspots. The efforts are ongoing and some are ready as well. Similarly; state governments along with NGOs and other private organizations are making efforts to boost conservation and reduce the waste generated by tourism.
Many private companies now offer e-bike tours in states such as Goa. Bicycling tours are a hit with ecotourism packages. Many foreign and domestic tourists now explore regions in India via organized bicycle tours.
Making the Most of Ecotourism Holidays
The aim is to reduce your carbon footprint and waste while you are an ecotourism trip. So, if you have to take flights to travel to another country or city; you can offset your carbon footprint by way of taking sustainable measures for the rest of the trip.
Use of bicycles, staying with local communities, minimizing waste, and traveling minimally are cornerstones of ecotourism. You can also assess how you can help the communities and the destination as part of your sustainable travel. Staying in camps, participating in local cleanliness drives, helping with sustainability efforts are some examples.
Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI) is an organization that works with several government bodies as well as private stakeholders to promote ecotourism and all aspects of it. Such efforts are paving the way for protecting our planet.
With so many opportunities for ecotourism holidays in India, you can easily contribute towards sustainable drives during your visit to any part of the country.
What is ecotourism?
Ecotourism is a tourism practice where care is taken to preserve the natural ecosystems and travel with care. It is a way to responsibly travel with maximum use of sustainable resources and giving rather than simply taking from the natural environment.
What are the best destinations for ecotourism holidays in India?
Thenmala (Kerala), Nongblai (Meghalaya), and Ziro (Arunachal Pradesh) are well-known places for ecotourism holidays in India. The states of Assam, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Kerala, and Goa offer many spots for ecotourism trips.
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