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Your Ecotourism Dollar

At The Travel Word, we believe that there’s a world of difference between a dollar spent on ecotourism and a dollar spent on mainstream travel. We want to help you make that difference.

So we found five ecolodges to plan your trip around. Then we found five more. We explored the ties between tourism spending and conservation, as well as protecting endangered species. We looked at ecotourism hot spots in Malaysia, and journeyed eco-style within the USA to Hawai’i and Key West, Florida. We’re putting ecotourism experiences in Ghana and the Bahamas on the map, along with top ecotourism rainforest adventures.

If last month’s Earth Day newsletter wasn’t enough inspiration to travel closer to the earth, we hope the practical ideas in this follow-up edition will jumpstart your ecotourism adventure.

All the best,

Cynthia Ord, Editor, The Travel Word newsletter

beaches, Bolivia, Colombia, ecotours, Egypt, forests & jungles, indigenous culture, islands, Malaysia, Tanzania, top five


André Franchini 9 May 2012

Does ecotourism mean staying in ecolodges? Yes, it does, but that’s not all. Ecotourism is an approach to travel that embraces all the principles of responsible tourism, not just the choice of accommodation. Still, if you’re new to eco-travel, ecolodges are a great place to start. Find your fantasy ecolodge, then make it the centrepiece of your trip.

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adventure travel, beaches, ecotours, forests & jungles, islands, Kenya, Laos, Panama, Timor Leste, top five

Five MORE Ecolodges to Plan Your Trip Around

Cynthia Ord 21 May 2012

While there are many interpretations of the ‘ecolodge’ concept, most of the structures share some special traits. They’re low-impact buildings that use materials repurposed or found locally, and adhere to sustainable-water and -power practices. They’re immersed in beautiful natural areas, which they’re committed to helping preserve. They amaze guests with their comfort and elegance, even in the midst of rugged nature.

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adventure travel, Bahamas, beaches, birds, Caribbean, ecotours, islands, lakes, local knowledge, marine conservation, North America

Ecotourism in the Bahamas: San Salvador's Lagoon

Ethan Gelber 23 May 2012

There's an island in the Caribbean skirted by beaches of fine white powder that give way to pristine waters of disarming blue. This is San Salvador, one of the beachheads of the Bahamas and home to a surpassingly beautiful and uncorrupted tidal body of water known as the Lagoon. You can take it all in – mangroves, birds, fish and ambiance – on a boat tour offered by only one company.

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animal conservation, ecotours, marine conservation, oceans & reefs, opinion, responsible travel news, voluntourism

How Tourism Dollars Support Conservation

Joe Ascanio 11 May 2012

As conservation tourism becomes more and more popular, how can travelers be certain where and how their money is being spent? One well-known wildlife conservation tourism project, called SEE Turtles, is clearly outlining exactly how travelers’ dollars contribute to the sustainability of conservation projects and surrounding communities.

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animal conservation, Brazil, ecotours, game reserves, Malaysia, marine conservation, national parks, Nepal, safaris, top five, Zambia

Can Ecotourism Help Save Endangered Species?

Laurel Angrist 22 May 2012

We’ve all visited neglected, underfunded and high-traffic tourist parks where wild and endangered animals have become almost tame. Sites such as these, where regulations are inadequately enforced, are unfortunately far too common. On the sunny flip side of this is well-planned ecotourism, the kind that helps conserve many outdoor and wilderness spaces that may be a last hope for endangered species.

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animal conservation, Asia, beaches, ecotours, islands, local knowledge, Malaysia, marine conservation, South-Eastern Asia

Three Ecotourism Hot Spots in Malaysia

Oshin Chin 14 May 2012

Malaysia is a hard-to-rival ecotourism destination. And now, through a combination of charismatic animal species and government programs to protect them, several areas of Malaysia have found a way to regulate and harness tourism as a positive force for animal conservation. Whether it’s dolphins, monkeys, turtles or elephants you’re hoping to encounter (and maybe even help), Malaysia is the place to be.

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adventure travel, ecotours, indigenous culture, islands, local knowledge, local knowledge, North America, outdoors, personal experience

Ecotravel with VolcanoDiscovery Hawai'i

Ayako Ezaki 18 May 2012

For volcano enthusiasts, Hawai’i is a unique destination offering one-of-a-kind encounters with Kīlauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world’s most massive volcano. I was fortunate to get to know one of the most reputable local ecotour providers in Hawai’i, VolcanoDiscovery Hawai’i, and to experience the Big Island differently.

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adventure travel, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, ecotours, forests & jungles, Laos, Malaysia, Rwanda, top five, waterfalls

Top Tropical Rainforest Adventures

Laurel Angrist 7 May 2012

Visiting a rainforest is a unique nature experience. During the day, these unique biomes burst with a busy buzz and bright flashes of colour, while at night, the air comes alive with the shrieks and calls of the forest’s many nocturnal creatures. Amidst all this natural beauty, it’s important to tread lightly.

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adventure travel, Africa, ecotours, forests & jungles, Ghana, local knowledge, national parks, outdoors, personal experience, Western Africa

Ghana's Undiscovered Kyabobo

Leif Ryman 30 April 2012

Kyabobo is Ghana’s newest national park. For the host communities, the ecotourism that has come with it means “improved livelihood activities” or jobs as guides, cooks and craftspeople. The income generated is used for local development projects, like bringing electricity to nearby communities and providing materials for the construction of schools and toilets.

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adventure travel, architecture & landmarks, beaches, islands, marine conservation, North America, oceans & reefs, outdoors, personal experience, traveller tale, USA

Bliss: The Dry Tortugas of Florida's Key West

Amber Nolan 16 May 2012

“Wow,” is all I can say. From this angle, we can see the entire length of the island. It seems artificial, and certainly doesn’t look like any other part of Florida. I feel content with this paradise around me, and am completely “blissed out.” I hope the ferry never drops visitors off at this island. I appreciate it so much more knowing how far I had come to make this happen.

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