Tourism can have a positive impact on communities when it benefits people economically through the creation of new jobs and improved infrastructure. In many cases, tourism leads to investment in local conservation and the preservation of natural resources, points of interest and traditions, making destinations more appealing to visitors and helping the community to retain their heritage at the same time.
In some countries tourism and visitor expenditure generates a valued source of income for local communities and helps to alleviate poverty.
But sadly this is not always the case and on the flip side tourism can have a detrimental impact on communities and whole regions. When left unchecked, irresponsible tourism can contribute to the erosion of traditional values, damage environments and put an increased strain on an area’s natural resources.
The good news is that there are an ever increasing number of options for those who wish to travel in a responsible way, causing the minimum possible harm to any environment they visit.
January is prime time for booking holidays and making travel plans as the winter blues set in and we all long for longer days and sunshine. But this year why not try something a little different? The chances are you are already committed to being ‘greener’ in your home, so why not go one step further and plan a more eco friendly holiday this summer?
There is a great deal of waste and inefficiency associated with many of our typical holiday choices, but an eco retreat presents the ideal solution for travellers wishing to get away from this type of excessive consumption without making any compromise in terms of their holiday experience.
What Is An Eco Retreat?
There are many types of eco retreat in locations all over the globe but essentially they all share the same goal; to be ecologically sustainable and to minimise their impact on the environment.
This goal can take shape through any combination of the following:
- Use of green energy, including solar and wind – some retreats are completely off grid.
- Using energy efficient appliances and low energy bulbs.
- Reducing water consumption through grey water recycling and using this precious resource mindfully.
- By recycling and composting everything possible - plastic, metal, paper, wood food waste and all salvageable materials.
- Avoiding waste, discouraging the use of disposable items.
- Use of local produce and employing local people on fair wages.
- Using environmentally friendly, non toxic cleaning agents.
- Building with local, sustainable resources / salvaged materials.
- Encouraging visitors to appreciate and respect the natural environment around them – take nothing but photos & leave nothing but footprints.
- Rejecting the use of chemical insecticides, fertilizers or herbicides.
However, there is a common misconception that in order to be ‘Eco’ there must be some kind of compromise in terms of luxury, whilst in reality this is not the case at all.
Whether you choose a ‘glamping’ experience where you can be at one with nature and dine under the stars, or a luxury retreat with five star facilities, you will soon realise that there is no foundation whatsoever to this myth!
Taking Care Of You
As well as taking great care of the environment eco retreats also tend to focus a great deal of attention on taking care of you too, from the inside out. You will find many retreats offering guests the chance to pick and eat fresh fruit and vegetables from their organic gardens and it is not unusual to find a broad selection of complimentary therapies including;
- Aromatherapy Massage
Try Something Different!
If you fancy a low impact holiday in which you can kick back, relax and reconnect with yourself and nature, why not look for the ideal break this year and go eco?
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