Ecotourism is the opposite of mass tourism. People travel to remote areas and visit faraway places without destroying or ruining the environment. Ecotourism is intended for small groups of tourists who want to learn more about nature in a certain area and help people who live there. Eco tourists travel to places where plant and animal life is the main attraction. They want to know more about how people live side by side in a natural habitat

Ecotourism makes people aware of how beautiful the land and countryside is. Local tour guides show visitors how important our environment is. They know how the region has developed over time. Tourists stay in small local houses, as opposed to gigantic hotel complexes in mass tourism regions.



Other aims of ecotourism are

  • helping conserve nature in a faraway place
  • educating tourists about the place they are travelling to
  • respecting the culture of people who live there
  • the conservation of animal and plant species that are in danger of becoming extinct
  • minimizing the impact of tourism in the area
  • helping people who live there
  • leaving a small carbon footprint



Among the most important destinations of ecotourism are

  • the Galapagos Islands
  • Costa Rica and other parts of Central America
  • the Amazon rain forest
  • East Africa


Ecotourism started out in the 1970s as an alternative to mass tourism. Today it is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry because more and more people are becoming aware of it. As a result, some countries are using ecotourism to gain money and profits. In some areas, it is operated by foreign investors who are only interested in their own profits. Bringing too many people to a remote place could, however, damage local culture.


Eco tourists can help preserve the local environment by

  • walking instead of using motor vehicles
  • using less water
  • turning off electricity if they don’t need it
  • eating locally produced food
  • not throwing things away
  • keeping to footpaths
  • wearing clothes that do not offend the locals
  • not scaring animals
  • respecting the local customs and traditions


Madagascar – Example of Ecotourism

Madagascar is a good example for an ecotourist destination. 80% of the plants and animals on the island have always been there and cannot be seen in anywhere else. While Madagascar has the potential to become a mass tourism country, much of it is not fully developed and lacks infrastructure. Most people live in poverty, especially in rural areas.

The island attracts tourists who are interested in nature and wildlife and not those who long for the noise and activities of overpopulated beaches. They can go on wildlife adventures, whale-watching trips or hiking with local guides.



Related Topics




  • aim = goal, something you hope to achieve
  • attraction = feature
  • aware = to realize that something exists, to be alert
  • certain = special
  • conserve = protect, stop something from being changed or damaged
  • damage = destroy completely
  • destination = place to go
  • develop = grow
  • electricity = power that is in wires and cables; it provides us with light and makes machines work
  • environment = nature; the world around us
  • especially = above all
  • extinct = die out
  • footpath = trail, walkway
  • foreign investor = person or company that gives you money in order to develop or create something new
  • fully = completely
  • gain = get
  • gigantic = very big
  • guide = person who shows you around a place
  • habitat = home, living area
  • hiking = to take long walks in the mountains
  • impact = influence, effect
  • infrastructure = main systems that make a region work, like roads, schools hospitals etc..
  • intend = aim at, target
  • lack = not have enough of
  • long for = to want something very much
  • main = very important
  • mass tourism = when thousands of people go to a place to enjoy themselves
  • minimize = reduce as far as possible
  • motor vehicles = cars, trucks, buses etc..
  • offend =to make someone angry by doing something wrong
  • opposite = as different as possible from something else
  • overpopulated = with far too many people
  • potential = here: to be able to develop in  a very positive way
  • poverty = the situation of being poor
  • preserve = stop from being destroyed
  • profit = the money you get from doing a job
  • remote = faraway
  • ruin = destroy completely
  • rural = countryside
  • sector = field, part
  • species = group of animals and plants that similar and  can produce ones
  • start out = begin