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What Is Tourism Based On The Environment Called


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Rozamond Wachter



Tourism is a booming industry that continues to capture the hearts and minds of travelers around the world. It offers a chance to explore new destinations, experience different cultures, and unwind from the pressures of everyday life. However, as the awareness of environmental sustainability grows, a new form of tourism has emerged – tourism based on the environment. This type of tourism focuses on minimizing the negative impact on the environment and maximizing the positive contributions to the local ecosystem.


Environment-based tourism, also known as eco-tourism or sustainable tourism, goes beyond simply enjoying natural attractions. It is about fostering a deeper connection with the environment, promoting conservation, and supporting local communities. This form of tourism seeks to educate travelers, raise awareness about environmental issues, and encourage responsible travel practices.


In recent years, there has been a significant shift towards environment-based tourism as travelers become more conscious of their impact on the planet. People are now seeking authentic experiences that allow them to immerse themselves in the natural wonders of a destination while contributing to its preservation.


The growth of environment-based tourism has been fueled by various factors, including the increasing concern over climate change and the desire to protect fragile ecosystems. Travelers are now more inclined to choose destinations and activities that align with their values and minimize harm to the environment.


As a result, there has been a rise in eco-friendly accommodations, eco-tours, and sustainable travel initiatives. Travelers now have the opportunity to engage in activities such as wildlife conservation, nature hikes, organic farming, and community-based tourism.


Overall, tourism based on the environment offers a unique and rewarding way to explore the world while actively contributing to its preservation. By embracing sustainable practices and supporting local communities, travelers can make a positive impact and create a more sustainable future for generations to come.


Definition of Tourism Based on the Environment

Tourism based on the environment, also known as eco-tourism or sustainable tourism, is a form of tourism that emphasizes the importance of environmental conservation, sustainability, and the well-being of local communities. It focuses on minimizing the negative impact on the environment and promoting responsible travel practices.


Environment-based tourism involves visiting natural areas, such as national parks, wildlife reserves, rainforests, or coastal regions, with the intention of experiencing and appreciating the natural environment. It encourages travelers to engage in activities that are eco-friendly, such as nature walks, bird-watching, snorkeling, or renewable energy workshops.


One of the key principles of environment-based tourism is the concept of “leave no trace.” This means that travelers should strive to have minimal impact on the environment they visit, preserving its pristine condition for future generations. It involves respecting wildlife, plants, and ecosystems, as well as adhering to sustainable waste management practices.


Furthermore, environment-based tourism aims to benefit the local communities in the destinations visited. It encourages travelers to support local businesses, craftsmen, and artisans, ensuring that the economic benefits of tourism are distributed directly to the people in the area. By doing so, it helps to create sustainable livelihoods and empower local communities.


Another essential aspect of tourism based on the environment is education and awareness. Travelers are encouraged to learn about the ecosystems, conservation efforts, and environmental challenges of the places they visit. This fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural world and encourages responsible behavior both during the trip and in everyday life.


Overall, the definition of tourism based on the environment encompasses a holistic approach to travel that prioritizes the preservation of the natural environment, supports local communities, and promotes sustainable practices. It is a conscious choice to travel in a way that minimizes harm to the environment while maximizing positive contributions to conservation efforts and community development.


Characteristics of Environment-based Tourism

Environment-based tourism is characterized by several unique features that differentiate it from traditional tourism. These characteristics highlight the focus on environmental sustainability, conservation, and responsible travel practices.


1. Emphasis on Natural Attractions: Environment-based tourism centers around visiting and exploring natural attractions, such as national parks, wildlife reserves, protected areas, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Travelers are drawn to these destinations for their scenic beauty, biodiversity, and unique ecosystems.


2. Conservation and Preservation: Environment-based tourism places a strong emphasis on the conservation and preservation of the natural environment. Travelers are encouraged to minimize their impact on the ecosystems they visit by following guidelines and regulations set by local authorities.


3. Educational Focus: An important aspect of environment-based tourism is the opportunity for travelers to learn about the environment, biodiversity, and conservation efforts in the destination. Many eco-tourism activities include informative guided tours, nature walks, and educational workshops.


4. Community Involvement: Environment-based tourism promotes community involvement and benefits local communities. Travelers are encouraged to support local businesses, stay in eco-friendly accommodations owned by locals, and participate in community-based tourism initiatives.


5. Sustainable Practices: Sustainable practices are integral to environment-based tourism. This includes minimizing waste, conserving resources (such as water and energy), supporting eco-friendly transportation options, and promoting organic farming and local food consumption.


6. Responsible Travel: Environment-based tourism encourages responsible travel practices, such as respecting wildlife and ecosystems, adhering to designated trails, and practicing Leave-No-Trace principles. Travelers are encouraged to minimize their ecological footprint and leave the environment undisturbed.


7. Partnerships and Collaboration: Environment-based tourism often involves collaboration between tourism stakeholders, local communities, environmental organizations, and governmental bodies. Partnerships are formed to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources and the equitable distribution of benefits.


By embodying these characteristics, environment-based tourism offers a unique and sustainable way to explore and appreciate the natural wonders of the world while contributing to their preservation and supporting local communities.


Benefits of Environment-based Tourism

Environment-based tourism brings forth a multitude of benefits, not only for travelers but also for the environment and local communities. These benefits extend beyond mere economic gains and contribute to the overall well-being of destinations and their ecosystems.


1. Conservation of Natural Areas: Environment-based tourism promotes the conservation and protection of natural areas, including national parks, wildlife reserves, and fragile ecosystems. By generating awareness and funds, it provides resources for the preservation of these areas, ensuring their long-term sustainability.


2. Preservation of Cultural Heritage: Many environment-based tourism initiatives also focus on the preservation of cultural heritage. By supporting community-based tourism in indigenous and local communities, travelers help preserve traditional practices, crafts, and customs, safeguarding cultural diversity for future generations.


3. Empowerment of Local Communities: Environment-based tourism has the potential to empower local communities by providing economic opportunities and supporting small businesses. Travelers who choose to stay in locally owned eco-lodges, purchase crafts from local artisans, or engage in community-based tourism activities directly contribute to the socio-economic development of the community.


4. Education and Awareness: Environment-based tourism offers educational opportunities for travelers to learn about the environment, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices. This fosters a greater understanding of the interconnectedness between humans and nature and promotes responsible behavior both during the trip and in daily life.


5. Improved Infrastructure and Services: The development of environment-based tourism often leads to investments in infrastructure and services that benefit both tourists and local communities. Improved transportation, waste management systems, eco-friendly accommodations, and visitor facilities enhance the overall quality of life in the area.


6. Job Creation: Environment-based tourism creates employment opportunities, particularly in rural and remote areas where alternative sources of income are limited. This helps to diversify local economies, reduce poverty, and provide livelihoods for local residents.


7. Alternative to Mass Tourism: Environment-based tourism offers an alternative to mass tourism, which often causes overcrowding, pollution, and damage to natural and cultural sites. By promoting sustainable practices and responsible travel, it helps to manage visitor numbers and ensure a more authentic and low-impact travel experience.


8. Well-being and Connection with Nature: Environment-based tourism provides travelers with the opportunity to connect with nature and experience the many physical and mental health benefits associated with spending time in natural environments. It offers a chance to unwind, rejuvenate, and find solace in the beauty of the natural world.


By embracing the principles of environment-based tourism, travelers can contribute to the preservation of the environment, support local communities, and create a more sustainable and responsible approach to travel.


Challenges and Issues in Environment-based Tourism

While environment-based tourism brings numerous benefits, it is not without its challenges and issues. It is important to address these challenges to ensure the long-term sustainability and success of this form of tourism.


1. Overcrowding and Environmental Degradation: Popular environment-based tourism destinations can face the challenge of overcrowding, leading to increased pressure on fragile ecosystems. This can result in habitat destruction, pollution, and disturbance to wildlife. Proper management strategies and visitor limits are necessary to mitigate these impacts.


2. Climate Change Vulnerability: Climate change poses a significant threat to the natural environments that attract environment-based tourism. Rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and sea-level rise can disrupt ecosystems, degrade biodiversity, and affect the viability of tourism activities.


3. Limited Local Involvement and Benefits: In some cases, local communities may not have sufficient involvement and benefit from environment-based tourism. This can occur when tourism is dominated by external companies or when local communities are not adequately empowered to participate in decision-making processes and receive a fair share of the economic benefits.


4. Greenwashing and Lack of Certification: Greenwashing refers to misleading claims or exaggerations made by businesses regarding their environmental practices. In the context of environment-based tourism, this can undermine the credibility of sustainable tourism initiatives. Lack of standardized certification and auditing processes can make it challenging for travelers to distinguish between genuinely sustainable initiatives and those that are not.


5. Infrastructure and Resource Limitations: Developing appropriate infrastructure to support environment-based tourism, such as well-designed trails, visitor centers, and waste management systems, can be challenging, especially in remote and ecologically sensitive areas. Limited resources, access to funds, and capacity can hinder the establishment and maintenance of necessary infrastructure.


6. Cultural Sensitivity: Environment-based tourism must strike a balance between promoting cultural understanding and respecting the rights and traditions of local communities. It is essential to avoid the commodification of culture and ensure that tourism activities do not exploit or disrespect local cultural practices.


7. Economic Dependence: Overreliance on environment-based tourism can lead to unsustainable economic dependence. Fluctuations in tourist numbers, natural disasters, or political instability can have significant negative impacts on local communities who rely heavily on tourism revenues.


Addressing these challenges requires collaboration between government bodies, local communities, environmental organizations, and the tourism industry. Implementing sustainable management practices, promoting community involvement, and fostering a strong commitment to conservation can help overcome these issues and ensure the long-term viability of environment-based tourism.


Examples of Environment-based Tourism Initiatives

Environment-based tourism initiatives are on the rise, showcasing innovative approaches that promote sustainable practices, conservation, and community engagement. These initiatives serve as inspiring examples for the future of responsible travel.


1. Eco-lodges and Green Accommodations: Many destinations are now offering eco-lodges and green accommodations that prioritize sustainability and minimize environmental impact. These accommodations often incorporate renewable energy sources, water conservation practices, and organic food options.


2. Wildlife Conservation Programs: Environment-based tourism frequently embraces wildlife conservation initiatives. This can include wildlife rehabilitation centers, sanctuaries, and research programs that engage travelers in hands-on experiences and educational activities to raise awareness about the importance of protecting endangered species.


3. Educational Nature Tours: Educational nature tours aim to provide travelers with an in-depth understanding of the local ecosystems, flora, and fauna. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who share information about the environment, conservation efforts, and sustainable practices.


4. Community-based Tourism: Community-based tourism initiatives empower local communities by involving them in tourism activities. Travelers can participate in cultural experiences, stay in locally owned accommodations, and support community-led initiatives, ensuring that economic benefits directly reach the local residents.


5. Marine and Coastal Conservation: Coastal and marine environments face unique conservation challenges. Environment-based tourism initiatives often focus on marine conservation by promoting responsible snorkeling tours, scuba diving activities, and awareness campaigns about the importance of preserving coral reefs and marine biodiversity.


6. Ecotrails and Interpretive Centers: Many natural areas now offer well-maintained ecotrails and interpretive centers. These facilities provide visitors with educational and interactive displays that highlight the importance of conservation, biodiversity, and sustainable practices.


7. Organic Farming and Sustainable Agriculture: Some environment-based tourism initiatives incorporate organic farming and sustainable agriculture practices. Travelers can participate in farm tours, learn about sustainable farming techniques, and even engage in organic farming activities, fostering a connection between agriculture and the environment.


8. Carbon-offsetting and Sustainable Transport: Environment-based tourism encourages sustainable transportation options such as electric vehicles, bicycles, and public transportation. Some initiatives also provide carbon-offsetting programs, allowing travelers to mitigate their carbon footprint by investing in environmental projects or supporting local reforestation efforts.


These examples demonstrate the diversity of environment-based tourism initiatives, highlighting how sustainable practices, conservation efforts, and community involvement can be integrated into travel experiences. By supporting these initiatives, travelers can contribute to the conservation of natural areas, the well-being of local communities, and the promotion of responsible travel practices.



Tourism based on the environment is a vital and growing sector within the broader travel industry. With its emphasis on sustainability, conservation, and responsible travel practices, it offers a unique and enriching experience for travelers while promoting the well-being of the environment and local communities.


Throughout this article, we have explored the definition and characteristics of environment-based tourism, as well as its benefits and challenges. We have seen how it creates opportunities for conservation, cultural preservation, and community empowerment.


Environment-based tourism fosters a deep connection with the natural world, allowing travelers to gain a greater appreciation for the beauty and fragility of our planet. It encourages education, awareness, and responsible behavior, empowering individuals with the knowledge and tools to make a positive impact not just during their travels, but in their everyday lives as well.


However, we must also acknowledge the challenges that environment-based tourism faces. Overcrowding, climate change vulnerability, limited local involvement, and issues of cultural sensitivity require careful consideration and proactive management.


Despite these challenges, numerous inspiring initiatives are already paving the way towards a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry. From eco-lodges and wildlife conservation programs to community-based tourism and organic farming, these initiatives demonstrate the potential for positive change.


By choosing environment-based tourism and supporting these initiatives, travelers have the power to create a more sustainable future. They can contribute to the conservation of natural areas, the preservation of cultural heritage, the empowerment of local communities, and the overall well-being of our planet.


In conclusion, tourism based on the environment provides a transformative travel experience that allows us to explore the wonders of our world while actively participating in its protection. Let us embrace the principles of sustainability, conservation, and responsible travel as we embark on our journeys, leaving a positive footprint for generations to come.