Becoming an Informed Ecotourist

Before settling on a trip, a prosepctive ecotourist might want to raise the following questions:

1) Does the tour promoter have firsthand knowledge about the trip? If so, how recent is this knowledge?

2) Is information on geography, customs and culture provided before departure?

3) Are tour groups limited to 15 individuals or fewer?

4) How does the outfitter show respect for indigenous peoples and wildlife?

5) Does the outfitter employ locals for jobs besides providing maid and laundry service?

6) How much time will be spent riding in buses? Check distances on a map.

7) Will you stay in locally owned hotels that practice environmentally sound sewage treatment and waste disposal?

8) Does the outfitter employ guides with ecological training and experience?

The following ecotour operators have solid reputations among environmentalists:

Earthbound Adventures keeps about 70 percent of profits in the host country, considerably more than the average of 45 percent. (800)439-7567.

Earthwatch ecotourists become active participants in scientific research projects. (800) 766-0188.

International Expeditions Inc. establised the nonprofit Amazon Center For Environmental Education & Research. (800)633-4734.

Journeys, an adventure travel company, funds community and environmental projects in areas visited. (800)255-8735.

(Arlen, 63).

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