Have you Considered Taking an Eco-Friendly Vacation?
Do vacationers really care if the resort they are staying at is eco-friendly? According to a study recently completed by the online travel site Tripadvisor.com, they do. Travelers who care about the environment will take the time to research hotels, car rental companies and airlines to see if they are in compliance with the latest “green” policies.
Many of those surveyed expressed doubt about the sincerity of a Company’s commitment to environmentally sound practices. They wonder if it is just an attempt to cash in on the latest trends and attract more customers or if the Company actually wants to help make the world a cleaner and better place to live.
If travelers are able to actually see real examples of commitment, they are willing to pay more to patronize eco-friendly businesses.
Ecotourism can be described as a travel experience where visitors can enjoy a natural area while also having little or no impact on the environment. Individuals can participate in outdoor activities like skiing, fishing and hiking and also learn about the culture and history of the native way of life.
Conservation and community involvement are key elements along with low-impact behavior by those who participate in this type of vacation travel. Everybody should be educated on how to promote a sustainable environment
LEED Certification and the Hospitality Industry
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a Washington D.C. based non-profit organization that promotes energy-saving green buildings. Through their LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program, they provide internationally accepted third-party verification that a building is compliant with approved green-building policies. In the first quarter of 2011 there were 91 lodging properties that received LEED certification and another 1,100 that were actively working toward achieving that status. Properties that display LEED certification immediately enhance their stature with the public as eco-friendly concerns.
The Three Highest Rated States for Ecotourism
Ecotourism is a growing trend all around the world. In the United States, every state practices some form of ecotourism. Some are more active than others in trying to protect our environment. The three states considered to have the best record for doing the most for ecotourism are California, Hawaii and Alaska.
If you live in Los Angeles and have to deal with the smog and traffic all of the time, you might wonder why California would rank as a leading destination for ecotourism. The fact is, California is a huge state and there are vast areas outside of LA and up the coast to the central and northern parts of the state that remain pristine and unspoiled by the influence of man. California has more “green” jobs than any state in the union. California has the toughest emission laws on vehicles. They also have unspoiled areas near and far that are great for hiking, surfing, skiing and a host of eco-friendly adventures. California actively promotes ecotourism and tourists keep coming to enjoy all that the state has to offer.
Our 50th state has always had a special concern for the environment. It is inherent in the population of Hawaii for the people to take care of the land that takes care of them. While the city of Honolulu is a major metropolitan area, most of the remaining islands are largely unspoiled and proud participants in the ecotourism business.
Alaska is our largest and most sparsely populated state. The people of the state are extremely aware of the need to protect their unspoiled environment. Some of the most eco-friendly lodges are in Alaska. Denali National Park is a true treasure. Tourists can choose to observe the sights from aboard a cruise ship or set foot on the frozen ground and explore the state on their own.