Ecotourism: The Future of Travel

11 Apr 2023

Ecotourism refers to a type of tourism that focuses on responsible travel to natural areas with the aim of conserving the environment, promoting sustainability, and benefiting local communities. Ecotourism is characterized by its emphasis on ecological conservation, community engagement, and educational experiences for travelers. It often involves visiting pristine or fragile ecosystems, such as rainforests, coral reefs, or wildlife reserves, with the goal of appreciating and protecting these natural resources.

Ecotourism seeks to minimize negative impacts on the environment and local cultures, and instead aims to create positive socio-economic and environmental outcomes. This can include supporting conservation efforts, promoting local livelihoods, preserving cultural heritage, and providing environmental education and interpretation to travelers. Ecotourism also typically involves small-scale, low-impact operations that strive to minimize carbon footprint, waste generation, and disturbance to local ecosystems and wildlife.

Some key principles of ecotourism include promoting sustainable travel practices that support conservation, fostering community engagement, and providing educational experiences, while benefiting both travelers and local communities.

The Tourism Sector in India

Valued at a colossal USD 10.5 trillion in 2022, the global tourism market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% over the next 10 years and is the source of livelihood for thousands of people.

India, which is a melting pot of various cultures, is, unsurprisingly, a global tourism hub. By 2030, India’s tourism market is expected to contribute USD 250 billion towards the country’s GDP and create around 137 million job opportunities. So, despite being at the forefront of disruption at the pandemic’s outset, the travel and tourism sector has managed to bounce back as people begin to travel once again, albeit differently.

Increased Focus on Sustainable Tourism in India

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in focus on sustainable tourism in India, driven by various initiatives, policies, and awareness campaigns. The Indian government, along with other stakeholders, has recognized the importance of sustainable tourism to protect the environment, support local communities, and promote responsible travel practices.

One of the key developments in sustainable tourism in India is the implementation of the “Eco Circuit” project, which aims to develop ecotourism destinations in rural and natural areas across the country. This initiative focuses on promoting community-based tourism, supporting local livelihoods, and conserving natural resources, while providing unique experiences to travelers. The Eco Circuit project also emphasizes sustainable practices such as waste management, energy conservation, and community engagement, which are integrated into the planning and development of these destinations.

Additionally, India has seen a growing trend of eco-lodges, eco-resorts, and homestays that follow sustainable practices. These accommodations focus on reducing their environmental impact through measures such as waste reduction, water conservation, and use of renewable energy, while also contributing to local community development and cultural preservation.

Furthermore, there are increasing efforts to raise awareness about sustainable tourism among travelers and local communities in India. This includes education and capacity-building programs, awareness campaigns, and initiatives to promote responsible travel practices such as minimizing plastic use, respecting local cultures, and supporting local economies.

Several national parks and wildlife reserves in India have also adopted sustainable tourism practices, including responsible wildlife viewing, community-based conservation efforts, and promoting awareness about conservation and biodiversity. These efforts help protect fragile ecosystems and endangered species, while also creating livelihood opportunities for local communities.

Global Tourism Investors Summit 2023

Ministry of Tourism, GoI in partnership with CII and Invest India is organizing the 1st Global Tourism Investors Summit from 17-19 May in New Delhi. The main objective of the Summit is to promote the Indian travel and tourism industry as an “Investment Destination” and provide a common platform for the Central/State Governments and the investors to discuss investment opportunities in the rich Indian Tourism Industry. 

The Summit aims to bring in global investments beyond the hospitality industry, that is, into theme parks, adventure tourism, amusement parks and skiing destination infrastructure and further, to bring in investments in the tourism infrastructure, technology, skill development, startups and more.

It will give an opportune platform for investors even from G20 countries to explore Indian tourism industry products among areas of other bilateral/multilateral engagements. India has a historic chance to exhibit its tourism, culture, and legacy to the 19 most powerful nations and the EU forming G20. G20 presidency will be leveraged for fruitful developments in tourism sector and promoting a sustainable, responsible and inclusive tourism in India.

Visit for detailed info.

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