What is Eco Tourism?

Eco-tourism, Green tourism, Sustainable tourism or responsible tourism is a highly a new concept and possibly one of the most growing travel industry. This term of travel is described as the visit to fragile areas where the fauna, flora and cultural heritage are the main reasons for travel. Essentially Eco-tourism protects and empowers local people and natural areas, and at the same time provides visitors with a unique, but low impact experience and this type of tourism you only take experience and the products remain not damaged.

The Ecotourism elites explain Eco-tourism as ‘responsible travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people’. Essentially Eco-tourism should unite conservation, communities and sustainable travel.

However, it can get a little confusing. There are a handful of similar terms used to describe this type of travel, like ‘adventure travel’, ‘sustainable tourism’, ‘responsible tourism’, and ‘green travel’. Most of these loosely adhere to the principles of Eco-tourism. A walk through a rain forest is not Eco-tourism unless it also benefits the people who live there. And in the same vein, a safari trip is only Eco-tourism if it raises awareness and funds to help protect wildlife.


There are companies who market themselves as Eco-tourism establishments, when in fact they are not. So it is up to the traveler to ask important questions about the trip’s ability to conserve and improve the destination. Often the term is used as a marketing tool to promote nature related tourism. However, placing a splendid hotel in the midst of a fragile ecosystem and calling it Eco-tourism is ‘green wash’.

Two of the terms most often used interchangeably with Eco-tourism are ‘sustainable tourism’ and ‘responsible tourism’, both of which include aspects of Eco-tourism.

Sustainable tourism means that resources should be unaffected by your visit and that your stay at the destination should not prevent future tourists from enjoying the same experience and therefore Eco Tours Rwanda offers safaris with the stay to the lodges in Rwanda, RDC Congo and Uganda which are Eco-friendly or that blend with nature.

Responsible tourism means that you minimize your negative impacts on the environment, but often this also incorporates an element of ‘giving back’ to local communities. The Responsible Tourism Awards describe ‘responsible tourism’ as tourists who ‘want to interact with communities on a personal level, learn first-hand of their challenges, experience environments and hopefully, leave something constructive behind’. Therefore on our Eco Tours Rwanda, we offer the very suitable gorilla tours in Volcanoes, Virunga and Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with the restricted rules and regulations to protect the mountain gorillas and our trips involves the visit to the local communities leaving around and far away the parks and among the local communities include the Batwa and they also have the Batwa Cultural Trail at the Mgahinga Gorilla Park and it is an unforgettable experience that Eco tourists take after the gorilla treks and hence empowering the local communities financially.

Therefore we have made it in office and field to offer Eco-tourism for our clients visiting gorillas, wildlife and culture. And before we tailor our clients trips the following questions are considered: Environment being looked after, local communities being protected and uplifted travel build environmental awareness, resources remaining for future generations and we make sure that the travel respect local culture.

It is not in Africa alone but the term Eco-tourism is used to describe nature adventure trips that are conducted in the very fragile destinations like forests and wetlands.