Ecotourism is our first job and we work tirelessly to provide our traveler with an authentic ecotourism experience.
We also practice conservation, coliving, coworking, community living and develop academic projects around community life.
We do everything with locals, travelers, adventurers, nomads and roamers, we have redefined a way of life that naturally feeds on the exceptional richness of the Riviera Maya.
The concept of ecotourism actually covers everything we do and our different jobs and activities. We stand out clearly from mass and volume tourism, which has allowed tourism to be the largest economic sector in the world. For us, ecotourism is becoming a powerful means of promoting biodiversity, unlike mass tourism, which degrades natural environments by integrating an ethical and eco-citizen dimension.
In addition, the association of the principles of ecotourism with those of sustainable development (and therefore of nature conservation) have become closely linked given the importance they take in the strategies and actions of many organizations. international organizations (UN, NGOs, Governments and their agencies ..).
For these, it must meet several criteria, such as:
- ” Conservation “, which is necessary for the preservation of biodiversity and its functions … through the protection or even the restoration of ecosystems. The tourist operator should justify the absence of conservation efforts when such efforts do not exist;
- Educate travelers about the importance of conservation
- Respect for cultural diversity and its links to the environment;
- Minimize the negative impacts on nature and culture that could be damaged by a tourist activity (including travel for access to the destination);
- The eco-responsibility of the tour operator must be put forward through assessments based on clear and transparent evidence, principles and criteria. The latter must work in cooperation with the local authorities and populations so that the eco-tourism activity brings a double benefit, a response to local development needs and the needs of nature conservation.
- The revenues and other benefits derived from ecotourism must directly benefit the populations of the area concerned and those who live near them, and be used for the protection, management, restoration, conservation and monitoring of nature and protected areas ( including marine protected areas included in the project area or downstream from this area if applicable);
- develop upstream the territorial planning of tourism to limit and / or compensate for negative impacts, and adapt them as much as possible to the characteristics of the natural regions and habitats visited, if possible before launching tourism, sparing the areas too vulnerable (heart habitat, wilderness, nature sanctuaries ..), and correct these plans based on feedback and assessment of the impacts of tourism.
- verify that the pressure of ecotourism is always lower than natural limits and socially acceptable changes for the indigenous and local population, with thresholds to be determined upstream by researchers, with the population.
- The general principles and criteria of sustainable development must be respected by ecotourism, including the constitution or use of infrastructure (reception, roads, canoes and other means of transport ..) High environmental quality (HQE) and use minimizing and compensating for fossil or non-fossil resources, with little, no, or no cost, renewable (natural or fossil)
- encouragement of sustainable development, providing employment for local and indigenous populations.
- the sharing of socio-economic and socio-cultural benefits with local communities, by obtaining their full agreement and informed agreement, for participation in the eco-tourism activity and the management of its impacts.
- For many countries, ecotourism is no longer advocated as a marginal activity to finance the protection of the environment but because it has become a driving force of a national economy and a means of generating income. . For example, in countries such as Kenya, Ecuador, Nepal, Costa Rica and Madagascar, ecotourism has become the main source of foreign exchange.
Criticisms or limits
Some fear drifts because of the often rather flexible definition of ecotourism or lack of indicators and criteria for this relatively new field (although naturalistic tourism, exploration and adventure has existed for several centuries). They argue that ecotourism too often justifies artificially imposed hotels or structures or placed in the midst of beautiful landscapes, to the detriment of local ecosystems. According to them, ecotourism must above all make people aware of the beauty and fragility of nature. Thus, some operators do not hesitate to propose routes in 4×4, swimming pools and air conditioning without worries of their deferred impact on the fauna and the flora or the local natural resources. A growing number of air and cruise journeys carry passengers with a heavy ecological footprint to the Arctic or Antarctic to help them discover the beauty of the landscape and the threat posed by global warming, but by contributing to it. This kind of activities sometimes called Greenwashing by industry professionals, hides a conventional mass tourism presented as “green”.
Geography of ecotourism
It has often been linked first of all to a tourism of discovery or adventure, very oriented towards the tropical countries, the richest in biodiversity.
There is also a tendency for local tourism, based on nearby natural resources and in particular on nature reserves and forests.
The United States is considered to be the main reservoir of ecotourism (more than 5 million people each year). The majority of other ecotourists come from Europe and the elite of some southern countries. It would be wrong, however, to believe that ecotourism is reserved for developing countries. This tourism is equally suited to developed countries such as France, a position defended by the French Ecotourism Association since 2005, as well as other national associations of ecotourism in Europe and Australia.