Why Ecotourism Matters in Australia
In a world where people are travelling and moving more than ever, and where our actions have a significant impact on our environment, the practice of ecotourism is more important than ever before. Ecotourism matters to us at Jervis Bay Wild, and it matters in Australia.
What exactly is ecotourism?
Ecotourism is the practice of travel or tourism activities that are respectful and protective of our natural world and its peoples. Broadly, this means supporting eco-friendly practices, avoiding tours or attractions that hurt the land or living things, and honouring local cultures and communities. Ecotourism can cover many different things, but when done correctly, it should serve the purpose of preserving our earth and promoting sustainable practices that are good for all.
Eco-friendly practices go hand-in-hand with sustainability. There are limited resources on the earth and is is our duty to be good stewards of these resources. When taking steps to help our environment (recycling properly, choosing renewable energy sources) we aid in preserving these precious resources, and making our whole planet more sustainable.
Eco-friendly practices are a big part of ecotourism. It is easy for busy tourism providers and popular attractions to choose conventional waste systems or to make their decisions based on profits rather than the environment. But conversely, those tourism businesses and organisations dedicated to being eco-friendly adopt smart practices. These may included proper waste management, use of alternative fuels or energy sources, and even restrictions on access to certain sensitive areas. All of these steps help conserve resources, and help natural areas to stay natural and unpolluted: better for wildlife, for humans, and for the earth.
Ecotourism and Wildlife
In Australia, a major focus of ecotourism is with wildlife organisations such as ours. Australia is blessed with an abundance of living creatures and it is our belief that every touristic endeavour involving wildlife should aim to treat these animals with the highest level of respect.
This means many things. First, it suggests that we must protect and care for the wildlife’s natural habitat. This is where green, eco-friendly practices become important as well as understanding the environment. It means things like not touching or removing coral when snorkelling around reefs, and being careful to avoid damaging them. For Jervis Bay Wild, it means limiting our fuel use and proper disposal of waste.
Ecotourism also means we should allow the wildlife space and avoid interruption to the natural order as much as possible. In our eco-cruises, for instance, we maintain a safe and respectful distance from whales, dolphins, and other wildlife we encounter. This enables us to give our guests the thrilling experience of seeing these animals in the wild, while still prioritising our responsibility towards our local wildlife. You can learn more about our eco-friendly practices here.
Jervis Bay Wild is certified in Advanced Ecotourism which means we operate with minimal environmental impact as well as provide opportunities for others to learn about the environment (and its wildlife). We hope you’ll come promote ecotourism in Australia, and join us on a whale watching tour or dolphin cruise soon.