Ecotourism can be summed up as a “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”.
More and more people have become conscious about the fact that environment needs to be protected. That’s why the concept of ecotourism has been received well by many. Ecotourism basically focuses on environmental conservation and sustainable development. Through eco tours one tries to save forests and bring a “win-win development strategy for undeveloped rural areas” to life.
The basics of eco tourism are same everywhere. The foremost of the rules are that the tourism advises to minimize impact, spread awareness about the environment and the harm caused to the it due to lack of cultural. The eco tourism spreads a sense of respect amongst all the people who undertake tours for environment. The basic idea behind conducting and promoting such tours is that it empowers each individual to take steps towards conserving the Mother Nature. For locals too, such steps are important to provide them with financial stability and provide them with livelihood.
In terms of eco tourism destinations in India, Kerala has gained a lot of momentum. It happens to be the greenest part of India, which until the recent times was unexplored by people and has now suddenly gained a lot of fame and popularity amongst travellers from all across the globe. Geographical topography of this place is so varied that the people all around the world come here just to be close to the nature. Kerala boasts of beautiful beaches, backwaters, beaches and the life giving sunshine.
The best thing is that the tourism department of Kerala is aware of Kerala’s potential as a tourist destination and its natural wealth as well. It has taken important steps towards maintaining ecological balance amongst people. The coconuts trees growing here and the paddy fields spread in acres and acres of land and the banana plantations fill up the mountain ranges with their green blanket.
To promote more eco tourism Kerala tourism has taken steps to organise tours and travels which broaden the horizons of people. There are several attractive packages designed to lure the visitors.
Kerala’s western zone is being projected as the eco tourism zone. It specially caters to the foreing tourist who are looking for an experience where they can enjoy wildlife, some nature, have the thrills of adventures like trekking all combined into one.
WIlflide sanctuaries like Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary, Chimmini, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Silent Valley National Park and Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary are some well known Eco-Tourism destinations in Kerala. There are other places like Bhoothathankettu, Komarakom, Nelliampathy, Munnar and Kuruva islands which are can be preferred for eco tours. The flora and fauna of Kerala is abundant and diverse. The landscapes are equipped with backwaters, paddy fields, hills and hamlets.
Kerala has a forest area of approximately 11,125 sq km, which makes up 28.90 % of the total land area. The western ghats is where all the forest area is located. Western Ghat is also one of the world’s 18 hotspots of bio diversity. Besides luxuriant and flimsy bionetwork of sultry rainforests, Kerala as well has some extraordinary eco-tourism destinations in the form of its thriving emerald backwaters, palm-fringed sea-shores, rambling tea and spice plantations on mount gradients and many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries heaving with remarkable assortment of wildlife.
While on an eco tour here, one can prefer a homestay which includes staying with local people. One can stay near the paddy fields or tea plantations and take regular hikes in these places. One also gets a chance to indulge in eating organically grown fruits and vegetables. The typical way of eating which on a banana leaf can be experienced if one decided to try out the home stays.
For eco tourists, Kerala has no dearth of activities. One should visit the place once and experience the beauty and tranquillity.
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