Thursday, March 29, 2012

What to know before you go: How tourism affects a region’s eco-system

So aside from working my regular job, I have been freelancing like a maniac! I recently became the Tampa Travel Examiner for and I am excited to see where this can take me! My first article is on the importance of responsible tourism and eco travel (I never thought it would see the light of day, but that's another story). Go on and read a bit of it and then head over to my website to read the rest! I promise you won't be disappointed....

courtesy of
When preparing to travel abroad or domestic, there are usually numerous decisions that are involved including choosing a destination, what car to rent and where to stay. While American travelers have set records in 2010 for travel to Caribbean regions and countries including the Dominican Republic Aruba, South Africa and Israel, according to a report by the International Trade for Administration, it’s important to recognize how certain types of travel affect the nation and other countries.

Julie Garrett, media relations coordinator at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Fla., frequently travels to Wisconsin to visit her husband Doug. Rather than stay in a hotel, the couple takes an alternative route and connects with nature through camping and other activities not detrimental to the environment. “We go camping a lot and buy what we need at thrift stores,” Garrett said. “We usually buy quilts and jackets and when we’re done we give it away to others at the campsite.”

Kristina Roe, head of communications for, said the precautions Garrett and her husband take are helping the environment more than they know. Websites like inform visitors of how they can be more eco-friendly to the places they visit by being a responsible tourist. They define a responsible tourist as someone who is tired of mass tourism and travels for relaxation, adventure and wants to learn. Eco-tourism companies aim to educate readers on the benefits of responsible tourism and eco travel and how enjoyable it can be.

Roe said the more cautious travelers are to the types of transportation they use and the activities they partake in, the more it will help them adapt to their destination and its culture

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