The world is full of bucket-list-worthy natural sights, but each one is as fragile as it is beautiful. As a nature lover, I’m often torn between wanting to see as many of them as possible and wondering about the damage I could unwittingly be inflicting.
Travel is both a blessing and a curse. It fuels local economies and opens our minds, but it can also destroy ecosystems and exploit vulnerable communities. To be responsible and sustainable, travel needs to have a balance between enjoyment and responsibility.
Destinations across the world have started to recognise the benefits of responsible tourism for creating a positive impact on the environment, local communities and economies.
These 31 eco-friendly agen bola terpercaya destinations use tourism to put nature and communities first. They prove that you can take enjoyment from the natural world whilst protecting it too.
1. New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the most accesible responsible tourism destinations in the world! Photo credit: Ketan Kumawat
New Zealand is one of the best responsible tourism destinations in the world. Ecotourism is the fastest growing sector in the country’s tourism industry and nature lovers are spoilt for choice for things to do.
There are over 10,000 protected areas, including reserves and 13 national parks. Visitors can enjoy plenty of educational activities, work on farms, take tours and learn about Maori culture.
New Zealand is also a great destination for solo travellers. Find out why here.
2. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is home to 6% of the world’s biodiversity so it comes as no surprise that the country is a world leader in conservation.
A prime location for ecotourists, more than 11% of Costa Rica is protected in national parks and reserves. Stunning ecolodges are also common throughout the country.
Thrilling highlights include spotting the local wildlife, hiking, volcano hopping, chocolate tours and ziplining through the rainforests.
3. Republic of Palau
Palau is making waves on the sustainable travel scene. A new initiative launched by the Palau Bureau of Tourism aims to mitigate the tourism sector’s carbon footprint and turn the country into the world’s first carbon-neutral destination.
This small island nation also has one of the world’s largest marine sanctuaries and tour operators and tourists are banned from using single-use plastic, non-reef-safe sunscreen and styrofoam. For tips on how to cut plastic out of your packing list, check out my eco-friendly packing list.
Perhaps most significant of all, every visitor must sign the Palau Pledge on arrival to protect the country’s ecosystem. You can learn more about that here.
This small Buddhist kingdom located in the Himalayas has built its tourism industry with sustainability in mind. All visitors must use a guide and pay US$65 per person for the number of days they’re planning to stay and the money is used for social development to sustain the country.
The preservation of the environment and culture is a key part of Bhutan’s ethos and it’s understandable when 72% of its territory is covered in forests.
Bhutan is also the world’s only carbon-negative country, producing fewer carbon emissions than its forests absorb. Goals!
5. The Maldives
The Maldives is a top luxury holiday destination, however, this archipelago of islands and atolls has stepped up its game to ensure that its fragile ecosystem is protected. To eliminate the scourge of plastic waste, some resorts have set up their own recycling and glass water bottling plants.
Fishing is strictly regulated to manage the marine life and visitors must pay a US$6 Green Tax per person per day. If you love the ocean then the Maldives is the place to be.
Highlights including sailing trips and diving alongside turtles and whale sharks. You can also absolutely visit the Maldives as a solo traveller. It’s not just for honeymooners!