You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make
– Jane Goodall
In the recent days, the awareness of Ecotourism is seen high among the travelers. Most of the travelers nowadays seem more interest in a responsible and eco-friendly trips.
They want to enjoy the nature to the maximum and in the same time not to disturb it. So they want to enjoy the place and want their generations also to enjoy!
In this article we will see what is Ecotourism is all about and the initiatives from the Queen of Hills – Ooty.
What is Ecotourism?
Ecotourism is now defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of the local people and should be low impact and educational.
Fundamentally, eco tourisim means making as little environmental impact as possible and helping to sustain the indigenous populace, thereby encouraging the preservation of wildlife and habitats when visiting a place.
This is responsible form of tourism and tourism development, which encourages going back to natural products in every aspect of life. It is also the key to sustainable ecological development.
What are the principles of Ecotourism?
- Minimize physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry.
- Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climates.
- Design, construct and operate low-impact facilities.
- Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.
DO’s in EcoTourism
- Carry back all non-degradable litter such as empty bottles, tins, plastic bags etc. These must not litter the environment or be buried. They must be disposed in municipal dustbins only.
- Observe the sanctity of holy sites, temples and local cultures.
- Cut noise pollution. Do not blare aloud radios, tape recorders or other electronic entertainment equipment in nature resorts, sanctuaries and wildlife parks.
- In case temporary toilets are set-up near campsites, after defecation, cover with mud or sand. Make sure that the spot is at least 30 meters away from the water source.
- Respect people’s privacy while taking photographs. Ask for prior permission before taking a photograph.
Don’ts in EcoTourism
- Do not take away flora and fauna in the forms of cuttings, seeds or roots. It is illegal, especially in the Himalayas. The environment is really delicate in this region and the bio-diversity of the region has to be protected at all costs.
- Do not use pollutants such as detergent, in streams or springs while washing and bathing.
- Do not use wood as fuel to cook food at the campsite.
- Do not leave cigarettes butts or make open fires in the forests.
- Do not consume aerated drinks, alcohol, drugs or any other intoxicant and throw bottles in the wild.
- Do not tempt the locals, especially children by offering them foodstuff or sweets. Respect local traditions.
- Polythene and plastics are non bio-degradable and unhealthy for the environment and must not be used and littered.
Rules to follow by the travellers
- Learn about your destination before you get there. Read guidebooks, travel articles, histories, and/or novels by local authors and pay particular attention to customs such as greetings, appropriate dress, eating behaviours, etc. Being sensitive to these customs will increase local acceptance of you as a tourist and enrich your trip.
- Follow established guidelines. Ask your eco-tour operator, guide and/or the local authorities what their guidelines are for limiting tourism’s impact on the environment and local culture. Staying on trails, packing up your trash, and remaining set distances away from wildlife are a few ways to minimize your impact in sensitive areas.
- Seek out and support locally owned businesses. Support local businesses during your eco-travels to ensure maximum community and conservation benefit from your spending.
Ecotourism in Ooty
Eco-Ooty Tours is a Tour operator in Ooty which conducts Eco-friendly and responsible tour service in and around Ooty in the Nilgiris district. The firm is organised by the native people of Ooty.
What Eco-Ooty Tours do
- Request and Replace all plastic bags carried by the travellers by eco-friendly bags throughout the trips.
- Make sure all the litters are dumped in the respective bins or collected by the bags and kept in the vehicles so that it is collected back by them.
- Foods are either arranged from the local people or restaurants run by them so it helps in their economy.
- All travels are taken contract from the people for the same reason.
- Making awareness of the Tribal culture and also guide to respect it. They may have less money but they are leading a very happy life!
You can book the eco-friendly tour packages from OotyBookings.In run by Eco-Ooty Tours.
Eco-friendly Trip to the Forest
One of the ecotourism activity in The Nilgiris is conducted by The Forest department. They conduct an eco-friendly trip inside Avalanche forest region.
The trip starts from Avalanche – 27 km from Ooty.
They operate this tour package from Avalanche Check post. Private vehicles allowed till Avalanche Check post, only Eco tourism vehicles will be accommodate tourist to all locations. Tourist should not use any plastic products during trip. They have individual Jeep trip on special request with maximum 8 members.
Location 1 : Avalanche Check post
Location 2 : Cauliflower/Shola Forest View
Location 3 : Thalai Bhavani
Location 4 : Lakkadi
Location 5 : Avalanche Check post
Available Trip Timings:
10: 30 A.M
12: 30 P.M
03: 00 P.M.
They provide two modes of transportation.
- Swaraj Mazda van (Rs.130/ticket)
- Safari Jeep service (Rs. 1200/6 persons).
Distance of 20 KM (10 KM up and down) will be covered in 2 hours drive inside the dense forest.
Roads are rugged and narrow. Some areas they drive by the cliff of the hill. Places are scenic all the way. They do stop at 2 or 3 three places in between for some view points.
There is an old temple for goddess Bhavani on the way in Lakkidi, a place where upper bhavani back waters can be seen. After a walk for about half a KM we can see a waterfalls and a serene view of upper bhavani back waters.
Thanks for your time reading this and we are very happy to hear from your views. Please leave your comments.