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Ecotourism is NOT Environmentally Friendly

There is a trend in travel that has picked up a lot of steam over the last few years. That trend is called Eco-Tourism. As the environment has become more important to people over the last decade – and especially so in the last couple…

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Ecotourism is a new term; something created in the last 10 years, so what does it really mean? Eco-tourism is basically capitalism’s answer to the environment and people’s growing concerns. Companies are cashing in and its becoming big business. Although the initial intent was probably good-natured, the results are usually less than favorable. The costs don’t always outweigh the means, so is ecotourism actually a good thing? Let’s find out.

Time to investigate what companies are actually trying to accomplish with their eco-tourism. The term greenwashing keeps coming up in my research and it’s a pretty interesting phenomenon. Apparently, greenwashing is an attempt to appear as being eco friendly. Seems like a pretty lame thing to be involved with, but you’d be surprised at how many large corporations actually are involved in greenwashing.

Many if not all of the major hotel chains are now putting placards in their rooms that inform guests that they respect mother nature and because of this they don’t wash the linens every night. This comes off as a great thing that a large corporation is doing. But in reality they are greenwashing us all by using the environment to service their own needs. It’s obvious to me that these companies are only doing this because it saves them an enormous amount of money and they look good in the process.

Cultures are destroyed by tourism and they can’t even profit because the major corporations suck all the money from them. Tourism only feeds off the stereotypes of a culture and the actual culture suffers and often slowly disappears. What’s left is a washed out shell of the culture and the true spirit is lost forever.  

Eco-tours are usually an environmental nightmare, by bringing in people by the busload or boatload; these eco-tours are actually harming the local surroundings.   These tourists don’t come alone, they eat, drink and consume anything in their way and what’s left is the garbage and used up Mother Nature.

Eco-tours profit from large disasters, allowing the general public to feel like they helped, when in reality all they do is scratch the surface. The tourists come to a disaster for a few days, pick up some garbage, help with some injured and then go home feeling like they made a difference. The problem is that if they really wanted to help, they would’ve just sent aid in the form of money, food or medicine,

If a company truly wanted to be involved in eco tourism responsibly, they would do these things.

Only using local products would actually benefit the environment and would help the community profit.   If ecotourism companies cared, they would limit the number of visitors to limit the impact on the environment. Educating tourists on their impact on the environment would help the cause. Allowing the local culture to be in charge and to protect their interests is the best way to help the environment.

 

Hopefully by educating people about ecotourism eventually leads to more conscious travelers and compassionate people in general.

 

Enjoy the full article at NomadicMatt

Photos courtesy of HoiAnEcoTour and GetYourGuide

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Destinations

Helicopter Tours That Raise Hairs

Imagine flying amongst the clouds as you glide through the sky in a helicopter as your mind is blown by the incredible views.

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     If adventure is what you seek, there is no greater way to see your vacation destinations than by helicopter. Imagine yourself flying amongst the clouds as you glide through the sky in a helicopter – the mind blown by the incredible views. There is no better way to enjoy attractions then up a couple of thousand feet in a rotary-winged machine. They may be loud but a helicopter ride will easily be the most memorable experience from any vacation. Check out the best destinations to take a helicopter ride and see things from a truly unique vantage point. 

Las Vegas

     Las Vegas is one of the busiest helicopter tour destinations, with plenty to see in a short ride. From the Vegas strip to the Hoover Dam to the granddaddy of them all, the Grand Canyon. A helicopter is the only way to see the Grand Canyon in all its glory and majesty. The Grand Canyon is over 270 miles long and can be 15 miles across; something that grand needs a copter to see it fully.

Niagara Falls

     Most people will tell you the best view of Niagara Falls is from a boat in the water beneath the falls, but that’s not true, obviously, the best view is from a helicopter. Niagara Falls is just a massive sight to see and with all the tourists that jam the site, it can be difficult to have a perfect vantage point. If you really want an amazing view that is unforgettable, you must see the falls from a helicopter. Imagine the immense beauty of something so powerful as Niagara Falls seen from above in the peace of a smoothly flying helicopter.

Kauai, Hawaii

     If you have seen the beginning scene of Jurassic Park then you know that in Kauai there are waterfalls only accessible by helicopter. Kauai is known as the garden island because it’s so lush and only 20% of the island is accessible by car. The island has many amazing sights that have to be seen by helicopter to understand how massive they are. The Na Pali Coast is the Western side of the Island and is characterized by the huge, steep mountains covered in green ferns. The entire side of the island is unreachable by car and a helicopter is the only way to see it or you can traverse the 17 miles up and down over a two-day hike. The Waimea Canyon is called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific as its massive and beautiful. Plus there are a dozen or so mega waterfalls you have to see from a helicopter.

New York City

     New York City is the mega-metropolis city that we all love and never have enough time to see it all when we visit. If you want to really understand how huge NYC is, you have to see it from a helicopter. Imagine flying between the skyscrapers, above the central park and around the Statue of Liberty. New York is such an expansive city it’s nearly impossible to catch it all in one trip, but a great way to check it out is a few hundred feet up, in a whirlybird.


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Destinations

Talking A Walk In The Best Beer Gardens Around The World

Drinking beer with your best buds, in a beautiful environment, with our drinkers can be a beautiful experience.

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     Drinking beer is always a great time, but doing it in a grungy bar can get old. Feel good about sipping your suds by drinking in a beautiful beer garden. You will have tons of room in a magnificent outdoor bar where you can stretch out and really take down a pint or two.
“But where are these gardens?” I hear you asking.

HOFBRAUHAUS, MUNICH, GERMANY

     This is the beer garden that started them all. The Hofbrauhaus has been in business since the 1500s which means they know what they’re doing when it comes to brewing the brew. That makes this the ideal place to get a humongous mug of brew and slurp it on down.

MOUNT TAKAO BEER MOUNT, TOKYO

     Head on over to a beer garden at one of the highest elevations in the world at the Mount Takao Beer Mount. This destination will give you fantastic views of the beautiful skyline of Tokyo which you can marvel at while chugging down a nice ale. The only way to get up there is either hike up or ride in a cable car.

BOHEMIAN HALL AND BEER GARDEN, ASTORIA, NEW YORK

     Head over to Queens and get your beer drinking on at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden. You can play ping-pong here as well as listen to live music so you don’t have to talk to your friends that much. Now you can say “Hey! I’m drinkin’ here!”

KONIGLICHER HIRSCHGARTEN, MUNICH, GERMANY

     If you want to find the biggest beer garden you can then head to Koniglicher Hirschgarten. This place is smack dab in the middle of a 100-acre-park so you have beautiful sprawling views of Munich and some tasty brews to boot. Now that sounds too good to be…brew.

CAFE VLISSINGHE, BRUGES, BELGIUM

     Head to Bruges’s oldest bar at the Cafe Vlissinghe. If you need a place to wash all that chocolate down then grab a drink here. In one word, this bar is charming. Actually, in four words it’s charming to the max.

LETNA BEER GARDEN, PRAGUE

     This beer garden has one seriously awesome view. You can drink while strolling along the Vltava River. If you’ve ever done some drinking around a river then you know it is quite possibly the best place to suck down on some suds. This place is great because it gives you the option of hiking with your brew or just taking it easy and taking it all in.

BROUWERIJ ‘T IJ, AMSTERDAM

     This place used to be a bathhouse and now it’s still relaxing its patrons but this time with beers, not steam rooms. This place is beautiful mostly because it is directly next to a huge windmill making it for a real unique drinking experience. Now that is definitely too good to be brew.


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Destinations

Zip Lines For The Adrenaline Junkie

We talked to our travel team and came up with our favorite zip line adventures around the globe so you can keep on zipping you crazy zipper!

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     Riding on a zip line is the thrill of a lifetime. There is nothing quite like jumping off and feeling the wind rushing through your hair as you propel over various bridges or trees. No matter where, you’re bound to feel like a true superhero. We talked to our travel team and came up with our favorite zip line adventures around the globe so you can keep on zipping!

Zip World Velocity
     If you find yourself in Wales then be on the lookout for the longest zip line in all of Europe. This thing travels along 1,600 yards… you will definitely be getting your money’s worth here. You will take a long, effortless ride over beautiful mountains and water, glazing over many beautiful sites. We suggest you have a convenient camera handy. If that sounds too big for you, they have a smaller version available to you as well. You can still get your thrills without freaking.

El Monstruo
     Puerto Rico is home to many great zip lines but none better than “El Monstruo,” translating to “The Monster” in English. This is officially the longest zip line in the world according to the Guinness World Record books. This line is astoundingly 8,300 feet long so you will be zipping on down for over a mile. Jungles are cool, especially when you get to experience them from a bird’s eye view, literally! You will be one fast bird too, considering this ride gets up to speeds of 95 mph so if you’re looking for a serious thrill then this is the one for you.

Cloudscraper
     Thrillseekers beware, the Cloudscraper is scarier than you may think. This zip line is super high up and will definitely make the hair on the back of your neck stand up when you take in the whole experience. You will get a beautiful view of the incredible Royal Gorge as you fly overhead. You’ll feel a lot like Wile E. Coyote right after making a wrong turn, except you won’t fall when you look down, you’ll just scream in ecstasy as you enjoy your fantastic ride.

Zipflyer
     When most people think about Nepal they don’t think about the awesome thrill-seeking adventures they can partake in besides climbing Everest. Well, maybe Everest will soon take a back seat to zip-lining thanks to the Zipflyer in the Himalayas. This zip line is unique because you will partake in a 2,000-foot vertical drop that will leave you squealing with delight. You better be an adrenaline junky if you want to take this zip line on because it is for sure to shock and amaze you all the way down.


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