As you get ready for your Labor Day weekend vacation (or stay-cation), remember the enormous impact that your travel dollars can have on the local communities you visit.
Ecotourism is a growing industry that has big potential for travelers who want to see the world and do a little good at the same time.
2012 Kenyan Prize winner, Ikal Angelei, embraces the potential boon that Lake Turkana’s rich fossil beds could bring to the tourist industry there, noting that “the fossils are part of the pride and heritage of the local community.”
Right now, most of Kenya’s 1.2 billion tourist dollars stay in Nairobi, but luring tourists to Lake Turkana to see the fossils and the famous desert lake could help protect the region and bring much needed income to the communities there.
Jadwiga Lopata, 2002 Prize winner from Europe, has been involved ecotourism for years. In 1993, she founded the European Center for Ecological Agriculture and Tourism-Poland (ECEAT-Poland). Lopata won the Prize for her efforts to protect family farms and promote organic farming.
Today, Lopata provides farm-stay vacations at her cottage in rural Poland, where she offers a variety of workshops with an emphasis on local, organic agriculture and traditional crafts. For more information on Lopata's workshops, click here.
Have you ever gone on an eco-vacation? Tell us about it!