Four Trend Predictions in Ecotourism for 2014

Posted in January 2014

Four Trend Predictions in Ecotourism for 2014
Ecotourism has become a popular buzz word used by trendy travel agents, but what exactly does it mean? Well ecotourism is a form of tourism that involves visiting relatively fragile and rarely visited parts of the world and it is becoming increasingly popular with tourists who want to travel and experience the world without damaging the countries they visit or leaving the huge carbon footprint behind them.

Ecotourism is here to stay, with its popularity increasing year on year, but like all industries, the trends within it are changing all the time. Bearing that in mind, here are four ecotourism trend predictions for 2014:

Queensland Will Replace Ade-laide as the Australian Eco Tourism Capital

South Australia is frequently described as an ecotourist's playground: it boasts several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, is home to the Eyre Peninsula where tourists can spot sea lions and dolphins, and is an area teaming with local wildlife. But all that is set to change if Queensland have their way, and continue their rapid ecotourism growth. Queensland in Australia is hoping to grow their ecotourism sector, and are focusing on ecotourism rather than mainstream tourism growth for 2014.

According to Steve Dickson, the states National Park Minister, the 'vision is to make Queensland a world leader in ecotourism by 2020.' The area is on track to achieve this, and several development projects are underway in Queensland right now. The beautiful national parks and incredible wildlife are already present, and the other structures required to develop ecotourism are either in place or under construction.

There are currently projects underway to complete environmentally sound suspension bridges, zip wires and rope adventure courses. The prediction for 2014 is that Queensland will give South Australia a run for its money in the growing Australian eco tourism market.

Green Cruising Will Increase in Popularity
In previous years there has been a huge focus on minimising the impact you leave on the environment when flying: companies such as have provided very accurate carbon calculators, leaving environmentally focused tourists able to calculate the environmental impact of any flight they take and offset it accordingly. Travel companies and agencies that help to book flights and then offset that carbon usage involved accordingly also increased in popularity in 2013 too. Many ecotourists though still have reservations about flying at all, which is why it is predicted that green cruising will increase in popularity for 2014. Cruising is considerably less environmentally damaging than most people think, and according to Iglu cruise, the cruise industry is working hard to reduce waste and carbon emissions and become more eco-friendly. From solar panels to powering private islands with waste materials cruise companies have been making great strides in becoming greener. If the industry continue to invest in research to minimise its environmental impact, then cruising could be the next big ecotourism travel trend.

The Popularity of Costa Rica is Here to Stay!
Whilst the relative popularity of other ecotourism destinations wane and rise almost constantly, the popularity of Costa Rica as an ecotourism destination is here to stay. In a survey of ecotourism travel agents in 2014, a whopping 49% listed Costa Rica as the most popular holiday destination among their clients; to put the scale of this statistic into context, the next most popular destination of the survey was South Africa, with just 12% of the agents listing it as a requested destination. Costa Rica was the birthplace of ecotourism, as it was the first destination to offer minimal environmental impact travel, and in 2014 the country is expecting to receive tens of thousands of visitors every month.
EcoTourism Will Only Get Easier!

Finally, comes the prediction that in 2014 ecotourism will become considerably easier for the average person to undertake. Because of the nature of ecotourism (often involving a complicated itinerary and several destinations) it is much more difficult to organise than the average beach holiday. But with more travel agents offering ecotourism packages, and an increase in the number of these agencies in the first place, 2014 should see ecotourism become easier and more accessible for everyone.

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