What is Ecotourism?
Tourism is intimately linked with nature. Travel enthusiasts are always keen to discover natural spaces of great beauty as a perfect complement to touring monuments and cities – but the problem is the possible deterioration of areas of great environmental richness when visited by a large number of tourists. The desire to reconcile the preservation of this natural legacy with the promotion of tourism has led to the birth of the concept of Ecotourism. Through this practice, visitors can experience these regions in a way that is respectful of the environment, without disturbing the native flora and fauna.
Ecotourism in Spain
If there’s one thing for which Spain can safely blow its own trumpet, it’s the country’s first-rate scenic and natural richness. It’s one of the European countries with the greatest biodiversity. This is why it has been essential for every region of the country to develop a clear understanding of what ecotourism is and how to apply it. A very useful tool in this regard has been the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism. This European Commission initiative is a voluntary commitment that protected natural spaces can adhere to with the goal of applying the principles of ecotourism. It can also be adopted by the companies that work in this field to develop environmentally friendly activities.
Ecotourism in Extremadura
When it comes to ecotourism in Spain, the community of Extremadura has succeeded in positioning itself at the leading edge, exhibiting its extraordinary natural richness in the most close-up yet prudent way possible. Many of the people who work in this field have received extensive training in the principles of sustainable tourism, which they put into practice. Intense work is also being carried out in the area of promotion with the publication of a series of guides, providing information on routes and activities. There has been a comprehensive effort to raise awareness in order to bring this method of combining tourism and nature to fruition, and this is today reflected in the region’s superior-quality offerings.
The concept of ecotourism fits Spain like a glove. The country’s outstanding network of natural landscapes places Spain in pole position when it comes to choosing a place to fully immerse yourself in all the wonders Mother Nature has to offer. The country has succeeded in developing and maintaining a sustainable and respectful means for visitors to enjoy the many regions of extraordinary value. Tourism should not be synonymous with desecrating nature – but neither should it mean having to deprive visitors of the joy of discovering it. That’s why it’s vitally important for these two aspects to converge in a way that’s harmonious and mutually beneficial.
Consulting the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism is a great way to find out where to enjoy ecotourism in Spain. All of the places accredited in this document are guaranteed to promote total respect of nature. Of the 78 places included in the Charter, 28 are in Spain, which gives an idea of the importance of this country in today’s trend towards a form of tourism that is fully respectful of the surroundings and environment. The document is not exhaustive, however, as there are countless public and private initiatives that foster ecotourism on a smaller scale. Likewise, none of this would be possible without visitors doing their small part to ensure that their travels through any given area do not cause any disruption or damage. Ecotourism cannot remain a static concept, as it requires participation and commitment on the part of all those involved in it.
The community of Extremadura is successfully establishing itself as one of the most solid options for ecotourism in Spain. Both public and private entities are steering in the same direction to ensure that the increasing number of people who visit the wonders of this region don’t cause any alterations in the natural order. The result is a significant opportunity to enjoy ecotourism in Extremadura through a wide variety of recreational activities that enable visitors to immerse themselves in truly bewitching surroundings.
In this sense, the Sierra Norte area of this community plays a fundamental role. You only need to look at the excellent state of conservation in this region, despite the ever-increasing number of visitors, to see that ecotourism is working. Areas such as Jerte, Vera, Las Hurdes, Mongragüe, Valle del Ambroz and Tierras de Granadilla are all proving highly popular and all feature an extensive network of rural lodging, yet they have not suffered any detriment to the environment. Activities including hiking, bicycling, canoeing, horseback riding and four-wheeling are just a few of the proposed options for discovering all the surprises of this corner of Extremadura without leaving a trace.