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The prevailing trend in travel nowadays is ecotourism. All over the world, ecotourism is thriving since tourists are always looking for something new and exciting. Gone are the days when tourists set their sights on highly urbanized areas. Nowadays, travelers opt for ecotourism packages where one discovers a whole lot more. Why is ecotourism so popular these days? For one, it creates environmental awareness. During ecotours, travelers educate themselves on how they can contribute to the preservation of the environment such as planting trees, collecting garbage, donating for a good cause, among others. They make it a goal to make a difference even after the trip is over. Another benefit of ecotourism is the preservation of the environment. Ecotourists are exposed on how these ecotourism sites are preserved. They make it their responsibility to conserve and preserve the local site so that generations to come may appreciate its beauty. Ecotours also provide livelihood and income to the local people in the communities. Since most of the local residents are poor, ecotourism gives them an opportunity to earn extra income. For instance, in a local village, the residents act as tour guides and teach tourists their culture and tradition such as cooking local food, performing songs and dances, etc. Some ecotourists even refrain from staying in hotels and live temporarily with the local residents.

Due to the growing interest in ecotours, several countries are offering this kind of travel to tourists. This kind of travel creates a win-win situation for all parties involved – preservation of the flora and fauna biodiversity, creating environmental awareness, and contributing to the livelihood and income of the local residents. Hence, governments all over the world have enacted laws and policies to support ecotourism in their country.

In the Philippines, ecotourism is highly observed particularly in Palawan (considered as the ecotourism capital of the Philippines) and Bohol. Among the ecotourism sites are the Tubattaha Reef National Marine Park and World Heritage Site, Batanes Islands, Cordillera Rice Terraces, Apo Reef, Apo Island Marine Sanctuary, Taal Volcano and Tagaytay City, Mount Makiling, Puerto Princesa Underground River, Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary and Game Preserve, Malampaya Seascape, Tabon Caves, St. Paul National Park, among others. Ecotourism activities for travelers are whale watching, scuba diving, kayaking/rafting, mountain climbing, wildlife observation, surfing, trekking, among others.

The next time you plan your trip, choose an ecotour package – the rewards are greater.

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