According to the National Tourism Authority, ecotourism "[...] is a form of tourism in which the main objective is observation and awareness of nature's value and local traditions and must meet the following terms:

We can talk about a tourist destination when a geographical area, within a territorial boundary features:

Based on this definition, is considered an ecotourism destination, the one which "[...] meets in addition the following principles:

10 common sense rules for ecotourism

1. Care. The Earth is only borrowed from future generations, take care of it.

2. Clean. Take a walk during your holiday and take pictures, but do not leave trash behind, do not scratch your name on trees or monuments and leave any historic and natural sites that you visit untouched.

3. Informed. To enjoy your trip, get informations about the geography, customs and culture of the regions that you plan to visit. Talk to locals and help them retain their local specificity.

4. Respect. Respect the others. Take pictures of them only after you ask for permission.

5. Extinction. Do not buy products made from endangered plants or animals. Inform yourself before you arrive in a new place, what are the endangered species.

6. Habitat. Follow the marked trail only. Do not disturb animals, plants or their habitats.

7. Preservation. Learn about the efforts of those active in preserving the environment and about their programs, and support them.

8. No waste. Where possible, use environmentally friendly transportation. Encourage vehicle drivers to stop the engine when stationary.

9. Recycling. Use the services of those agents (hotels, airlines, tour operators, restaurants, transport agencies) operating with respect for the environment, recycle, use renewable energy, and whose employees are aware of the importance of protecting the environment and are trained in this.

10. Responsability. Encourage other organizations to practice ecotourism and responsible tourism.

Tourism is a right for all. Like any right, it must be practiced with common sense and responsibility.

(text taken and adapted from the American Society of Travel Agencies)

For more information about ecotourism and accreditation criteria for ecotourism destinations, visit


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