Eco-Tourism is a booming industry. But, just what defines eco-tourism? TIES, The International Ecotourism Society, defines it as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and the well-being of local people”. Adherence to these five principals is encouraged: minimize impact; build environmental and cultural awareness and respect; provide positive experiences for visitors and hosts; provide direct financial benefits for conservation; provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people; and raise sensitivity to the host countries’ political, environmental and social climates”.
Hotel Punta Islita in Costa Rica has pioneered a Responsible Tourism program that respects local culture and responsible use of materials.
has an aggressive recycling policy.