Eco travel and tourism isnâ€™t all about wearing hemp clothing and chanting green is good all day. Even greenies like to be pampered and pruned to within an inch of their lives every now and again but with their choice of eco meets luxury the only thing they need to feel guilty about is not relaxing enough.
Luxury Eco Retreats
Not so long ago many travellers who preferred the lap of luxury thought ecotourism was for long-haired hippies who wanted to â€˜be at one with natureâ€™ but now with more people becoming aware of the effect of their travels on the planet even those who can afford high-end, secluded luxury are seeking out environmentally-friendly vacations in sustainably built resorts and are keen to make sure some of their cash goes to the local communities where they choose to holiday.
Many boutique retreats and hotels are often located in remote settings which, if they are built and function in a responsible manner, ensures money is ploughed into a small area that may well have a high unemployment rate so the community gains from its presence.
The ethos of many spa resorts is to connect the body and mind with the environment so it makes sense that many spas have incorporated eco-friendly measures into the building and running of their resorts.
Depending on the size, spa retreats need various trained therapists to carry out many of the treatments offered and more often than not employees are from the local communities. Many spas encourage a healthy diet based on local and home-grown produce so have large working farms like the first destination spa of its kind, Rancho La Puerta on the Mexico/US border.
Is Your Luxury Holiday Really Eco-friendly?
Unfortunately, a number of luxury retreats that profess to be environmentally-friendly are not. Although they may claim to be green many so-called eco resorts fail to do anything eco-wise apart from wash the towels every other day and rarely do anything to enhance the livelihood of the local community.
When booking your trip itâ€™s always a good idea to ask your tour operator or accommodation manager for their green credentials and what they do to keep their impact to a minimum. For those who arenâ€™t quite sure what to look out for refer to Eco Travel Logueâ€™s About Ecotourism section on the home page and if you need any help planning your eco trip donâ€™t hesitate to contact me for ideas, tips and advice.