Countries such as Costa Rica, Kenya, New Zealand and Australia are known as ectourism hot spots. Ecotourism requires that the footprint of the traveler on natural resources be a sustainable one. Nations with large undeveloped land bases became interested in ecotourism because it provides a way to generate income that benefits the local economy and at the same time protects the ecosystem. In Costa Rica, tourism earnings surpass those of coffee and bananas.
The development of ecotourism dates back to the 1960s when public concern about environmental issues increased. Conservation groups formed to lobby governments to set aside land not just for tourists or endangered animals but to also preserve the natural integrity of the ecosystem. These groups found that support for conservation efforts was stronger if people experienced endangered species first hand. In other words, people who have a direct experience with nature are more likely to be sensitive to environmental issues. For those living in large urban areas in the west, there is a disconnect between the natural environment and the urban one. As great as the latest developments in technology are, the opportunity to unplug for a week and connect with nature is good for our well-being and the planet.