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Ecotourism


Definition of Ecotourism:

According to The International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism is:
"Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people."

Principles of Ecotourism:Courtesy: Everglades Area TOurs

Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should follow the following ecotourism principles:

  • Minimize impact.
  • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
  • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
  • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
  • Provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people.
  • Raise sensitivity to region's political, environmental, and social climate.

Ethics in Ecotourism:

Certified Florida SEE members provide quality opportunities for eco-travelers to experience nature in ways that lead to greater understanding, appreciation and enjoyment by adhering to the following ecotourism ethics:

  • Employ knowledgeable staff/guides that provide accurate information.
  • Are sensitive to and involve indigenous cultures.
  • Contribute to the conservation of natural areas and local resources.
  • Provide constructive and ongoing contributions to your local community.
  • Evaluate programs and procedures to incorporate up-to-date knowledge and practices.
  • Marketing which is accurate and leads to realistic expectations.
  • Consistently meets client and community expectations.
Being an Eco-tourist:

While being “on vacation” should be a relaxing experience for you, many times accommodations or travel providers do not make it easy for you to live the “greener life” you are accustom to at home.  Eco-tourists can have a tremendous impact on the tourism industry by choosing to be a responsible traveler.

By doing a little homework and making informed choices, you can have the vacation of your dream, while benefiting the environment and the local community. Responsible travel is travel with a purpose. When choosing destinations, accommodations, and tour providers, consider which ones work to protect the environment and benefit local cultures and communities.


To help you plan your visit to Florida, review on our “Certified Providers” page. These Ecotour Providers are recognized as preferred service providers who are committed to using best practices for ecological sustainability, natural area management, and quality ecotourism experiences. Enjoy the many experiences we have to offer along our coast, uplands and wetland habitats. Remember that we are all visitors to these natural ecosystems, and with enjoyment comes responsible behaviors that help keep our “natural heritage” pristine. THANKS for your doing your part!

Additional resources to help you as an Eco-tourist in Florida:
  • Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission "Wildlife Viewing in Florida"  click here
  • Florida Green Lodging Program  click here
  • Florida Clean Marina Program  click here
  • The International Ecotourism Society "Become an Eco-tourist"  click here
Ecotourism in Florida - Comment/Evaluation Form:

If you are a business, organization, resident, or visitor in Florida, we welcome your comments, concerns, questions, and general feedback about ecotourism practices and service providers throughout Florida. Your comments are kept confidential by Florida SEE, and help us improve our member services. THANK YOU  click here