Head to One of Our Top 5 Eco-Countries!
Costa Rica is well known for holding the eco-tourism crown, and likewise holds a special place in our hearts. Estimated to contain 5% of the World’s biodiversity, Costa Rica truly is unique so we are eternally grateful that so much is protected. The country is divided into eight biological reserves, 20 natural parks, and a series of protected parks. The economic benefits brought by ecotourism play a very important role in the continued protection of the country. Clearly its work in this regard is having really positive impacts; as far back as 2010 the country won a Future Policy award, an award which “celebrates policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations”. It’s no wonder that this country so often tops our list of favourites.
Not so long ago, our CEO, Max set off on his adventures to Sweden so he could share the beauty of this country (watch the video here!!). It is one of our favourites for ecotourism both because of its stunning wildlife and scenery and because it is considered one of the World’s most eco-friendly countries. Since the 1973 oil crisis, Sweden committed to reducing its dependence on fossil fuels so it would not be so vulnerable to the world market. Since then it has made some incredible improvements. Between 2013 and 2014, 51.1% of the country’s energy needs were met by renewables and Sweden hopes to become the World’s first entirely fossil fuel free state.
With London having made a name for itself as smoggy and dirty, the UK does not always jump to mind as being environmentally friendly. But a lot has changed since the days of the London pea-soupers. The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) takes into account a wide array of variables and in 2018 rates the UK as only 6th of 180 countries. More and more, small, independent and unique eco-lodges are popping up around the UK aiming to make the most of the beautiful scenery and adventures that can be found here if you just know where to look. Some of our favourites take advantage of the spectacular beauty of the Scottish and Cornish coastlines.
The iconic landscape of New Zealand is a massive draw for tourists, whether they are looking to wander onto the set of Lord of the Rings or not. New Zealand also has unique flora and fauna which, being endemic to the islands, is particularly at risk from invasive species. As such, New Zealand works incredibly hard to protect this wildlife. Increasingly it is embracing ecotourism practices as well and nowadays there is an incredible range of experiences allowing tourists to truly appreciate the beauty of these islands and their gorgeous inhabitants.
Currently, Iceland is topping the list for eco-friendly countries. The country is well-known for its renewable energy program, supplying nearly every resident with clean energy and hot water. Increasingly Iceland is also ranked one of the World’s happiest countries. It is sometimes argued that many of the country’s eco-friendly programs were inspired by economics as much as by environmental concern. While some don’t like this idea, feeling it detracts from the wonderful work that Iceland is doing, we disagree. Costa Rica and Sweden, two countries which regularly top our lists of favourite eco destinations have seen great benefits from their eco-policies above and beyond the environmental. The key to sustainability is to create a world where respect for the environment can go hand-in-hand with social justice, development, and education. That’s the reason we are so passionate about eco-tourism and the many benefits it can bring both to the tourists and the host countries. These countries inspire us by showing us that eco-friendly development is not a compromise but actually the future we should all be pushing for!