Despite the rather unfortunate conditions of today’s economy, tourism is growing closer and closer to becoming the world’s largest industry. Just from 2008, international tourist arrivals were up 6.5% in 2010 to 935 million, and that was after the country with the highest GDP entered a recession. With rapid development occurring worldwide, there is a growing concern for the negative impacts of mass tourism. Sustainability and ecotourism have become essential aspects of the travel industry. However, many times travelers are unaware of exactly what sustainable travel entails and how to incorporate it into their itineraries. As travel companies begin to jump on the green travel bandwagon it can be difficult to decipher which ones truly embrace sustainable travel, by not only minimizing the negative environmental aspects of travel but also contributing the local economy and communities, and which ones are simply claiming to be greener as a marketing plow. Through a series of ecotourism blogs, we will highlight some of the industry trends and changes currently occurring to give travelers a better understanding of what it means to travel sustainably.
Global Basecamps is offering our clients a special discounted price on a Fiji yoga and surf retreat December 3rd-10th at Tavarua Island Resort! Tavarua is a tiny heart-shaped jewel among the hundreds that comprise the Fijian Chain. Boasting the most well known and consistent waves in Fiji, Cloudbreak and Restaurants, Tavarua Island also offers that special Fijian hospitality and island beauty that forever touches all who have had the opportunity to experience it.
Following the April Japan travel updates, in which the U.S. State Department lifted their Japan travel warning, there has been another change to the U.S. government Japan travel alert. Below are some frequently asked questions about Japan that will give travelers more information about the current situation there.
1. Is Tokyo safe for travel?
Yes, Tokyo is safe. The Japanese government has confirmed this as well as foreign governments. On October 7, the U.S. government downgraded the Japan travel alert recommending that U.S. citizens avoid all areas within 20 kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, while the previous travel alert recommended staying 50 kilometers from the plant. Experts assessed the situation in Japan and determined that the health and safety risks to those outside of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant area are very low and don’t post a significant risk. Also note, that they have not only determined Tokyo is safe to visit for a short period of time, but it is safe to live there or spend an extended amount of time there.
2. Are the radiation levels in Tokyo dangerous?
No, they are not. In every country in the world there are safe, low levels of radiation. The radiation level in Tokyo is similar to the levels found in other major cities of the world. For example, on April 25th the level of radiation in Tokyo was lower than the levels of radiation in New York, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Seoul. The radiation levels in Tokyo are within normal limits and are not hazardous.
Ecuador is one the most diverse countries in the world, with snow-capped volcanoes, tropical beaches, and lush jungles. The diverse topography allows travelers to easily venture to different climates within a matter of days. The largest ethnic group in Ecuador is the Andean Quechua, consisting of around 2 million people. The Quechua have preserved their culture, traditions, and language quite well. Distinguished by the Andean flute music, foods such as quinoa and cuy (guinea pig), beautiful wool ponchos, and colorful embroidered blouses, learning about the Quechua culture will no doubt be a highlight of your Ecuador tour.
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish, but Quechua is spoken by the indigenous population. In addition to Spanish, there are about 10 native languages spoken in Ecuador. Roman Catholic influences some social behavior in Ecuador; many holiday and festivals are at least partially based on Christian beliefs.
Meeting and Greeting
People will greet with a handshake and a smile. Try using the appropriate greeting for the time of day:
Meet the Goodwins: Aamion, Daize, and their two children, Given and True. With the philosophy that travel is the best teacher, they have set off an incredible journey around the world. Intent on showing their children the natural beauty of life, this young family left their home on Kauai to travel the world for 11 months, exploring 18 countries. Follow their story and encounters as they circumnavigate the planet, surfing along the way in places like Japan, Israel, and Fiji.