True Eco Resorts

From British Colombia to Bali, resorts are embracing an ethos of environmental sustainability, including conservation, education and community involvement in local projects. Indeed, ecotourism is among the hottest forms of travel right now.

But as a buzzword, the term “ecotourism” can spurn marketing hype. “Because of its open-ended definition, ‘ecotourism’ is interpreted differently by everyone,” said Cameron Boyd, owner and founder of CESiaK, an off-the-grid resort south of Tulum, Mexico.

The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as: “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well being of local people.”

In a recent story for ForbesTraveler.com on ecologically-friendly lodges, I attempted to look beyond the promotional green-washing that’s becoming common in the tourism trade. Instead, I spoke with lodge owners, activists, and people like Martha Honey, executive director of The International Ecotourism Society to formulate a Top 10 list of places doing it right for the planet.

I also traveled to the Yucatan for some first-person investigation on one eco lodge.

The endgame of the ecotourism movement, said Honey, will be the total reform of the worldwide travel industry as we know it.

Go here for my full story.

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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