What is the difference between a hotel and an ecolodge?
The popularity of eco-tourism is rising at present. Eco lodges are becoming a favorite destination for those who practice it, they are also on the list of the most sought after among those who want high adventure, simplicity and being in harmony with nature.
But what actually is an eco-lodge? Who better to answer this question than Mr. Hitesh Mehta cataloged by the prestigious National Geographic Adventure, one of the five pioneers of sustainable tourism in the world, and one of Men’s Journal twenty most powerful people in the world adventures, an authority in terms of sustainable tourism and eco-lodges. Here is an excert from his book “Authentic Ecolodges”:
After ten years of research, interviews with architects, eco-consultants, developers, operators, many indigenous communities and feedback from stakeholders in the ecotourism industry, I developed the following definition: An eco-lodge has low impact, based on nature, structure financially sustainable to help protect sensitive neighboring areas; It involves and helps benefit local communities; It offers tourists an interpretive and interactive participatory experience; It provides a spiritual communion with nature and culture; and it is planned, designed, constructed and operated in environmentally and socially sensitive manner. An authentic eco lodge must embody the three fundamental principles of ecotourism:
1. The nature should be protected and preserved
2. Through outreach programs and educations of the community, the local community should benefit
3. Three interpretive programs must be offered for both tourism and educate employees about the natural and cultural environments around.