Responsible tourism is on the increase and according to responsibletravel.com, the world’s leading directory of specialist eco holidays, 2008 will see the search for true authentic travel intensify.
Destinations in Central and South America that have traditionally been perceived as ‘dangerous’ - such as Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia - are set to soar in popularity next year, according to responsibletravel.com.
“We have already seen a remarkable 259% increase this year in the number of enquiries through responsibletravel.com for holidays and places to stay in Nicaragua, compared to last year . Guatemala too has grown by 92% and Honduras by 69%. We’re also predicting an increase in popularity for Colombia in 2008 as more tour operators begin to offer trips there and people become more confident in getting ‘off the beaten track’ to search for that truly authentic travel experience,” says Justin Francis, co-founder and managing director of responsibletravel.com.
Brazil - which experienced 95% growth on responsibletravel.com in 2007 - and Argentina, Chile and Bolivia will also continue to be destinations of choice for the responsible traveller searching for adventure and authenticity in 2008.
However, it is not just the Latin countries to watch out for. responsibletravel.com is currently working with wildlife NGO, Conservation International on projects in Madagascar and Francis believes the African island is one to watch in 2008:
” Madagascar is set to become the new Galapagos because of its high numbers of endemic species and wildlife. It has great appeal to the responsible traveller. There are some incredible community-based tourism projects opening up that are working in partnership with local people to protect long-established cultures and environments.”
Other African countries such as Tanzania and Kenya, as well as Egypt and Morocco further north, have proven popular destinations with responsible travellers in 2007 and are set to remain on the increase in 2008.
The top 10 most popular destinations on responsibletravel.com in 2007 were as follows:
Francis hopes that UK customers will continue to explore destinations closer to home in 2008:
“There are some outstanding responsible tourism projects going on here in the UK . The New Forest for example, a recent winner of our Responsible Tourism Awards is a pioneering destination. Throughout the UK , there’s some fantastic farmstays and cosy B&Bs, offering travellers the chance to relax, eat local produce and explore the countryside - the perfect ingredients for a memorable short break or weekend away.”