The ‘Golden Age’ of Green Travel
Travel Blog • Joanna Kakissis • 04.01.09 | 12:07 PM ET
That would be right now, despite the economic recession, says National Geographic Adventure’s eco tourism expert Costas Christ. Consider the evidence: Airlines are testing clean biofuels, top tourism organizations are battling climate change and defining sustainability standards and the Marriott Corporation is leading the charge to protect some 1.4 million acres of Amazon rain forest. Most notably for the humble traveler, the small outfitters and family-owned lodges of the early years of eco tourism are regaining their influence over the “$500-a-night jungle resorts” that have put eco travel out of financial reach for many, Christ says.
President Barack Obama also helps, at least in the United States, since he equates economic recovery with environmental responsibility. Earlier this week, he delighted environmentalists and national park enthusiasts by signing broad new land and water conservation rules into law that designate some two million acres in nine states as wilderness.
That means no oil and gas drilling and other development will be allowed there.