Ecotourism is a segment of the tourist industry that focuses on using tourist effort to conserve natural resources and help native communities. This rapidly growing industry is popular with travelers who want to participate in conservation activities, rather than just enjoy the surroundings. There are many different jobs available in the ecotourism industry; with a chance to explore and introduce others to unexpected worlds of beauty and common goals for improvement and conservation, ecotourism jobs can be deeply rewarding for many people.
Many ecotourism jobs focus on the planning and arrangement of ecotours for travelers. Like traditional travel agents, an ecotourism coordinator helps develop an itinerary and schedule that suits the needs of a group of travelers. An ecotourism coordinator may offer several tours to different regions of the world that include airfare, lodging, and ecology-centric activities which benefit the native community or conservation efforts. In addition to needing qualifications of a regular travel agent, an ecotourism agent must have intimate knowledge of the region of each tour and be able to locate reputable companies for experiences, lodging, and work opportunities.
Naturalists, conservationists, and anthropologists may all find ecotourism jobs that suit their abilities. Part of the idea of an ecology-based tour is to provide education to tourists about local issues in the region of the tour. Scientists and conservationists that are working in the area can sometimes find jobs as lecturers or tour guides with ecotourist groups. Guides have a wonderful opportunity to expand the understanding of the public by providing tourists with unforgettable experiences that have a powerful message of conservation behind them.
Humanitarian organizations will often work with the ecotourism industry to increase their efforts in a region. Tourists on some trips can volunteer to work with a humanitarian group that is providing services in the area, such as by building homes or clean water supplies. This arrangement can be beneficial for all involved; while the humanitarian organization gets additional labor and a chance to spread awareness about important issues, tourists receive unforgettable opportunities for charity and volunteerism in an unusual setting. Ecotourism jobs in the humanitarian sector may include positions that train tourists in duties, oversee their activities, and provide educational and safety information.
Ecotourism jobs can also be found in the hotel industry. Many ecoutourists are concerned about issues of sustainability and resource conservation, and thus will want hotels that provide environmentally-conscious service. With attention to details such as local organic food, sustainably-sourced building materials, and an emphasis on recycling, nearly every hotel job from restaurant chef to front desk management can be tailored to fit an ecotourist aesthetic.