Landfolk

The Rise of Ecotourism: A more sustainable way to travel

In 2024 travellers are not merely seeking passive travel experiences; they crave meaningful interaction with nature and culture at the centre. In this article you’ll learn everything you need to know about ecotourism and get an insider tip on where you might want to visit first.

Ecotourism has emerged as a buzzword in recent years, and for good reason. The interest in conservation, community and sustainability is on the rise, and finding ways to travel that align with our values and interests feels like a natural extension of this. It’s not surprising that even The Financial Times are asking if the white sands of Denmark could give the Mediterranean a run for its money.

Understanding the principles of Ecotourism

Ecotourism has been defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”. And while the word ecotourism has been thrown around a lot recently, it’s more than just a trend; it’s a philosophy and commitment to responsible exploration and represents a paradigm shift in the way we approach travel.

Nature conservation

Ecotourism recognises the interconnectedness of humans and nature and the importance of preserving nature and cultural heritage for future generations. Resting on five important principles that are all gaining more recognition in recent years, ecotourism offers an exciting new way to frame how we spend our holidays:

1. Environmental conservation
Ecotourism prioritises the protection and preservation of natural ecosystems, including biodiversity, wildlife habitats, and delicate ecosystems. Travel activities are designed to minimise negative impacts on the environment, such as pollution, habitat destruction, and disturbance to wildlife.

2. Sustainable practices
Sustainable tourism practices are integral, emphasising the use of renewable resources, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and carbon neutrality.

3. Community engagement
Ecotourism seeks to benefit local communities by providing economic opportunities and preserving cultural heritage. Revenue generated from ecotourism activities often goes towards community development projects and conservation efforts, fostering a sense of ownership and stewardship.

4. Education and interpretation
A fundamental aspect of ecotourism is the promotion of environmental awareness, appreciation, and understanding. Through interpretive programs, guided tours, and interactive experiences, travellers gain insights into the natural and cultural significance of the destinations they visit.

5. Responsible travel behaviour
Ecotourism encourages travellers to adopt responsible behaviours that minimise their impact on the environment and respect local customs and traditions. This includes practices such as reducing waste, supporting local businesses, respecting wildlife habitats, and following designated trails and guidelines set by conservation authorities.

Skovsgaard

Unique nature experiences and a simpler life

When we look beyond the initial reasons to choose ecotourism over the more dominant ways of travel, an interesting picture comes to life; doing less and experiencing more with the people we feel the closest to – but without compromising on aesthetics, comfort and inspiration. Many feel a need to consume less, be more present instead and leave a smaller environmental footprint, and ecotourism puts the spotlight on this particular need.

Living in a little house in the middle of vast landscape and blooming fields might sound like a Scandinavian summer dream, but it’s the reality of Denmark's Nature Foundation and the gorgeous properties at Nature Destination Skovsgaard. Early in 2024, Landfolk joined forces with Denmark's Nature Foundation to renovate the three properties and elevate the physical frameworks of this unique destination. We simultaneously entered into a collaborative effort towards nature preservation, where the revenue from renting out the properties on our platform would go to Denmark's Nature Foundation.

Cows

Rewildering and regenerative practices

The rewilding initiatives and interactive learning opportunities are just a few of the examples of how the core principles of ecotourism are at play at Skovsgaard. The houses at Skovsgaard can normally only be rented by members of Denmark's Nature Foundation, but through our collaboration, this unique manifestation of ecotourism can also be booked through Landfolk – where the revenue will go directly to the conservation work that Denmark's Nature Foundation does. Visiting this unique destination, guests can slow down, enjoy their morning coffee alongside the local wildlife and explore the nature surrounding the properties.

Enjoy a getaway at Påøgård.

At Skovsgaard, you can explore and learn about the plants, insects and wildlife in the area, go for long walks, support the rewilding initiatives, and simply experience a slower and more intentional way of being and there is so much to explore and enjoy for both kids and adults.

Stay at Lundstedet.

Closer to nature, closer to ourselves

Concerns about climate change, habitat destruction, and wildlife conservation have prompted more and more people to seek out experiences that align with their values. Unlike conventional mass tourism, which often leads to overcrowding, overconsumption, pollution, and cultural erosion, destinations like Skovsgaard promote sustainable practices that prioritise the preservation of natural resources and support local communities and national heritage. All of this, while simultaneously offering a beautiful, aesthetic and inspiring framework to slow down and enjoy time with our loved ones surrounded by nature.

Ecotourism destinations like Skovsgaard, characterised by their pristine landscapes and remote locations, have emerged as ideal retreats for those seeking solace in nature, and if you want your dream holiday to enhance nature conservation and rewildering projects, Skovsgaard is a beautiful place to choose.

Experience Kågården.


Denmark's Nature Foundation x Landfolk

Nature conservation has deep roots in Danish culture and has been an important tool in the process of protecting landscapes, animals and plants, while simultaneously providing opportunities for unique nature experiences across Denmark. Landfolk has formed a non-profit partnership with Denmark's Nature Foundation to rent out their three holiday homes located at Nature Destination Skovsgaard with the purpose to preserve Danish nature and donate all income from bookings of the holiday homes to Denmark's Nature Foundation.

Nature Destination Skovsgaard consists of 390 hectares of land, 250 hectares of which are set aside for nature conservation and wild grazing for cattle and wild horses - and the best part is that two of the three houses are located right in the middle of it. So be prepared to wake up in the morning to grazing cattle in the backyard or a herd of horses stopping by.

Guro Sofie Ulsaker Nordahl
Written by Guro Sofie Ulsaker NordahlMay 2024
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