ECO-Tourism is becoming increasingly popular as people become more adventurous in their holiday destinations and awareness of the impact of tourism grows. There are many definitions of ECO-Tourism or eco-tourism. The International Eco-tourism Society (TIES) defines eco-tourism as “responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and sustains the wellbeing of local people.” This portrays eco-tourism as more than simply reducing the negative impact of tourism, meaning tourism can go beyond this and actually benefit the local community and environment. For more information about eco-tourism, visit the following websites:
ECO-Tourism at Green Turtle Lodge
We try to adhere to the principles of eco-tourism and encourage our guests to be responsible tourists. We like to use the definition of eco-tourism as Environment and Community Oriented Tourism, abbreviated to ECO-Tourism.
All the buildings were constructed, as far as possible, using local, natural, sustainable materials. The traditional style of the buildings gives the lodge the appearance of a local settlement blending into the landscape. The lodge is powered entirely by solar energy. We have self-composting toilets and re-cycle shower water to feed plants. We are careful to reduce waste products as much as possible and biodegradable waste is composted. We also keep pigs, which helps reduce our kitchen waste and provides us with some tasty, free-range meat. The environment benefits directly from conservation projects we have initiated, in terms of education and protection of the marine turtles that nest on Akwidaa beach.
We employ staff at all levels from the local community, ensuring we pay a fair wage. We try to create as many jobs as we can. For example, at present we employ 30 people from the local community, which in turn means that 30 families benefit financially from our business. Wherever possible, we source materials locally, whether it be for building, decoration or to stock the kitchen. We ensure that part of the Green Turtle Lodge profits are paid into a Community Fund that we have set up. Part of the payment guests make when they go on a tour goes directly into the Community Fund and donations to this fund are welcomed.
We believe tourism can have a positive impact on the local area. We ask our guests to be respectful and sensitive towards both the community and the environment. Responsible tourism can be mutually beneficial for the tourist and the community and their environment.
For example, a canoe ride through the mangrove swamps allows the visitor to learn about this unusual eco-system and provides enjoyment from spotting a diversity of birds and also seeing monkeys. At the same time, payment for the tour provides the local guide with an income and adds money to the Community Fund, whilst it also increases local awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving this fascinating habitat.
We hope guests can learn from their experience at Green Turtle Lodge, through tours and by interaction with Ghanaians, about the local culture and environment and about being a responsible tourist in the future.
Green Turtle Lodge