North Dakota Ecotourism

From sustainable tourism to adventure travel, ecotourism unites travel and responsibility

The term "ecotourism" has a variety of definitions. It even goes by different names, including sustainable tourism, responsible tourism, community tourism, adventure travel, rural tourism, civic tourism, geotourism and voluntourism.

Each of the above terms vary slightly in their meanings, but they all have a central theme: the combination of travel and responsibility towards better care of the Earth.

Among the many definitions for "ecotourism," The International Ecotourism Society's best sums up North Dakota Tourism's ideology: "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people."

Tourism cannot exist without environmental and ecological species richness; tourists will not travel to see dry, brittle grass or attractions that are known for not being socially responsible. North Dakota has been involved in the ecotourism sector for a few years; the 2005-2007 North Dakota Blue Book dedicated the special feature section to Ecotourism and its application to the state.

The Tourism Division is interested in learning more about what communities and lodging providers are doing to enhance energy-savings and promote environmentally friendly attributes. Please help by taking our brief surveys:

Hotel survey

Community survey

Learning about Ecotourism

Before making any huge renovations to your existing building or infrastructure, North Dakota Tourism recommends learning about this complex branch of tourism. The following sites have been found to be informational in understanding this idea.

National Geographic's The Green Guide

Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria

Defining Ecotourism and Responsible Tourism -

Implementing the Idea

There are numerous publications from internationally recognized organizations that give suggestions on how to "go green." 

WWF: Guideline for Community-based ecotourism development

Friends of the Earth Scotland: Greening the Office Online Audit

National Geographic’s The Green Guide

50 ways you can green your business