Winter in Cabo San Lucas brings with it the migrating Humpback and Gray whales seeking for warmer and protected water to bread and nurse their young. All over Los Cabos you can see big signs offering an ECO WHALE WATCHING. What is this “Eco” and where is the difference between a normal tour to an Eco one?
Tourism as we know it is less the 100 years old. Health, education, media and most important affordable, fast and safe transportation options opened traveling opportunities to a vast majority of modern population.
Traveling around the world had purposes of trading or conquering other lands and nations. Following came the explorers. When Magellan left Spain in 1519 he was not on a touristic mission. When Captain Joshua Slocum left Massachusetts in 1895 he was on a “voyage” rather then traveling of circumnavigating the world.
Tourism as we know it today is more about ‘visiting a place’. In the 50′s you would have get to a resort and stay there for your vacation. In the 70′s you would have take a ‘bus-tour’ to see main attractions and sightseeing. During the 80′s the crowd has changed and more people started exploring the planet. It was either the type of audience or the locals effort to attract potential travelers that created a more invasive tourism. Not a closed but ride anymore but getting in touch with nature. Safari tours, scuba diving and snorkeling, hiking, off road, camping, kayaking, whale watching and much more, where all done before but received new meaning with the increase in the demand. This personal touch with nature IS eco tourism as we know it today.
As everything else, this way of experiencing nature as good and bad points to it, at this point I would mention only one good and one bad aspect referring to Eco whale watching that can apply to any other field I guess.
By going out to sea in order to observe these beautiful giant animals, we are, with no doubt interfering with their natural routine and sure we cause a deviation. Especially when an uneducated guides (whom where never been qualified by anyone) are acting in a way that will harm or disturb the whales. The good aspect in having a close encounter with whales is achieved by the strong, life-long bond with nature that is formed once you see nature in it’s best. For many, that did not care about sea pollution, whale hunting (well, just google it), this once-in -a-life-time experience brings up awareness better then any television show or email petition.
It seams the world was already discovers inside and out, and not many of us are lucky enough to go on a voyage, so what left for most of us is to be a sensitive tourist. Go on as many Eco tours and learn as much as you can about earth and nature, only with this knowledge given to as many people possible, achieved in a right and not invasive way we’ll be able to save what is left from nature.
happy traveling and fair winds.