In recent years, the UK has seen a rapid rise in ecotourism as holiday makers increasingly look for hotspots where they can enjoy leisure time in a socially responsible environment. In 2006, the UK ecotourism market was valued at £409 million and has since grown by a whopping 25% annually according to a report by market research analyst Mintel.
The tourism industry reports that more people are not only asking operators about responsible travel but are expecting it as well, which has moved ecotourism from a niche market to part of the standard offering for many travel companies.
Despite the public health crisis of 2020 or perhaps as a result of it, ecotourism is becoming more sustainable and profitable than ever before. At the same time, holiday destinations are continually improving existing infrastructure and more are being developed by new operators to meet rising demand for this trending type of tourism.
What is Ecotourism and why is it Important?
As defined by the International Ecotourism Society, ecotourism refers to “responsible travel that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”. Also called “nature tourism”, the objective of ecotourism is to minimise the impact brought about by tourism on the environment. The idea is to focus on uniting conservation, communities and sustainable development through the means of travel.
Ecotourists align themselves with the principles of ecotourism which are designed to be environmentally beneficial against a backdrop of constantly deteriorating climatic conditions. The main benefits of ecotourism include:
- A strong focus on unadulterated, pristine natural environments
- Builds cultural and environmental awareness
- Encourages positive experiences for visitors as well as hosts
- Minimises the impact if tourism on the environment
- Boosts employment and financial opportunities for local people
- Encourages conservation by providing financial benefits in its favour
The UK has become more popular than ever as a destination for responsible travellers. In April, Responsible Travel reported that Britain had jumped from the 14th to second most popular eco-friendly destination in terms of actual holiday bookings.
How does Strategic Land Acquisition fit in?
Increasing development for ecotourism is one of the British government’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as set out in its 2030 Agenda. The UK is awash with beautiful landscapes, many untouched by previous residential or commercial development, which provides plenty of opportunity to develop resorts to boost the ecotourism economy even further.
The pressure is on to transform strategic land sites into ecotourist resorts which bring with them significant environmental and economic benefits. It has become more important for holiday resorts to offer renewable energy sources, recycling services, eco-friendly toiletries, energy efficient lighting, locally sourced food, organic linens, non-toxic cleaning supplies, non-disposable dishes, water conservation methods, and various other sustainability-focused initiatives.
How Investment will Help
Opportunities for investment in strategic land sites that are being developed for ecotourism are few are far between. This is largely due to the intense focus of developers on the UK’s housing crisis, which has created an almost unsustainable demand for affordable family homes.
However, among the more traditional residential and commercial investment opportunities, there are occasionally hidden gems which provide an opportunity for socially responsible developments, such as ecotourist resorts. This is mainly because socially responsible developers are increasingly being incentivised by the government to acquire land sites for environmentally-friendly projects, which is in turn boosting private investment.
The appeal of this niche investment market is that it is still growing at an exponential rate of 25% each year, and although this may have dipped slightly in 2020 for obvious reasons, it has only created more pent up demand among ecotourists for years to come.
All the signs are there that ecotourism is set to continue its growth trend for the next decade at least, making this sector an appealing investment market for those seeking strong and sustainable profit-growth.
We have exciting options for investors with great returns (capital and profit share of up to 50% repaid on completion within 12-15 months) and affordable entry from just £5,000. Find out more today with Ignite Invest on +44 203 355 1178.