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The true meaning of eco-tourism

Eco-Tours & Nature The true meaning of eco-tourism

The travel industry is well-aware that visitors to Jordan are increasingly concerned about the effects of tourism on the local environment, and many tour operators use the word ‘eco-tourism’ in their advertising. However, not every tour operator is truly dedicated to long-term preservation of the natural environment and culturally unique ways of life in this country. Yet at La Beduina, we feel we know the true meaning of eco-tourism. Why can we say this? The primary aim of La Beduina is to facilitate face to face contact and involvement between people from all walks of life and the original nomadic Arabs. All of the team involved in setting up the company are themselves Bedouins and are looking for a way to benefit their communities whilst providing a great adventure for visitors to our country. Whilst the nomadic Arabs are some of the poorest communities in the Middle East, the fact that they are nomadic means that they are often overlooked by traditional support organizations. 

What is different about the La Beduina initiative is that not only are the profits from tourism ploughed back into the Bedouin communities but support and encouragement is also provided to those families still preserving their nomadic lifestyle and traditions. At every stage of our journey, we will be staying with true desert families in their own tents, houses, hotels and will be travelling on camels, horses or jeeps owned by the same people. Only a tiny percentage of the Jordanian population is still truly nomadic, and even amongst the Bedouins, the camel is slowly being replaced with more modern forms of transport. Our aim to make sure that the traditions of the desert and travelling by camel will not be lost. Our routes will take us through many different tribal areas and thus the benefits of the project will be spread among as many different tribes and communities as possible. 

Cultural preservation is one aspect of our initiative, but natural preservation is equally if not more important. La Beduina works in close association with the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) and its Wild Jordan enterprises. RSCN itself is a non-governmental organisation devoted to the conservation of Jordan’s natural environment and it is recognised as the foremost of regional and international conservation groups for integrating nature conservation with socio-economic development for local communities. La Beduina observes and promotes all RSCN regulations and advice for the long-term benefit of visitors and indigenous Jordanians alike.

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