At Tambopata Ecolodge, in the tropical forests of southeastern Peru’s Amazon basin, we have been working for more than thirty years to offer sustainable tours and accommodation to those who travel to Peru from all over the world.
We believe that it is ecotourism initiatives like our own pioneering work that have helped make it possible to create national reserves in Peru and save the forests of the Amazon basin from even greater destruction than they have already suffered. Through our eco-lodge stay and conservation-based tourism model, we are working to ensure the rainforest will be around for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. Tambopata Ecolodge, which we established back in 1991, serves as a conservation model by showing how responsible ecotourism can support habitat and wildlife conservation.
Beyond Peru, across the globe, ecotourism offers a path for developing countries to generate revenue by preserving their rainforests. Where efforts are made to save it from short-term non-sustainable exploitation, travelers come to see a country's natural beauty. In our own case, money spent directly in the local economy by the travelers our eco-lodge attracts to our region helps put a readily-identifiable monetary value on forest preservation. Local people, along with our national government and its institutions, are therefore able to quantify the benefits of keeping the forest intact.
In this way, ecotourism can reduce deforestation by providing sustainable options for local people, and by creating a national will to conserve the Amazon for both its natural and economic value, while expanding both local and global awareness of the rainforest, through grassroots and travelers’ experiences.
Well-managed ecotourism provides local people with economic and social benefits by offering employment opportunities and raising household incomes. At our eco-lodge, rather than employing candidates from outside the region, we prefer to hire local people as wildlife guides, boat crews, lodge workers and office staff, while at the same time national and regional authorities also look to local expertise when training and employing park rangers for Tambopata National Reserve. Other local businesses in the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado, where we meet our guests from their flights or bus rides from Lima or Cusco, also hire locally to fill vacancies for service workers in hotels and restaurants.
Through ecotourism, backed by local educational and environmental initiatives, in Puerto Maldonado and the surrounding tropical forests we help to protect income is earned from preserving the natural world, and forest clearing and associated unsustainable practices are discouraged because they are detrimental to tourism-based income.