Belize ocean wildlife vacation

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Check dates

2018: 21 Jul
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Belize ocean wildlife vacation

Environment

This trip involves observing and recording data on sea turtles and whale sharks in partnership with local conservation organizations. Sea turtles are the only animals that are handled and that are done by trained staff using best practices for wildlife handling. Researchers and conservationists lead the activities to make sure the animals are respected and not stressed during observation and that appropriate distances are kept.

The data collected is part of long-term research programs which help researchers to understand behavior and health of wildlife populations. The trip also generates funds for sea turtle research, conservation, and educational programs, focused primarily on sea turtles but also manatees and dolphins. These trips in the past have supported the purchase of speed limit signs in manatee habitat, as well as dolphin research programs.

We reduce plastic use by offering filtered water for reusable bottles (no plastic bottles or straws are sold). Water is a precious resource on the island and travelers are encouraged to conserve while showering. Energy is produced from solar panels and limited use of generators.

Community

This trip is managed locally by a Belizean conservation organization. They hire local staff for all jobs related to the trip and care is taken to support the community living on the island wherever possible. This trip is located on an island that receives little tourism, helping to generate income for the community and spreading out tourism impact from other more visited locations. This trip contributes to the local economy by using locally-owned resources (food, lodging, guides, etc) and participants help to volunteer with both wildlife research and beach clean-up activities.

Our partner contributes greatly to their local community through advocating for environmental protection, historic preservation, and animal care. Their work includes excavating a local cemetery with archaeologists to learn about the historic importance of their island, working with fishermen to study and protect coral reefs and wildlife, organizing country-wide research programs, waste management programs, and providing important educational programs for Belizean and international youth groups.

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