Ecotourism

. I was happy to learn… Ecotourism means ecological tourism, where ecological has both environmental and social connotations. It is defined both as a concept-tourism movement and as a tourism (specifically sustainable tourism) section. Born in its current form in the late 1980’s, Ecotourism came of age in 2002, when the United Nations celebrated the “International Year of Ecotourism”. The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”. However, this is a vibrant, new movement and there are various definitions. Eco-tourism focuses on local cultures, wilderness adventures, volunteering, personal growth and learning new ways to live on the planet. It is typically defined as travel to destinations where the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, initiatives by hospitality providers to promote recycling, energy efficiency, water re-use, and the creation of economic opportunities for local communities are an integral part of ecotourism. Many global environmental organizations and aid agencies favour ecotourism as a vehicle to sustainable development. Ideally, true ecotourism should satisfy several criteria, such as conservation (and justification for conservation) of biological diversity and cultural diversity, through ecosystems protection promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to local populations sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous people by having their informed consent and participation in the management of ecotourism enterprises. increase of environmental & cultural knowledge minimisation of tourism’s own environmental impact affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury local culture, flora and fauna being the main attractions For many countries, ecotourism is not so much seen as a marginal activity intended to finance protection of the environment than as a major sector of national economy and as a means of attracting tourists. For example, in countries such as Kenya, Ecuador, Nepal, Costa Rica, Madagascar and Antarctica, ecotourism represents a significant portion of the gross domestic product. The concept of ecotourism is widely misunderstood and, in practice, is often simply used as a marketing tool to promote tourism that is related to nature. Critics claim that ecotourism as practiced and abused often consists of placing a hotel in a splendid landscape, to the detrhyment of the ecosystem. According to them, ecotourism must above all sensitize people with the beauty and the fragility of nature. They condemn some operators as “green-washing” their operations — that is, using the label of “ecotourism” and “green-friendly”, while behaving in environmentally irresponsible ways. Although academics argue about who can be classified as an ecotourist, and there is precious little statistical data, some estimate that more than five million ecotourists — the majority of the worldwide population — come from the United States, with other ecotourists coming from Europe, Canada and Australia. Currently there are various moves to create national and international ecotourism certification programs, although the process is causing controversy. One criticism against ecotourism is that the air travel to often remote places is not included in the “environmental impact calculation”. A journey to a place 10,000 km away and home consumes about 700 litres of fuel per person. Another problem is that some of the destinations visited by ecotourists are extremely sensitive to environmental impact from human use (e. G. Antarctica, Amazonian Rain Forests, bird breeding colonies) and can be damaged even by careful travellers. A new form of tourism is named Clean Tourism.


One Reply to “Ecotourism”

  1. That’s a term coined by The Kingdom of Denmark to try and get Americans to visit coastal Greenland (Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark). I know it’s sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.