Experts claim tourism to be a smokeless industry and profitable to the host country, but in reality this supposedly environmentally harmless business activity is based on consumption which really impacts the environment.
Ecotourism means responsible travel to pristine and usually protected areas and only small groups.
Mass tourism impacts not only the environment, but also communities inhabiting the location in a number of ways – the first of which is making life in general more expensive, and changing morality, especially in small, traditional communities.
Ecotourism tries to educate participants to preserve ecology, to help the local population elevate their living standards, and develop respect for other peoples.
It attracts well-to-do people interested in flora, fauna, cultural heritage, energy conservation, creating economic opportunities, and to preserve much as possible.
Ecotourism emphasizes – reduction, re-use, recycling and rising of awareness.
Generally, tourism organizers are interested in profits and care little about the well being of the local population.
emphasizes local benefits and invests to the extent possible in destinations, be it accommodation, education, and employment. It involves grassroots, recognizes performance and respects local culture, rather than imposing foreign values and business practices. It supports nature, environmental conservation, rather than consumption.
Ecotourists are or must become part of the process.
The industry is diverse and may be based on the desire to discover, to understand other cultures, intellectual and spiritual heritage, and has a geographic focus attracting more females than males, individuals older than 30 years of age, “outdoorsy” types, education oriented and generally experienced travellers.
The term ecotourism was coined and popularized first in 1983 by Hector Caballos-Lascurain from Mexico and has been growing at 10 – 15 per cent annually.
must be based on local government rules and regulations which must be rigorously enforced in the way as Bhutan, a small mountainous country in south eastern Asia, that requires a daily “privilege tax” to visit the country enforces. This regulates inflow of tourists, and further rules impose the use of local guides and adherence to local customs.
Modern, western-conceived huge hotels designed stone or other modern construction materials are not permitted, and it the tropics no building can exceed the height of the highest tree.
Ecosystems are fragile. They may be terrestrial, aquatic (lenti- involves lakes, ponds or swamps, or lotic- rivers, streams, and springs).
Ecotourism protects the lifestyle of indigenous populations, and ecotourists must be made aware that locals must benefit from their “guests” rather than, the guests exploiting their generosity.
A few ecotourists dos:
Unplug all appliances at home before leaving house, except freezer
Unplug while you are at your destination (using energy responsibly in the hotel or other types of accommodation)
Offset your unavoidable footprint to the extent possible
Travel responsibly (instead of flying use water transportation or train, if possible)
Book accommodation responsibly (choose mid-priced or bed and breakfast or small operations)
Choose greener ways to get around (use public transportation, bike, or walk)