Let us first understand what is Eco- tourism and its meaning?
Ecotourism can be described as environmentally sustainable travel which also ensures that the traveler engages in some activity or educational benefit while at the destination; it is an activity that helps ensure positive environmental impacts rather than negative ones.
Ecotourism is a form of tourism that focuses on the natural environment and culture of a specific place. It is often described as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” Ecotourism generally aims to minimize impacts on nature and to enhance social benefits for both visitors and hosts.
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”.
Ecotourism is a form of tourism that sustains or enhances the natural environment. It includes a wide range of activities, from hiking and camping to safaris and wildlife photography, guided walks and cultural excursions, birdwatching, and forms of travel such as eco-camping.
The following are examples of Ecotourism in different parts of the world:
1. A visit to the Galapagos Islands is an example of ecotourism because it protects the wildlife and natural habitat while providing a platform for visitors to view and interact with the local flora and fauna.
2. A visit to the Amazon Rainforest is another example of ecotourism because it provides a platform for tourists to learn about the flora and fauna in their natural environment.
3. A visit to a safari park such as the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is yet another example of ecotourism because it allows tourists to experience animals in their natural habitat and learn about them firsthand rather than through documentaries or movies.
4. Ecotourism is a form of tourism that involves travel to natural areas, and that focuses on appreciating and learning about the environment. Ecotourism generally aims to be low impact and sustainable, while improving the economic conditions of local people in the area visited. It often involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna, and geological features are the primary attractions. Ecotourism often involves stays in tents, cabins, or lodges rather than hotels, although some trips do use hotels if they are near a national park or another protected area.
5. Many ecotourists will pay extra for an environmentally friendly or socially responsible tour, to offset the cost of their trip with the proceeds from their extra spending, thereby encouraging the operators of these tours to continue providing quality ecotourism vacations in the future.
6. Ecotourism has many benefits, including conservation of natural resources, economic benefits for local communities, and education about nature. However, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider before deciding whether or not ecotourism is right for you.
Here are some pros and cons of Ecotourism:
The pros and cons of ecotourism have been discussed in many articles and blogs, but here I will try to summarize them and provide some new insights.
1) Rewarding experience for both tourists and locals
2) Economic development for local communities
3) Cultural exchange between tourists and locals
4) Environmental protection
5) Educational value
6) Reduced carbon footprint
7) Good for our health (reduced stress levels, improved sleep quality, etc.)
1. Increased pressure on natural resources.
2. Deforestation due to illegal logging.
3. Ecotourism also affects local cultures in ways that are not always positive for those involved. People may feel pressure to change their beliefs about nature because they want to attract more tourists.
4. Ecotourism can threaten fragile ecosystems.
5. It can cause environmental damage from increased tourism traffic and infrastructure development.
6. Ecotourism can increase the cost of living in poor countries.
7. Local economies can become dependent on ecotourism instead of diversifying their industries or developing new ones.