The Definition of EcoTourism :-
Ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education". Education is meant to be inclusive of both staff and guests.
Principles of Ecotourism :-
Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement, participate in and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles-
- Minimize physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.
- Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts.
- Provide direct financial benefits for conservation.
- Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry.
- Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climates.
- Design, construct and operate low-impact facilities.
- Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment
Why is ecotourism important?
Ecotourism is a growing segment of the global tourism industry that is making significant positive contributions to the environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being of destinations and local communities around the world. Offering market-linked long-term solutions, ecotourism provides effective economic incentives for conserving and enhancing bio-cultural diversity and helps protect the natural and cultural heritage of our beautiful planet. By increasing capacity building opportunities, ecotourism is also an effective vehicle for empowering local communities around the world to fight against poverty and to achieve sustainable development. Furthermore, ecotourism has provided an impetus to assist in greening the tourism industry on many fronts.
On the other hand, what is NOT considered ecotourism?
Just as important as understanding the fundamentals understands what ecotourism is not. For instance, some who are unfamiliar may consider a walk through the rainforest to be an ecotourism activity. But this isn’t the case unless perhaps the particular rainforest trail benefits the environment and/or the local community. Some may also consider a rafting trip to be an ecotourism activity; however, this cannot be considered ecotourism unless it raises awareness and/or funds to help protect the watershed.
Q . “But what if I go to the jungle and pick up all my trash?”
Ans. “Sorry, that’s just being a responsible human.”
Q .“How about if I post all the pictures on Facebook to raise awareness?”
Ans. “That’s very noble of you, but ecotourism has a bigger scope.”
Q .“And if I feed the monkeys?”
Ans. “Please don’t feed the monkeys. You know better than that.”
Who are eco-tourists?
Ecotourism appeals to a wide range of travelers, of all ages and interests. Travelers who choose ecotourism are responsible consumers interested in social, economic and environmental sustainability. Seeking authentic local experiences and opportunities to give back to the communities they visit, many eco-tourists participate in volunteerism activities. Increasingly, eco-tourists are also seeking to minimize the carbon footprint of their travel, traveling with climate in mind by planning wisely and choosing consciously. Find out where such traveler members are, and connect with fellow conscious travelers around the world at Ecotourism Explorer.
How is ecotourism different from nature tourism, sustainable tourism, and responsible tourism?
Ecotourism is defined as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." While "nature-based tourism" is simply describes travel to natural places, ecotourism is a type of nature-based tourism that benefits local communities and destinations environmentally, culturally and economically. Ecotourism represents a set of principles that have been successfully implemented in various global communities, and are supported by extensive industry and academic research. Ecotourism, when properly executed based on these principles, exemplifies the benefits of socially and environmentally sound tourism development.
Like ecotourism, such terms as sustainable tourism and responsible tourism are rooted in the concept of sustainable development, or development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs". With this concept in mind, sustainable tourism was defined in the 1992 Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry as tourism that "meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future."