Eco Tourism

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Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial (mass) tourism. Its purpose may be to educate the traveller, to provide funds forecological conservation, to directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities, or to foster respect for different cultures and for human rights. Since the 1980s ecotourism has been considered a critical endeavour by environmentalists, so that future generations may experience destinations relatively untouched by human intervention.[1] Several university programs use this description as the working definition of ecotourism.[2] Generally, ecotourism focuses on socially responsible travel, personal growth, and environmental sustainability. Ecotourism typically involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Ecotourism is intended to offer tourists insight into the impact of human beings on the environment, and to foster a greater appreciation of our natural habitats. Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, an integral part of ecotourism is the promotion of recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation, and creation of economic opportunities for local communities.[3] For these reasons, ecotourism often appeals to advocates of environmental and social responsibility. -------------------------------------------------

[edit]Criteria
Ecotourism is a form of tourism that involves visiting natural areas—in the remote wilderness or rural environments. According to the definition and principles of ecotourism established by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) in 1990, ecotourism is "Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." (TIES, 1990). Martha Honey, expands on the TIES definition by describing the seven characteristics of ecotourism, which are: * Involves travel to natural destinations

* Minimizes impact
* Builds environmental awareness
* Provides direct financial benefits for conservation
* Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people * Respects local culture
* Supports human rights and democratic movements[4]
[5][6] such as:
* conservation of biological diversity and cultural diversity through ecosystem protection * promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to local populations * sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous peoples by having their informed consent and participation in the management of ecotourism enterprises * tourism to unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environment being a primary concern. * minimization 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 * local people benefit from this form of tourism economically, often more than mass tourism Ecotourism Society Pakistan (ESP) explains "Ecotourism is a travel activity that ensures direct financial support to local people where tourism activities are being generated and enjoyed. It teaches travellers to respect local cultures of destinations where travellers are visiting. It supports small stakeholders to ensure that money must not go out from the local economies. It discourage mass tourism, mass constructions of hotels, tourism resorts and mass activities in fragile areas". For many countries, ecotourism is not simply a marginal activity to finance protection of the environment, but is a major industry of the national economy. For example, in Costa Rica,Ecuador, Nepal,...
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