GEN 1030 Introduction to Environmental Studies
Project “Ecotourism: pro’s and con’s”
a) Symbiotic relationship with nature
b) Environmental education
a) Beneficial for the whole country
b) Beneficial for local people
a) Carbon footprint
b) Illegal using of flora and fauna
c) Necessity of building living rooms and hotels
a) Import leakage
b) Exploitation of local tribes
Ecotourism was firstly introduced in Africa in the 1950’s with the legalization of hunting (Miller, 2007). Before this date the concept of ecotourism was not widely recognized and understood properly. From 1980s the concept of ecotourism became more common and widely known (Weeks, 2009). According to Ceballos-Lascurain (1993), Mexican ecotourism and cultural tourism expert, "Ecotourism is environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy, study and appreciate nature accompanying cultural features, that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations”. In other words ecotourism is a type of tourism that involves visiting fragile, and usually protected areas. Hovards (2006) defines 3 major types of ecotourism:
• Nature-based ecotourism. This form of tourism based on direct interaction of tourists with wild environment. It includes African safari, coral reefs diving, visiting national parks, etc. • Argo tourism is type of ecotourism where visitors are able to explore and experience rural agricultural life, customs and try on native way of living (ex. visiting tea plantations in India). • Cultural tourism is a branch of ecotourism, which focused on region specific traditions and lifestyle of the people in particular areas: history of those people, their art, religion and other cultural staff (ex. tribes in Africa). Today ecotourism starts to gain popularity and becomes one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry. It is extremely pleasant news because society concerns about environmental and global problems and would like to know more about them. However, this growing interest might give not only benefits but also it might lead to unwanted consequences.
The major advantage of ecotourism is its low impact on the environment. Today it is very hard or even impossible to find any human activity which is not harmful to our environment and nature. Every cause of ecological problem is directly connected with people’s activity. From an environmental point, ecotourism becomes more and more popular and widespread, because of its symbiotic relationship with nature (Sinha, 2006). From previous lectures we have already known that symbiosis means coexistence of 2 species. In this case ecotourism has no effect on our environment. That is why ecotourism and nature have the ability to exist together and benefit at the same time. How does it work? Very simply. We can enjoy the natural beauty and uniqueness, but do not touch and destroy it. The other side of such coexistence is money, got from tourists, will go to restoration and protection of natural resources. Another very important aim of ecotourism is environmental education. Ecotourism provides tourist with the great opportunity of learning with a help of nature. Tourists get very important experience: they face ecological problems by themselves. It educates people, makes them to think about nature. Also it teaches people how...
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