Environmental and Socio-Economic Consequences of Ecotourism

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Discuss the environmental and socio-economic consequences of ecotourism. What additional factors need to be considered in establishing ecotourism projects?

Ecotourism aims to protect landscapes and wildlife, promoting also financial benefits to the local communities. According to Chaynee (2010), in Malaysia, ecotourism is the second largest source of Gross Domestic Product. It provides job opportunities and stimulates voyagers to show respect for the conservation of the environment. There are numerous positive and negative effects of ecotourism, and as a result, there is the need to apply additional actions to minimize the unbalanced outcomes. This essay will discuss the environmental consequences of ecotourism, such as, the conservation and deterioration of the surrounding areas. Secondly, it will analyse the socio-economic effects; finally the essay will suggest some factors for future ecotourism projects.

The implementation of ecotourism has positive environmental consequences. Firstly, ecotourism allows the discovery of new places and the improvement on territory conservation. In her case study, Nikitina (2007) shows that in Russia, ecotourism has been showing off the natural areas, which during the Soviet Period were strictly protected. She also points out that the populations have more appreciation of the nature. What this means is that ecotourism may be seen as an environmental education program. Ecotourists are interested to respect rules and acquire knowledge about nature; consequentially, local communities may look at tourists as a correct model to imitate (Chaynee 2010; Waylen et al. 2009). Furthermore, according to Chaynee (2010), there is a positive impact on the attitude of local people towards conservation of their own culture. Being ecotourists interested to learn, local communities are incited to protect the cultural property value such as rituals, ceremonies, arts and crafts.

However, besides protecting natural sites, ecotourism may...
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