Understanding Tourism and the Natural Environment

Topics: Sustainability, Tourism, Natural environment Pages: 3 (975 words) Published: June 3, 2013
Stage 1 Tourism
Summative Task 2: Understanding Tourism and the Natural Environment

The health and sustainability of the earth’s natural environment is critical to the long term conservation of the delicate ecosystem that is crucial for all living things. For many destinations, the natural environment is one of the primary attractions for leisure visitors. A wide range of recreational, activity based, educational, cultural activities and experiences, can be accessed by visitors in natural and protected areas. The development of natural and/or protected areas for tourism requires a careful balance between providing adequate visitor experiences and services, protecting the ecological and cultural values of the area and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the site. Ecotourism has become increasingly popular over the past few decades as people are becoming aware of the earth’s fragile nature. Ecotourism programs are quickly becoming one of the more highly sought after forms of tourism. Many people choosing to take part in tours, trails, hikes and volunteer programs in our natural environment, rather than spending huge amounts of money in busy cities. However, sites and attractions must undergo harsh inspections to be awarded the title of an “Ecotourism Destination’’. A destination cannot be classed as an ecotourism site unless it can prove that it has been awarded the ECO Certification by Eco Tourism Australia. Getting this Certification can take many years, teams of dedicated employees, and thousands of dollars.

The ECO Certification logo, which is used to show that an ecotourism site is legitimate. The ECO Certification logo, which is used to show that an ecotourism site is legitimate.

Our investigation into ecotourism was enlightened by a recent trip to Cleland Wildlife Park. Cleland is not an ecotourism destination, it is however, one of the many tourism destinations working towards being awarded an Eco Certification;...
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