Ecotourism Notes

Topics: Natural environment, Environment, Ecology Pages: 10 (2152 words) Published: June 8, 2013
Geography Notes: Topic 1 – Ecotourism

Nature of Ecotourism:
Ecotourism can be defined as: ‘Tourism in remote or natural areas that aims to enhance knowledge and appreciation of the natural environment and cultural heritage without damaging the environment or the experiences for others.’ 1. Nature based – primarily the environment is the ‘drawcard; and the activities are based primarily around the environment. Activities include: * Bushwalking

* Whale watching
* Swimming with dolphins
* Sightseeing over Antarctica
* Any activity that revolves around the natural environment Cultures that have existed as part of the environment may also be part of ecotourism. 2. Educational – By gaining a greater knowledge, understanding or simply an appreciation of the natural environment. E.g. Forests in which they walk, and learn about the animals which are endangered, how to manage and protect the environment, and therefore leaves with a greater appreciation and understanding of the environment. 3. Sustainability – an activity that is not going to harm or change the environment and may in fact enhance/better manage or conserve the natural world. E.g. boardwalks, environmentally friendly technology such as solar heating and minimal water treatment through the use of dry loos. 4. Small scale – to minimise the impact on the environment and to ensure a unique environmental experience often eco tourist activities are small scale. E.g. accommodation might be limited to a few huts or lodges allowing for a greater appreciation of the natural world, extremes of climate, fragile environments and remoteness also dictate small scale. Spatial Distribution:

Ecotourism is ubiquitous. This mean it can occur anywhere, it is not restricted. It can occur in the most inhospitable and remote areas of the world. However, the more accessible and temperate climates are most popular. Factors explaining the nature, spatial patterns and future directions of Ecotourism Biophysical

Ecotourism enjoys a wide variety of biophysical conditions and environments and extends from such diverse biophysical environments as Antarctica with its polar conditions to the warm tropical environments such as Pacific Islands and PNG. * Warm climates attract tourists – tropical areas

* Scenic values eg mountains
* Varity of flora and fauna
* Few diseases and pests
* Stable atmosphere systems e.g. no cyclones
* Few unpredictable events. E.g. bushfires
Ecological Factors:
* Protects the environment
* Creates employment
* Generates income from wild and natural areas
* May replace exhaustive resource use
Economic Factors:
* Overtime the cost of travel has been reduced; which has enabled more people to enter the tourist market * As ecotourism is a growth industry (9% per year) it has attracted more operators into the market * The increased use and availability of credit (e.g. Visa, Mastercard) has allowed for a ‘consume now and pay later’ attitude. * The use of credit cards has made travel safer. People do not have to carry large amounts of money on them. * Growth of income in the developed world has allowed more people to enter the tourist market * There is an increasing range of Eco tourist activities (increase competition, lower prices) aimed at a variety of incomes. This has allowed all socioeconomic groups to become ecotourists. * Exchange rate – a good exchange rate may influence where tourists travel to Social / Cultural Factors Affecting Ecotourism

* Increased participation of women in the workforce. Two incomes, fewer children enable people to travel more frequently * Increasing life expectancy means there is a growing proportion of the population in the retirement age – they have accumulated savings, good health and a new found freedom! This age group substantially boosts ecotourism * There is a growing group of DINKS who travel frequently for business and...
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