Eco-Tourism

Topics: Tourism, Ecotourism, Natural environment Pages: 14 (4144 words) Published: July 28, 2013
1. Introduction
The word ecotourism is something that has only recently become a mainstay in the English language. Tours to rainforest, gamer reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries are growing in every region of the world. They go in tent camps, on safaris, to jungle lodges, and to rainforest resorts. Inspired by zoos and the throngs of animal themed television shows, people are taking to the jungles and savannas to see the earth's most fascinating creatures in the wild before it is too late. At the going rate, some say the Sundarbans will disappear within the next few decades unless drastic measures are taken. Other forests and regions are in danger too. Although in some places tourism growth has threatened wildlife, in most cases it inspires many to conserve it.

2. Definition of eco-tourism
Ecotourism is travelling to natural places that are vulnerable and the tourists are required to act responsibly in order to minimize the negative aspects of tourism on the environment and enhance the cultural integrity of the local people. Apart from evaluating environmental and cultural factors, an important function of ecotourism is to promote recycling, energy conservation, energy efficiency, and creation of economic opportunity for local community. The Ecotourism Society defines it as "responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the welfare of the local people".  A walk through the rainforest is not eco-tourism unless that particular walk somehow benefits that environment and the people who live there.  A rafting trip is only eco-tourism if it raises awareness and funds to help protect the watershed.  A loose interpretation of this definition allows many companies to promote themselves as something that they are not.  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. For these reasons, ecotourism often appeals to environmental and social responsibility advocates.

3. Importance of ecotourism
Ecotourism is a growing segment of the global tourism industry that is making significant positive contributions to the environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being of destinations and local communities around the world. Offering market-linked long-term solutions, ecotourism provides effective economic incentives for conserving and enhancing bio-cultural diversity and helps protect the natural and cultural heritage of our beautiful planet. By increasing capacity building opportunities, ecotourism is also an effective vehicle for empowering local communities around the world to fight against poverty and to achieve sustainable development. Furthermore, ecotourism has provided an impetus to assist in greening the tourism industry on many fronts. Besides, ecotourism is a tool that provides opportunities - a financially viable tool that provides sustainable solutions to economic challenges and conservation needs of local people; an alternative means of supporting rural economies to help revitalize and sustain local heritage; and a market-linked force connecting and empowering stakeholders. Equally importantly, ecotourism also provides you, the traveler with unique opportunities to gain authentic experiences, discover new places, make new friends, and have a fun, memorable time. Eco-traveling can be much more than just taking only pictures and leaving only footprints; it’s an opportunity for one to make a difference and to make a lasting impact on communities and destinations he / she visits. Ecotourism promotes:

Ecotourism promotes the preservation and conservation of the followings: * Climate: Working to secure a stable global climate.
*...

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