Ecotourism is eco-friendly tourism responsible for travel to green areas without impacting the local community. Further, this can be helpful in the conservation of our ecosystem.
Everyone adores visiting different natural areas where they can get mental peace and relaxation. Thus, every year lots of traveller’s ride to tourist attractions. Through this, the tour and travel industry have become the world’s largest growing industry. However, the growing tourism industry needs to learn environment-friendly or sustainable tourism that is eco-tourism.
Therefore, here, we will discuss all sorts of information about ecotourism and understand what ecotourism is and why ecotourism is important.
What is Ecotourism? Definition:
It is a type of tourism between seeing clean and relatively undisturbed natural areas thought to be a low-impact and often small alternative to standard commercial mass tourism. Its motivation resides in training the explorer to provide assets to natural preservation for legitimately profit from the money-related turn of events and political strengthening of nearby networks or to encourage regard for various societies and human rights.
Since the nineteen-eighties, ecotourism was considered as a critical endeavour by environmentalists, so that future generations might undergo destinations comparatively untouched by human interventions, thirty-three many university applications use this description as the working definition of Akkad or ism.
In this manner, yet assessing natural and social factors, a necessary piece of a Kadir ism is to advance water preservation and the age of financial open doors for neighborhood networks. For these reasons, ecotourism usually appeals to advocates for social and environmental responsibility. The term or word ecotourism, like sustainable tourism, is considered by many to be an oxymoron.
Like most kinds of tourism, ecotourism generally depends on air transportation, which contributes to global climate change. For example, tourists differ from a tourist in the sense he or she’s conscious of his environment, in most cases contributing to the sustainability of these surroundings.
History of Ecotourism:
Helzer, in 1965 first used the term ecotourism. He described four pillars of ecotourism or environment-friendly tourism. These are reducing the extent of environmental effects of ecotourism, respecting host cultures, improving the benefits of local communities, and accelerating travellers’ satisfaction.
In 1978, Miller worked on eco-development in Latin America, gives us another reference for ecotourism.
A document was also created on a set of road-based ‘eco-tours’ by Environment Canada from the mid-1979s to the early 1980s.
A few developing countries realized why ecotourism is important and started sustainable tourism programs to conserve and develop our environment by the mid-1980s.
Also, the first definition of ecotourism was given by Ceballos-Lascurain in 1987. According to him,
“Travelling to relatively undisturbed or uncontaminated natural areas with the specific objective of studying, admiring and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as well as any existing cultural manifestation (both past and present) in these areas.”
Types of Ecotourism:
According to Fennell, Ecotourism exists with two vast types of tourism; such as:
Mass tourism is Conventional, Standard, Large-scale Tourism.
It is a traditional tourism system where income increment is the main motive by short-term, free-market principles.
Mass tourism can be measured in terms of employment and infrastructural earning from transportation and also foreign exchange earnings.
Mass tourism has both benefits and demerits. And for limiting those downsides, we have to choose an alternative means of tourism.
It is Further Subdivided below:
Alternative tourism is the complementary approach to tourism and becomes a better option than mass tourism.
According to Fennell: “Alternative tourism is a generic term that encompasses a whole range of tourism strategies (e.g., appropriate, eco, soft, responsible, people to people and green tourism) all of which purport to offer a more benign alternative to conventional mass tourism in certain types of destination.”
If we observe the alternative tourism in a closer look, we’ll get its five subdivisions:
Cultural tourism is a type of tourism where people explore certain places to learn the cultural production and attraction.
When you tend to visit a place for learning the different aspects for acquiring knowledge and collecting evidence for any research project, that type of tourism is known as educational tourism.
Scientific tourism means visiting a place for any scientific knowledge acquisition. Here students tend to visit universities, museums, laboratories, etc., to collect knowledge about the research facilities and scope of learning and working in a particular institute or industry.
Adventure tourism is a kind of tourism where you explore and experience different adventures or risk full activities. For example, sky diving, scuba diving, hiking, trekking, snorkeling, bungee jumping, bamboo rafting, rock climbing, etc. People plan such types of trips to remove their fears and to rush some adrenaline and endorphins.
Agri-tourism is another great way to explore and experience nature. We visit agricultural fields, vineyards or grape yards, farms, etc., to learn more about the overall process of food production.
These can be considered as actual types of ecotourism as this helps to study and understand why ecotourism is important and helps to minimize the environmental impact of mass tourism.
Components of Ecotourism:
After understanding what ecotourism is, now let’s know the various components of it. It includes the following seven parts:
It helps to conserve biodiversity: The major purpose of ecotourism is to protect our biodiversity from human interaction.
Provides an understanding or educational experience: Like any other type of tourism, ecotourism also allows the tourists or explorers to gain mass knowledge of cultures, processes, traditions, history, beauty, and other facts about the destination they visit. However, unlike other types of tourism, ecotourism helps you learn the environmental aspects of tourism, which ultimately makes them responsible for nature.
Small groups can stand with their small businesses by ecotourism: It’s a great opportunity for local people to generate some earning opportunities from the visitors and supply their warm hospitality. Further, some small businesses get some chances to expand their business without harming nature.
It does the welfare of local communities: Local communities get a great chance to interact with social events and teaching these to the visitors. It creates some additional living opportunities for them.
Give a chance to become a more responsible tourist: Eco-friendly tourism teaches you how to take care of and respect the beauty of a destination. That ultimately helps us to be sensible and responsible human beings.
It helps in sustainable development: Another component or principle of ecotourism is to diminish non-renewal resources by either walking or using any other media of transportation. This takes us towards the fulfillment of our sustainable development goals.
Participation opportunity for rural people: In rural tourist destinations, the people nearby get the chance to teach about different aspects of the type of tourism. It’s best for agro-tourism as they have the most experience and knowledge about raising the crops and converting them into our regular usable food materials.
So, the components of ecotourism describe three critical factors i.e. natural, sustainable, and educational ecotourism.
Characteristics of Ecotourism:
Ecotourism consists of several characteristics such as;
It reduces adverse impacts.
Traveling to a natural destination.
It delivers economic advantages and responsibility for the local public.
To support human rights and democratic movements.
To construct environmental awareness.
It complies with local traditions.
Also, ecotourism provides straight financial profits for conservation.
Why Is Ecotourism Important?
Ecotourism is important, no doubt, but why is it important is the biggest question that comes to our mind when we start studying it. Well, it has lots of benefits, which can take us directly to sustainable development. So, let us describe a few of them;
Learning Non-Hazardous Tourism:
Ecotourism makes us understand the value of learning sustainability. We can seek safe, risk-free tourism, which will benefit us and our planet.
It helps us to protect our environment by reducing the usage of fossil fuels, learning to conserve our nature, and not taking part in species destruction. Mass tourism makes our environment polluted as travellers are unaware of what their impact is. But if we learn ecotourism, we can plan how to gain experience and will be more responsible for our planet.
We will explore more and become curious to learn the history, culture, and other aspects of the plants, animals as well as the local community. Learning makes us more aware, and by that, people will be more sensitive towards influencing others by their actions.
An ecological footprint means the measurement of the adverse impact on our environment caused by a single individual or its organization. It can be either a carbon footprint or a greenhouse gas footprint, which is the result of our daily activities.
But the good news is we can reduce our carbon footprint or ecological footprint effortlessly by practicing ecotourism. For sustainable tourism, we need to travel, and traveling causes us to increase our carbon footprint. This is unavoidable, but if we practice cutting off our travel needs by exploring several local riding methods, or simply by visiting the area on foot, it will be helpful to our climate and our health.
Helpful for Wildlife:
Species extinction, species fragmentation, and habitat destruction are some significant problems that arise due to urbanization and building infrastructure for tourism. Animals are forcefully brought from their natural habitats for attraction, which is a substantial cause of the above issues.
So besides seeking caged animals, we should go for natural places where organisms can stay naturally and undisturbed in their natural habitat. And it teaches us to do so.
Gain Economic Stability:
Tourism plays a big part in our global economy. And for that reason, the construction of tourist places attracts most companies; as a result, the local communities get disturbed both mentally and physically.
In most of the cases, they are ordered to relocate from their land; this destroys their culture, tradition, and everything. However, practicing eco-friendly tourism will create a chance to bring economic stability for local communities if we’ll learn to explore the religion as well.
Beneficial to Everyone:
Learning new things, places, traditions, and much more is a great experience, and as ecotourism provides us with opportunities to educate ourselves, we will be helpful by this.
Our planet will attain relaxation from global warming and climate change like difficulties, and our mother nature gets rid of environmental pollution.
Local communities will not be disturbed or hurt by our actions, and they will participate more in the development of tourism places, and that can be an opportunity for them to operate small businesses.
Functions of Ecotourism:
According to Ross and Wall (1999), it has the following primary functions;
Protection of natural areas.
Generation of Money.
The concept of ecotourism originates from the conservation movement, and since then, a few countries like Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, and India have started taking initiatives.
When we are going across, it is essential to pay attention to the environment around us, especially when you are visiting a place that is spotted with some local communities. This is one way that can help us to preserve the local ecological structure that exists in that area.
When we see the nature around us, we will learn how important it is to be environmentally conscious. By taking part in Eco-friendly tours and travels, people can bring awareness to the neighborhood that lives in that area.
This article covers the concept, history, types, components, functions, characteristics, and importance of ecotourism. If you still have queries, don’t hesitate to comment down below; we’ll answer as soon as possible.