Ecotourism Knowledge.

By: Tiya

There are two basic requirements for ecotourism: 1) a basic understanding of ecological issues and 2) a conscience.

Let’s get one thing clear: there is a lot of emphasis in definition. Ecotourism is a novel concept, an effort to make the global-rambler politically correct and free of guilt. No, Traveling to Johannesburg for the World Summit on Sustainable Development doesn’t constitute ecotourism. Neither does merely ogling at tigers from the safely of an elephant’s back. Or, for that matter, recalling William Wordsworth’s ‘Solitary Reaper’ at the sight of a solitary lass collecting fodder in a protected forest. In fact, think tanks and serious-looking polity-mongers are passionate about debating the syntax and punctuation of the most complete definition. Kind of like that sustainable development debate that we all know but don’t want to talk about.

Ecotourism, more than any other form of travel, demands that the tourist be able to reconcile the inner journey with the outer one. In simpler terms, the joy you get out of the environs should be shared with all that makes the surroundings what they are-the plants, animals, ‘local’ people, everything. Another fact that you need to bear in mind is that ecotourism is different from-and distinct part of- nature tourism. Nature tourism doesn’t require you to take care of your own garbage or follow a strict code of conduct in a forest or worry about the per capita emission of carbon dioxide from your flight. An important difference is ‘responsibility’: an eco-tourist has to be responsible for leaving no trail of the ‘tour’; is expected to leave a very small ‘ecological footprint’, prefer-ably none at all. This is not quite what the hospitality industry is known for, but that’s where the times are headed (look at the number of ‘nature’ channels we have on television today).

Blame it on Rio for hosting the 1992 summit. That’s when things started acquiring varied shades of green. Now, everybody and his brother in the travel and tourism trade offer eco-friendly holidays. And there are very few ways to tell a real ecotourism venture from a fraudulent one-the all sound equally nice nice goodie goodie. So why can’t they develop a certification regime, you may ask. A recent study showed that there are about 100 certification and eco-labeling schemes around the world. They are uncoordinated and lead to a lot of confusion. So the question is: when it comes to getting the most out of your hard-earned holiday and savings, does eco-tourism measure up?

Yes, sort of. There are several eco-tourism ventures across the world that not only provide that much-needed break you’ve been looking for but also an experience that might include a true sense of being in the
Wilderness (with basic amenities at hand). Another is viewing wildlife in an atmosphere that is more natural than the run-of-the-mill ride on a jeep or on the back of an elephant. Most ecotourists are educated, sensitive people. There is every chance that you will be among people you would like to interact with and befriend. Most of all, there is the satisfaction that you have traveled in a way that will ensure that the natural environs stay healthy for your grandchildren. Now some statistics to drive home the point.
The World Tourism Organization estimates that ‘nature tourism’ accounts for 20 per cent of all international travel. It is the fastest growing sector in tourism growing at 10-30 per cent growth in the tourism industry overall. It is the biggest foreign exchange earner for South Africa, Kenya, Ecuador and Costa Rica. The Maldives earns $2.3 million each year from just shark-watching. Estimates show that each living shark there fetches $3,300 each year; all the products from a dead Grey Reef shark add up to$32. There is a growing realization that a part of this revenue should be ploughed back into the protection and maintenance of the star attractions. That’s where ecotourism come in. calculations by the international Ecotourism Society show that experienced ecotourism are willing to spend more than general tourists.
So where do you plan to go? For the international ecotourists, favored destinations include the US, Peru, Brazil, the Galapagos Islands, Australia, Nepal, Kenya and South Africa.

Article Directory:

| More

Please Rate this Article


Not yet Rated

Click the XML Icon Above to Receive Travel Articles Articles Via RSS!

Powered by Article Dashboard