When Is Exploring Really Ecotourism?

By: Vince Paxton

One of the major concerns among ecotourism proponents is the diversity of definitions and policies guiding the industry. There is an ecotourism policy that is intended to be the sole outline for future action, but there is variety in the way this guideline is implemented. There are also several distinct policies applied to the organization and promotion of the field.

While the primary policy focuses on promoting environmental awareness by allowing travelers to get a close look at nature and unique cultures, other plans and guidelines focus more on monetary benefits for separate organizations. As one example, those who follow the teachings of yoga may hold classes in a remote forest area as part of a tour, charging a fee that covers expenses and provides the instructors. In an ideal world, all the revenue would go to the preservation of the natural resources at the chosen location.

While the basic idea is good, some who have been active in ecotourism from the beginning are concerned that the industry is so loosely organized under a variety of plans. The environment has already been damaged in a significant way by the actions of human beings, and ecotourism proponents feel that it is up to us to preserve and restore for future generations. Unfortunately, people tend to take the environment for granted, even within the field of ecotourism. While the organizers of a travel package may have the best intentions at the start, reality can step in and cause the plan to move in an undesired direction.

Perhaps the best way to understand the issue of policy varieties is to look at an example or two. Those who want to be involved in ecotourism in a positive way might consider this an exploring trip that will benefit the movement in the long run whether visiting the US or living in Benidorm.

One of the more well-known ecotourism sites in the United States is Yosemite National Park. In this California park, people walk the inviting trails and experience, with awe, the natural wonders called geysers. Some of the natural formations and attractions in Yosemite are unique, serving the purpose of both tourism and showing visitors how rare unspoiled nature can be. In many cases, visitors leave the park with a new commitment to preserving natural resources for the future.

In contrast, there are events and activities in the ecotourism field that are not part of a fee-based system. People can have a positive effect on the environment and on the growth of ecotourism simply by not littering. Many people do not want to make the effort to find a proper wastebasket and drop their trash on the ground. Ecotourism activities might include an education session about the long-term effects of litter on human beings, animal life and plant life.

The obvious differences between these two types of ecotourism activities are indications of how the industry can be guided by varying policies. Some in the field believe that these differences can be addressed through careful discussion, over time. But the economic benefits of a growing industry sometimes push people to throw caution aside in favor of additional revenue.

More information is available about the various policies that are guiding ecotourism. Several official Web sites attempt to define what these policies are and how they affect the general concept of ecotourism.

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Vince Paxton writes at large for www.alicante-spain.com , a website on the topic of housing in spain . You might find out more about his publications on rental apartments in benidorm and housing in spain on his site.

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