It’s a form of travelling or sightseeing that involves visiting early, fragile and relatively calm natural areas, considered as having a low impact and serving as a great alternative to standard commercial tourist centers. It preaches the conservation of the environment and improving the standard of living of the local people.
Aims and Importance of Ecotourism
Its primary objective is to enlighten the traveller, to get funds for the ecological conservation to benefit the community and to foster respect in diverse culture and for human rights. As an eco-tourist, your tour should be in a way that depicts much respect for nature and does not encourage the degradation of any such. Apparently, the sole importance of ecotourism is to enhance environmental conservation. Try to imagine a serene and beautiful lake on the Caribbean island, having an internal lake and river, and your tour includes the use of motorboat that causes pollution on the water and air, this goes against the principle of ecotourism. To preserve the nature and minimally disturb it, in the illustration given above, a paddle boat should be used.
Ecotourism if duly abide by really helps the local communities, the money spent by a tourist on accommodation and food goes to the locals directly, and they greatly benefit from this, not going to the government’s purse never to be seen again. This funds generated improves the standard of living of the occupants in the remote area, and they have access to electricity, better roads, a pure source of water, quality healthcare and employment opportunity.
- Ecotourism refers to tourism which exhibits the following attribute;
- The main driving force that motivates the tourist is the observation and appreciation of the beauty of nature as well as the cultures prevailing in the natural areas.
- It’s embedded with educational and informative features.
- Generally, it’s organized by the tour operators who are specialist, People who have locally owned business serve as the service provider at the various destination.
- It reduces to the minimum the negative impact of tourism on the natural environment. Support the proper maintenance of areas which attracts the tourists, boosting the economy of the host community and increasing the conservation of cultural and natural asset.
Principles of Ecotourism
- As it is known that ecotourism is all about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel, it is essential for those who participate in ecotourism activity to follow some principles.
- Reduce the social, behavioral and psychological impact.
- Create direct financial benefits for conservation
- Create a memorable experience for tourist to raise their sensitivity to the host’s countries environmental, political and social climate.
- Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
- Ensure there are financial benefits for both private industry and local people.
- Acknowledge the ways, cultural and spiritual beliefs of the indigenous people, work in accordance with their cultural belief to create empowerment.
- Specific management practices and development guidelines should apply to all forms of tourism irrespective of the destination. Its principles include an economic, environmental and socio-cultural aspect of tourism development. These practices include;
- Making efficient use of ecological resources goes a long way in tourist development and maintaining a vital ecological process to conserve the natural heritage.
- Maintaining a high level of tourist satisfaction and create a fantastic experience for the tourist, broadening their awareness about issues that deal with the sustainability of tourism practices.