The rise of eco tourism
Eco-tourism defines the purposeful travel areas to understand the culture and history of the environment, ensuring that the integrity of the ecosystem is not altered. It has greatly benefited many nations and people globally. It is estimated that over 600 million people travel internationally each year.The tourism industry which includes hotels, resorts, airlines, travel agencies, parks and forest reserve services, and other business that cater to the needs of travelers, has become a major employer of labor.
Today, tourism is important to the economy of over 125 countries. Globally, tourism generates about four trillion dollars every year. A big one you would agree with me. It is, therefore, a strong factor in global financial issues.
Since it involves the movement of people, eco-tourism is also an active social and cultural integration. It fosters better understanding between people of different tribes and ethnic groups. This makes eco-tourism a potential tool for world peace if well harnessed.
In many countries, this sector has developed over the years into the largest foreign exchange earner. Countries such as Kenya and Tanzania make great fortunes from eco-tourism.
Another benefit is the fact that has significantly increased environmental awareness and therefore has contributed to nature conservation. To sustain the financial and other benefits of eco-tourism, governments implement conservation programs and policies to protect the plants and animals. This has significantly reduced human threats to the continuous existence of many flora and fauna species.
Eco Tourism – Why You Need to Give it a Try
Going on a tour to a place of natural beauty is something which most of us look forward to, and eco-tourism is one way of doing this by causing as little damage to the environment as possible.
Though a huge revenue earner for a lot of countries, natural forms of tourism also causes much harm to tourist centers. This includes exploitation of poor people, pollution, the rise in prices, adverse impact on culture and minimal benefits to the local population. An example is the famous tourist resort of Kovalam, in Southern India. This is a beautiful stretch of beach attracting a lot of foreign and domestic tourists, and a big revenue earner for the state tourism department. However, a lot of poor people including women and children are exploited in the name of attracting tourists. A lot of unscrupulous people have also set up fake Ayurvedic massage centers near the beach, using the frame of this traditional form of treatment.
This is where ecotourism can lend a helping hand. Not only would it be a source of income for the local population, but tourists can also positively contribute towards the maintenance and development of the places they visit. For local transport, you may choose from walking, cycling or public transport instead of using cars. Taking care not to litter, and not to damage the environment in any way by removing stones or plucking flowers and plants are also part of this movement. Learning a few important words in the local language would help easier communication with the local population. It is very useful to read and get more information about the culture and tradition of the people so that it is simpler to understand and communicate with them.
In the state of Karnataka, where I stay, some of the centers being developed for ecotourism include the national parks of Bandipur and Nagarhole and the hill station of Coorg. In my home state of Kerala, national parks including the Periyar Wild Life Sanctuary and the Silent Valley Forest, backwaters in Alleppey and the Munnar high ranges are ideal spots. As most of these places attract a large number of regular tourists, too, it would only take a little effort to convince likely visitors to try this alternative.
Eco-Tourism: One of the Travel Opportunities to Choose From
Below is one of the current specializations that travel consultants work in today.
The different types of Eco tours
Tours and destinations available to eco-tourists are as diverse as the environment itself. Many are focused on areas of extreme biodiversity such as the rainforests of South America and Honduras, the jungles of Africa and the national parks of Mexico and North America. Canada with vast wilderness areas is considered a prime destination.
wilderness, contact with remote, aboriginal communities, and arctic sea kayaking come to mind.
The North has an irresistible pull to the eco-minded traveler: polar bears, whale shows, shore excursions in the isolated
-Adventure Eco: Modes of travel such as horseback or sea kayak turn eco-travel into adventure eco-travel.
-Domestic Eco: Tours include wine tours, river rafting, heritage walks.
-Humanitarian: the traveler considers it an honor to help rebuild villages and distribute food
-Agri-Tourism: Includes taking in historical farms, rural bed and breakfasts, and festivals.
In addition to these examples, many tour operators offer customized eco-trips.
The customer of eco-tourism is a traveler that wants to learn and cares about supporting the local community he or she visits. A growing number of eco-travelers want many experiences on their average nine to ten days of travel. This may include hiking, heritage sites, and shopping. According to research by the Canadian Tourism Commission, eco-travelers are combining urban and rural experiences.