As the world’s population grows it is becoming increasingly difficult for tourists to ‘get away from it all’ and discover untouched regions. As a sub-category of the tourism industry, eco-tourism is not for everyone, which is why those seeking out natural, unspoiled areas and wildlife habitats are able to enjoy these experiences without the intrusion of large numbers of people.
Eco-tourism – What is it?
Eco-tourism is a specialized category of tourism. Designed to provide nature-loving tourists with the opportunity to experience wildlife, habitation, and scenic views that remain almost completely untouched by man, eco-tourism takes visitors to areas where the average tourist doesn’t venture. Eco-tourism often involves educating visitors about how to care for natural environments, thereby avoiding leaving it as undisturbed as possible while enjoying the beauty it supplies. Eco-tourists tend to be socially- and environmentally-responsible, with great respect for the earth. While some impact is impossible to avoid, for the most part eco-tourism is careful to avoid disrupting the natural environment. Eco-tourists are cognizant of local conservation efforts and will show support and assistance as they can.
Why is Eco-tourism Important?
As technology and transportation methods make more areas of the world accessible to tourists, it is vital that natural environments are conserved. This is important not only for future generations of man, but also for the earth itself. As rainforests are chopped down and species of animals are wiped out it is becoming increasingly important to preserve the untouched areas of our planet. Eco-tourists have a strong sense of responsibility to the environment and the planet as a whole. They understand the importance of ensuring that the human race reduces their carbon footprint so that the planet can survive. Global warming, pollution and over-population is slowly but surely affecting most of earth’s land and water, and if this continues at the rate it is progressing today the future of the planet may be in serious doubt.
Eco-tourism is one of the many ways that man can provide assistance in conserving natural environments, and hopefully slows down the negative effects the human race is having on the world. Tourist dollars can be used to further local conservation efforts and therefore can provide much-needed financial assistance to enable environmentalist agencies in the area to preserve the immediate area and widen their efforts to encompass neighboring environments. Without eco-tourism may areas would not be able to maintain the current level of conservation, but often tourism can be a double-edged sword. While the aim is to conserve and therefore leave an area unspoiled, eco-tourism is essential to the conservation effort. This is why education is often a key part of eco-tourism. Teaching tourists about the area they are visiting, the wildlife, the flora, and providing them with information that allows them to make as little impact upon the environment while visiting is essential to the area’s future. While eco-tourism is seen by some as evil it can in fact have a positive impact on the survival of our planet for future generations to enjoy.