Ecotourism is a type of tourism that entails a person or a group of persons visiting natural areas that encourage the conservation of environment, ensures a sustainable living environment for the local people and also it involves education. The main reason behind ecotourism is the need to unite communities, conservation and well-managed travel. Ecotourism serves different purposes which include; provision of funds for conservation of ecology, encourages development economically and also benefits the local communities through political empowerment. It majorly focuses on the social travels, sustainable environment and personal growth. It brings out an insight to tourists on the effects that human beings have on the environment and also is intended to foster the appreciation of the natural resources.
Benefits of ecotourism to local communities
Most of the ecotourism enterprises involve management that is controlled at the local level. The members of a community get involved in all the steps and stages of ecotourism management and also help in empowering tourist and encourage them to the community. Ecotourism creates employment to the local communities, which helps to reduce rural-urban migration in search of jobs. Employment can be as a form of the locals working as tour guides, providing accommodation and food. It improves the living standards of community with facilities such as hospitals, electricity, clean working environment and improved roads. Ecotourism helps reduces poverty on a long-term solution, unlike the charitable handout. Ecotourism encourages cultural preservation since it provides a platform for cultural interaction between the locals and tourists. It brings the best on the social and political issues in a community since the community may not want the visitors to witness the ugly side of it.
Ecotourism and Displacement of People
In most cases, communities have been moved for the purpose of creation of a park. In most countries, communities have been displaced with about seventy percent of parks in pastoralist’s communities land. Most communities that have been displaced have been because of their ignorance and assumption of the situation. The ignorant communities mostly do not benefit from an economic gains and employment in the areas mostly favours the educated which is something that misses in that community. Displacement of people can occur as a result of government manipulating the local communities or even without the knowledge and consultation of the local people. In some cases, ecotourism has exploited and depleted the local people making it a tool that doesn’t empower the local community who ensure that it is satisfying and rich.
In a nutshell, ecotourism is a kind of tourism that takes care to look after the local community in which a holiday is set. This can mean many different ways to look after the local landscape, wildlife and in some cases means a working holiday designed to improve the lives of a community. Ecotourism is not only about the local community however but also includes ways to make travel to a chosen destination as sustainable and less damaging to the environment as is possible.
ECOTOURISM AND NATURE
One of the many types of ecotourism shows ways to help protect the landscape and also the wildlife that lives in a chosen destination. These types of holiday are not only just for those who want to help physically but also through charitable holidays where profits are put into protecting the area and the local wildlife. Ways that you can help to protect wildlife and landscape while on holiday include:
- Visits to local nature reserves with a guide
- Visits to museums
- Safari holidays where profits are put back into the local area
Some people however would like to do more to help a local area and there are specialised holidays where you can physically help build, create or educate local people.
ECOTOURISM AND THE COMMUNITY
One of the most popular kinds of ecotourism seems to lie in helping the community. Holidays of this kind allows you to use your natural skills in order to help build a better life for the local people. Skills that can be utilised in this fashion include:
- Building skills
- Farming skills
- Medical skills
- Teaching skills
Even if you do not have the skills that are listed, these are skills that can be learned on any such holiday and carried into other areas of life and wok looking good on any resume.
ECOTOURISM AND TRAVEL
Many people these days are concerned with their carbon foot print. Ecotourism in particular looks to lesson your carbon foot print. This can be achieved by looking at the way you travel to your chosen holiday destination. The less fuel that is consumed by each person, the less of a carbon footprint is created.
Ecotourism is all about protecting the people and the local community of a holiday destination. However there is also much to consider about how you get around. You can do much to help a local community by seeking activities that are designed with locals in mind.