To re-visit the beginnings of ecotourism, we’ll need to rewind a few decades. This type of tourism is adopted by enthusiasts that tend to visit remote and pristine locations to observe wildlife and wish to help in its conservation.
It’s imperative to point out that not everyone is aware of how accessible this traveling practice is.
It usually involves visiting previously undisturbed locations, but also gets information on its fauna and flora and enhances the cultural integrity of the local people that are residing in these remote areas.
Ecotourism, although coined in the 1970s, now has increased demand with a significant place in the tourism sector. Many people wish to see untouched locations and admire the raw beauty that is undisturbed nature, while also getting educated on conservation of such beautiful and biologically diverse environments.
What it means
At the moment, this is a widely adopted form of tourism, where people prefer to visit previously untouched locations. The purpose is to admire the natural beauty in places where there have been no human interference like in popular cities and the usual tourist spots.
Ecotourism is more like an educational field trip where a tourist is educated on the landscape, fauna, flora and the culture of the local people and in the end, support in its conservation by providing funds through different methods. This is why it holds so much importance, as it helps in the distribution of wealth even to the remote areas to support them and help them grow.
Ecotourism’s early beginnings
The history of ecotourism dates back to 1901 when a group of active workers took part in a trip for the preservation of the forests, but at that time, it had no specific name or any identification or autonomy from standard tourism. The term ‘Ecotourism’ was born in 1965, but it became more popular in the 1980s partly because of an increase in resources to make sure the tourists are safely returned to their homes after the visit.
As remote places cannot be deemed a 100% safe because the fauna, flora and the local people are an enigma to the tourists, the tourists could face health hazards, gotten lost or even stranded in remote places. The number of people enthusiastic for Ecotourism quadrupled since its origin till 1990 and doubled again by 2010.
Since its beginning until present times, people have desired to visit remote areas which are not man-made and without human intervention. Ecotourism grew in popularity because of the help of different channels that successfully worked for its marketing, among them, forest conserving NGOs, electronic media, and even many books helped spread awareness.
These different efforts ultimately helped this type of tourism to evolve. Throughout the years, it’s been attracting an increasing number of people to make a remote place with raw beauty as their next tour destination.
Nowadays, travelers can quickly find and visit the most extreme and beautiful wonders around the world in a responsible way.
The rise of environmental awareness goes hand-in-hand with the desire to study the culture of foreign people. In this manner, people have chosen ecotourism for their vacations instead of opting for the standard or conventional form of tourism, the latter one tends to pay little to no attention to the negative impact that travel could have on the environment.
Primary aims and objectives
The primary objective of ecotourism is to spread awareness among the population of the remote places that are yet untouched and free from human intervention. The main goal of this type of tourism is carried by educating people in conserving the beauty of nature.
Additionally, it teaches the environmentalist, tourism industries and local communities to stand hand in hand for the development and preservation of the fauna, flora, landscapes, landmarks as well as the culture of the people living at remote and pristine places.
That being said, the principles of green tourism are mainly to spread cultural and environmental awareness of secluded places to the general population. It’s simple, the interaction of people with such sites will enlighten them about what is going on in the remote areas of the world.
The funds acquired from ecotourism is spent on wildlife preservation. This is beneficial for generating revenue against deforestation, poaching of innocent animals and the provision of funds to the local community living there to improve their lifestyles.
Ecotourism helps in educating the tourists to protect the environment and preserve the natural beauty. The objective here is to make them realise what destruction urbanisation and deforestation can cause to wildlife and the natural environment.
This eco-friendly method allows people to personally visit these natural areas, but only a limited number of respectable tourists can go on such trips. The reason for that is because a large group of people tends to disturb the ecosystem of an isolated place.
Recycling and minimal waste material are probably the most highlighted practices when going on an ecotourism visit. People are being sent there to be educated on benefiting their environment for a safe and clean future for the generations to come, so they must be taught to minimise the negative impact on sensitive ecosystems.
Ecotourism in sustainable development
The goal of eco-friendly travel is the conservation by awareness of land and marine ecosystems. Economic growth and environmental protection are not compatible but cannot exist without each other.
Sustainable development ensures that the needs of future and present generations are met without affecting the lifestyles on anyone. Ecotourism is necessary for sustainable development because it ensures people plan their trips to remote places and the funds collected by these trips are spent on the betterment of the environment and enhancing the lifestyle the local community living there.
Sustainable development and ecotourism require strong political leadership to get carried out successfully. The tourists go to remote places and the profit earned by them and the funds they donate pay for the preservation of these ecosystems while maintaining economic sustainability, so it’s safe to say that the impact of ecotourism in sustainable development is quite evident.
Keeping tourism eco-friendly
By now, you’ve learned the definition of ecotourism, how it began, as well as its astonishing importance for the environment and the future of tourism. Eco-friendly travel allows people to experience nature in its raw and untouched beauty while educating to preserve this beauty and stand against rapid urbanisation and deforestation that is responsible for the destruction of our forests and wildlife.
Ecotourism is a vector to educate the tourists while they relax and entertain. The main objective is that more and more people are aware of what goes on in remote areas of the world where there is no human interference.
Therefore, tourists can firsthand experience fragile and sensitive environments while getting to know the local culture of the people who have been living and sculpted by such an environment. The funds collected by these trips help to increase the lifestyles of the local community of these places while also spent for the preservation of the landscapes and wildlife residing there.
Share with us, have you ever taken an eco-adventure? Leave your comment!