What Is Ecotourism?

According to Martha Honey, author of Ecotourism and Sustainable Development, Ecotourism is tourism which:

  • Involves travel to natural destinations
  • Minimizes environmental and cultural impact
  • Builds environmental awareness
  • Provides direct financial benefits for conservation
  • Provides financial benefits and empowerment for local people
  • Respects local culture
  • Supports human rights and democratic movements such as:
  • Conservation of biological diversity and cultural diversity through ecosystem protection
  • Promotion of sustainable use of biodiversity, by providing jobs to local populations
  • Sharing of socio-economic benefits with local communities and indigenous peoples by having their informed consent and participation in the management of ecotourism enterprises
  • Tourism to unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environment being a primary concern.
  • Minimization of tourism’s own environmental impact
  • Affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury
  • Local culture, flora and fauna being the main attractions
  • Local people benefit from this form of tourism economically, often more than mass tourism

Ecotourism is blossoming into a flourishing growth industry within the tourism sector, exhibiting the fastest growth of any sub-sector within the industry since the 1980s.

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