The Importance of Ecological Tourism

Tourism is undoubtedly a huge thing, and it’s getting even bigger by the minute. As an industry, tourism is truly one of the ways by which countries can beef up their economic standing. With more and more people learning the art (and science) of going on vacations (such as an Amsterdam holiday, for instance) on a cheaper budget, countries are also beginning to realize that there’s much revenue to be had from allowing more tourists to visit their territories.

And yet, as Spiderman has aptly expressed: “with great power comes great responsibility.” Along with the influx of tourists emerges the almost certain possibility of putting the country’s natural resources at great risk. Thus, what is needed is an entire system of policies that will esnure that these resources will be cared for and preserved, not just by locals but by tourists as well. Such is termed ecological tourism. Best to keep this in mind, whether you go on your Amsterdam city trip, or if you ever decide to visit Hong Kong.

Six Principles of Ecological Tourism

Principle #1:

It avoids negative impacts that can damage or destroy the character of the natural or cultural environments being visited. This means that as much as possible, whatever tourist destination or attraction is being visited, the purity of its nature and character must be regarded with utmost priority and respect.

Principle #3:

It directs revenues to the conservation of natural areas and the management of protected areas. Governments have long realized that it’s important to emphasize the need to invest in their own country’s natural resources. Because of this, much of the revenue will definitely go to the care for these resources.

Principle #5:

It emphasizes the need for planning and sustainable growth of the tourism industry and seeks to ensure that tourism development does not exceed the social and environmental “capacity.” While it’s important to ensure that tourism remains to be a lucrative industry, it’s more important to ensure that the resources are never abused for the sake of tourism.

Principle #2:

It educates the traveller on the importance of conservation. Tourists must learn that they are never supposed to play the role of one who dominates, or one who must enforce changes on the community they visit. The community as it is is already good in itself.

Principle #4:

It brings economic benefits to local communities and directs revenues to local people living near the protected areas. Locals who live in the area where there are resources to be preserved are the ones who are directly affected by tourism, and thus, they should also be the first ones to benefit from it.

Principle #6:

It retains a high percentage of revenues in the host country by stressing the use of locally-owned facilities and services. National governments must always emphasize the imperative to “go local”. The local goods and services must be prioritized, because they are the main goods that directly feature what the country is known for.

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