Tourism is an activity that annually generates a strong impact on the environment, both locally in the site that receives tourism and globally. With the greatest environmental awareness in recent decades, a trend has emerged that advocates a tourism that is more respectful of the environment, it is ecotourism or also called ecological tourism or sustainable tourism.
In this AgroCorrn article, we analyze how ecotourism influences the environment in order to better understand all that this movement of tourism that respects the planet in various senses entails.
The need for ecological, sustainable or ecotourism tourism
Tourism is an activity that moves thousands of people around the world and that brings great economic benefits to the country that receives them (and also in the global economy). Despite this, tourist activity generates great impacts for the environment, such as contributing to accelerating climate change , the loss of biodiversity and natural spaces, the excessive use of resources or producing waste that damages the environment. For example, it has been calculated that a tourist on vacation consumes up to 7% more water than a local inhabitant. These environmental impacts are greater in the country that receives tourism, but it also generates impacts at a global level.
In this way, ecological tourism or ecotourism emerges as an option that is respectful with the environment. Ecotourism offers a greener and healthier alternative to tourists and an improvement in local conditions.
How ecotourism affects the environment
Through the practice of ecotourism, tourists can help conserve the environment and local conditions, through simple rules. The influence of ecotourism on the environment includes:
- Promote natural ecosystems as a source of value and enjoyment for tourists.
- Help to conserve the environment, landscapes and biodiversity, thanks to specific measures that help to this end.
- Promote the development of a tourist activity in accordance with the distinctive characteristics of a certain ecosystem.
- Tourist awareness of regional conditions. To this, local populations may also join. This allows their gradual growth and the reduction of the negative impacts that they can produce.
- Participation of local populations in tourism businesses and encourage the use of traditional local products and services by tourists.
- Promote respect for landscape and environmental quality by tourists.
- Promote the protection of local historical and archaeological resources.
- Promote the creation of protected natural areas and define their carrying capacities before the development of ecotourism activities.
Tips for doing ecotourism or sustainable tourism
When deciding to practice ecological tourism , there are a series of tips that can be given:
- Choose suppliers that guarantee quality and respect for the environment.
- Use natural resources such as water or energy, in a moderate way, avoiding unnecessary expenses.
- Try to reduce the generation of waste , as it is a source of environmental pollution.
- Get rid of the waste that we generate, being respectful of the indications that exist to do so.
- When we visit natural ecosystems such as coral reefs or jungles, find out how to do it without causing damage and respecting the instructions given to us.
- When it comes to buying local gifts and souvenirs, choose local products as it benefits local producers.
- Do not buy or acquire flora or fauna that is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) or introduce it in other regions, as it could be dangerous for biodiversity.
- Take an interest in local culture, customs and traditions.
- In the day to day consume local products.
- Reduce the use of the private vehicle.
In this other AgroCorrn article we explain in more detail how to do sustainable tourism .
Scarce supply and high prices for ecotourism
One of the drawbacks that hinder the development of ecotourism is the scarce supply and higher cost of ecological products, lack of information and few alternatives to conventional tourism. On the other hand, the provider of these services also faces problems such as lack of demand, mistrust, ignorance, lack of regulation or abuse of the term “eco”.
It is recommended to inform yourself well before undertaking this type of trip, making use of the web or contacting directly with the providers of these services, NGOs or ecotourism associations , although information can also be found in some travel agencies.
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