Discuss the environmental and socio-economic consequences of ecotourism. What additional factors need to be considered in establishing ecotourism projects?
Ecotourism aims to protect landscapes and wildlife, promoting also financial benefits to the local communities. According to Chaynee (2010), in Malaysia, ecotourism is the second largest source of Gross Domestic Product. It provides job opportunities and stimulates voyagers to show respect for the conservation of the environment. There are numerous positive and negative effects of ecotourism, and as a result, there is the need to apply additional actions to minimize the unbalanced outcomes. This essay will discuss the environmental consequences of ecotourism, such as, the conservation and deterioration of the surrounding areas. Secondly, it will analyse the socio-economic effects; finally the essay will suggest some factors for future ecotourism projects.
The implementation of ecotourism has positive environmental consequences. Firstly, ecotourism allows the discovery of new places and the improvement on territory conservation. In her case study, Nikitina (2007) shows that in Russia, ecotourism has been showing off the natural areas, which during the Soviet Period were strictly protected. She also points out that the populations have more appreciation of the nature. What this means is that ecotourism may be seen as an environmental education program.
Ecotourists are interested to respect rules and acquire knowledge about nature; consequentially, local communities may look at tourists as a correct model to imitate (Chaynee 2010; Waylen et al. 2009).
Serious ethical challenges have confronted stakeholders in environmental conservation and research. The bulk of the challenges gravitates around the relationship between human beings and the non-human environment, and the impact of human activities on the continued existence of human beings and other elements of the non-human environment (Swart, 2008). Researchers have viewed these challenges ...
Furthermore, according to Chaynee (2010), there is a positive impact on the attitude of local people towards conservation of their own culture. Being ecotourists interested to learn, local communities are incited to protect the cultural property value such as rituals, ceremonies, arts and crafts.
However, besides protecting natural sites, ecotourism may also be the indirect reason of negative environmental consequences. This view is commonly shared; as Hueter in Jaffe (2009: 1) states, “There comes a time when you have so much interference through ecotourism that you affect the thing you’re trying to protect”. The reason for this could be that as ecotourism is becoming a phenomenon widely promoted, the large number of ecotourists attracted, may cause a higher rate of pollution and an increased deterioration of the environment.
The island of Damas shows how over-crowing of tourists influences the natural behaviour of wildlife; penguins in contact with people may abandon their own natural habitats (Ellenberg in Jeff 2009).
In addition, in Tortoguero, the significant amount of rubbish left by tourist harms the habitat of the animals (Meletis in Jeff 2009).
Furthermore, according to York (2005), the establishment of tourist accommodations and the need of firewood have caused water contamination and deforestation. In conclusion, environment and wildlife are often victims of the ecotourism activities.
Furthermore, ecotourism produces consequences in the socio-economic status of the local community, as the creation of new businesses increases job opportunities and improves the economy. For example, it involves host communities in the tourist industry, such as restaurants, accommodation, and local tours. In addition, in Zapovednik, a natural area in Russia, extra financial helps often occur by visitors for supporting the population (Nikitina 2007).
The Association of Southeast Asia was created in August 1967 by six nations Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei for the matter of preventing the spread of communist ideology, promote peace and cooperation in the region. The ASEAN head quarter is based in Jakarta, Indonesia‟s capital city. In 1990s, when the Cold War completely collapsed, there were four other ...
On the other hand, it needs to be underlined that socio-economic consequences can also be negatives. A study to find out the effects of ecotourism on the Masai population claims that “The Masai have faced eviction from tribal lands, economic dislocation, assaults on traditional values, and environmental degradation” (York 2005: 2).
For the local community, forests were the main source of income, allowing them to practice farming and other activities. However, since wildwood has become protected for the landscape conservation or destroyed for lodge constructions, the Masai are unable to use the natural resources for practicing their own businesses. In addition, in these places, industries duplicate traditional homemade products and sell these at a cheaper price; as a result the local economy is compromised (York 2005).
Secondly, he believes that the prices of products and services have increased as an economic result of the turnout of a wide number of tourists. Indeed, in the Philippines, many people migrate due to the higher cost of living. Furthermore, a lack of water emerges due to the growing demand, both from the tourist facilities and local families (ibid).
In conclusion, the drawbacks for the local people are various.
Almost all of the above outcomes, both environmental and socio-economic, may be improved by applying corrective actions when considering future projects. Firstly, according to Libosada (2009) ecotourism should be managed like as a business and seen as a networked industry: tourist agents should work on tour promotions, the host communities provide accommodation, and the government should fix rules within the ecotourism business. In fact, a successful model for the development of ecotourism requires the participation of all of the subjects involved. In addition, by developing an accurate framework become possible resolving the conflict of interest between them, planning the use of resources and also auditing the results during the implementation of the project.
Tourism is one of the most effective ways of redistributing wealth, by moving money into local economies from other parts of the country and overseas. It brings income into a community that would otherwise not be earned. Economic benefits Economic benefits resulting from tourism can take a number of forms including: 1. Jobs Employment may be associated directly, such as tour guide or managerial ...
Furthermore, in order to avoid some negative effects of mass tourism, Libosada (2009) suggests to identify the physical limits of the local area, in relation to carrying capacity of tourists, and use these limitations to plan future strategies; this is known as the LAC concept. Another example of how minimize the environmental deteriorations is the creation of buffer zones close to the core-protected areas. In these are promoted all the tourist activities in order to attract people and leave the protected sites intact (Nikitina 2007).
Finally, in order to prevent the migration of local people, Jaffe (2009) points out that an agreement should ensure that they are employed in the village activities, so that money remains in the economy of the local area.
This essay has discussed the wide impact of ecotourism on the environment, and how it may affects the socio-economic status of the communities. The several drawbacks may be minimized with the adoption of an accurate framework as guideline, the creation of buffer zones and the identification of physical limits of the ecotourism hosting areas. These actions may be fundamentals for the establishment of future ecotourism projects. Therefore, co-operation between government, local people and tourist industry is the key tool. If all the potential beneficiaries of the projects work together for the same targets, ecotourism will be more profitable and successful.
List of References
Chaynee, W. (2010).
Benefits of Ecotourism for Local Communities. Available at: <http://www.mier.org. [Accessed 22/05/10].
Jaffe, E. (2009).
Science News. © 2009 Science Service, Inc. 170(14).
Libosada Jr. C.M. (2009).
Ocean & Coastal Management, 52, 390–394. Available at: <http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ocecoaman. [Accessed 15 Nov 2012].
Nikitina, E (2007) Ecotourism: an Opportunity for Sustainable Development Available at http://www.russianconservation.org [Accessed 19/05/09].
Waylen, K.A., McGowan,P.J.K., Pawi Study Group and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2009).
Ecotourism positively affects awareness and attitudes but not conservation behaviours: a case study at Grande Riviere, Trinidad. Fauna & Flora International Oryx. 43(3), 343–351 Available at: <http://journals.cambridge.org [Accessed 28/05/10].
Obviously, before answering such a question it is important to reach some definition of a quartier. Speaking to an englishman who had lived in Paris for a number of years threw some light on the issue. He loosely described a quartier as "an area with a common-thread running through it." Although undoubtedly vague this definition does convey the flexibility of the quartier concept. A ' ...
York, S. (2005) Eco-Tourism Can Be Both a Boon and a Curse for Indigenous Peoples. Available at: <http://commongroundmag.com. [Accessed 16/05/06].