Eco-tourism is a form of tourism that involves visiting fragile, pristine and relatively undisturbed natural areas. It is intended as a low impact and small scale alternative to commercial tourism.
It minimizes physical, social, behavioral, and psychological impacts. It also builds environmental and cultural awareness to the people.
Eco-tourism involves traveling to natural destinations and provides financial benefits for conservations.
Pros of Eco-Tourism
- Provides sustainable income for local communities
As eco-tourism involves traveling to natural destinations, it allows the local communities to benefit from the sites as the money will be used to develop the local area hence they improve their living standards.
- Allows new experiences with the environment
The people visiting the area will have new experiences with the environment hence they will be in a position to learn more about what is found in their environment.
- Improves research and development
It will trigger people to do a lot of research about the site in the area and this will make them knowledgeable about what is found in the area.
- Positive impact on the community and culture
The culture of the community will be able to be preserved and this will be passed from one generation to another hence the culture of the area will remain forever.
- Economic growth
The money that is earned from eco-tourism will be used to develop other facilities in the area such as hotels and improve the security of the area hence there will be growth in the area.
- Creates employment opportunities
People from the community will be able to get employment opportunities in the hotels that will be created hence they will be able to improve their living standards.
- Increases environmental awareness
Most people will be able to receive education on how to take care of their environment hence the environment will be kept safe.
- Management of natural resources
The natural resources will be managed and utilized well hence the community will be able to benefit from the resources.
Cons of Eco-Tourism
- Impact on the environment
In order to travel to the place, people have to use airplanes or vehicles which emit some gases to the environment and this causes pollution of the environment.
- Ecosystem degradation
Eco-tourism mostly involves traveling to the areas that are not commonly visited and this may lead to the introduction of foreign elements in the system which may alter the system hence degradation.
- Relocation of people
Sometimes local community is relocated for the place to be made accessible and suitable to be visited which may end up affecting the life of the relocated community.
- Threats to indigenous cultures
The indigenous culture may be affected in that other people will have to be introduced to the area to offer certain services hence interfering with the indigenous culture.
- Lack of income prospects
When eco-tourism is introduced in an area, it may make the local community not to continue earning from the site as the money will be directed to the government hence not really benefiting from the site.
The eco-tourism sector may suffer from instability whereby the site will not be visited often and this may make the income from the site not to be able to sustain it hence not being managed well.
Eco-tourism is a good thing for a country to embrace as it will promote the tourism sector and improve the money that is earned from the tourism industry hence serving as economic development to a country.