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AUTHORS

1. Mrs. B. KALAISELVI, M.Sc., M.Phil., B.Ed., PGDCA,


Lecturer(SS) in Mathematics,
Sri G.V.G. Visalakshi College for Women,
UDUMALPET – 642 128.

2. B.THAYUMANAVAR, B.Sc., MA., MBA. M.Phil, PGDCA, NET, (Ph.D),


Lecturer, PG Department of Management Science,
Sree Saraswathi Thyagaraja College,
Thippampatti, POLLACHI – 642 107.

ECOTOURISM
The term ecotourism was coined by Héctor Ceballos-Lascuràin in 1983, and was
initially used to describe nature-based travel to relatively undisturbed areas with an
emphasis on education. The concept has, however, developed to a scientifically based
approach to the planning, management and development of sustainable tourism products
and activities. It is an enlightening, participatory travel experience to environments, both
natural and cultural, that ensures the sustainable use, at an appropriate level, of
environmental resources and, whilst producing viable economic opportunities for the
tourism industry and host communities, makes the use of these resources through
conservation beneficial to all tourism role players. It is not a marketing ploy, nor is it
scenic or nature-based travel

Introduction:-

Ecotourism involves visiting natural areas with the objectives of learning,


studying, or participating in activities that do not bring negative effects to the
environment, whilst protecting and empowering the local community socially and
economically. It's an increasingly popular approach to travel, as concerns about human
impact on the world have Specifically, ecotourism possesses the following
characteristics:
 Conscientious, low-impact visitor behavior
 Sensitivity towards, and appreciation of, local cultures and biodiversity
 Support for local conservation efforts
 Sustainable benefits to local communities
 Local participation in decision-making

Ecotourism (also known as ecological tourism) is travel to fragile, pristine, and


usually protected areas that strives to be low impact and (often) small scale. It helps
educate the traveler; provides funds for conservation; directly benefits the economic
development and political empowerment of local communities; and fosters respect for
different cultures and for human rights.
Criteria:-

Ecotourism is a form of tourism that involves traveling to tranquil and unpolluted


natural areas. According to the definition and principles of ecotourism established by The
International Ecotourism Society (TIES) in 1990, ecotourism is "Responsible travel to
natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local
people." (TIES, 1990). seven characteristics of ecotourism are:

 Involves travel to natural destinations.


 Minimizes 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 demographic movements.

Ideally, ecotourism should satisfy several criteria, 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
 Eco Tourism in India:-

Some Places where you can watch exotic wildlife are :

Assam Gujarat Haryana

Kaziranga National Park Gir Wildlife Sanctuary Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary


Manas National Park

Jammu & Kashmir Kerala Karnataka

Dachigam National Park Eravikulam National Park Bandipur National Park


Hemis High Altitude Park Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary Nagarhole National Park
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary

India, the land of varied geography offers several tourist destinations that not just de-
stress but also rejuvenate you. There are several ways to enjoy Mother Nature in
most pristine way. The few places like the Himalayan Region, Kerala, the northeast
India, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and the Lakshdweep islands are some of the
places where you can enjoy the treasured wealth of the Mother Nature. Thenmala in
Kerala is the first

planned ecotourism destination in India created to cater to the Eco-tourists and nature
lovers.
The India topography boasts an abundant source of flora & fauna. India has
numerous rare and endangered species in its surroundings. The declaration of several
wildlife areas and national parks has encouraged the growth of the wildlife resource,
which reduced due to the wildlife hunt by several kings in the past. Today, India has
many wildlife sanctuaries and protection laws. Currently, there are about 80 national
parks and 441 sanctuaries in India, which works for the protection and conservation
of wildlife resource in India.

There are numerous Botanical and Zoological Gardens in India, which are working
towards the enhancement of the Ecosystem. Poaching has stopped to large extent.
There are severe punishments for poachers, hunters and illegal traders of animals and
trees. Tree plantation are taking place in several places. There are several animal &
plant rights organisation, who fight for the rights of the animals and plants.
Numerous organisations and NGOs are coming forward to provide environmental
education to the common people at the grass root level.

Advantages of Ecotourism:-

 Environmental Protection

By encouraging travellers to behave in an environmentally responsible way,


EcoTour operators offer information on how travellers can minimize their impact on
the ecosystem and contribute to the protection of fragile ecosystems. They may offer
travellers the opportunity to participate in conservation or preservation projects. An
important element of this type of project is education. The goal is that through
participation, eco travellers will return home with increased awareness and concern
for environmental issues and therefore continue to behave in an environmentally
conscious way.

 Social Understanding

By involving the local community in aspects of planning, decision-making,


ecotourism empowers individuals. EcoTours may educate travellers through leaflets,
interpretation and advice from tour operators or guides about the culture, customs and
etiquette of locals. This may prevent conflict between locals and travellers that might
have been caused through misunderstanding or ignorance.

 Economic Empowerment

By employing local people whenever possible and paying fair wages, ecotourism
seeks to prevent exploitation. This benefits the local economy by preventing leakages
of the revenue acquired through tourism.

Improving Sustainability:-

 Regulation and accreditation

Many environmentalists have argued for a global standard of accreditation,


differentiating ecotourism companies based on their level of environmental
commitment. A national or international regulatory board would enforce accreditation
procedures, with representation from various groups including governments, hotels,
tour operators, travel agents, guides, airlines, local authorities, conservation
organizations, and non-governmental organizations. The decisions of the board would
be sanctioned by governments, so that non-compliant companies would be legally
required to disassociate themselves from the use of the ecotourism brand.

 Guidelines and education

An environmental protection strategy must address the issue of ecotourists


removed from the cause-and-effect of their actions on the environment. More
initiatives should be carried out to improve their awareness, sensitize them to
environmental issues, and care about the places they visit. Tour guides are an obvious
and direct medium to communicate awareness. With the confidence of ecotourists and
intimate knowledge of the environment, they can actively discuss conservation issues.

 Small scale, slow growth and local control

The increased contributions of communities to locally managed ecotourism create


viable economic opportunities, including high level management positions, and
reduce environmental issues associated with poverty and unemployment. There is a
greater multiplier effect on the economy, because local products, materials, and labor
are used. Profits accrue locally and import leakages are reduced.

 Natural resource management

Natural resource management can be utilized as a specialized tool for the


development of eco-tourism. There are several places throughout the world where the
amount of natural resources are abundant. But, with human encroachment and
habitats these resources are depleting. Without knowing the proper utilization of
certain resources they are destroyed and floral and faunal species are becoming
extinct. Ecotourism programmes can be introduced for the conservation of these
resources. Several plans and proper management programmes can be introduced so
that these resources remain untouched. Several organizations, NGO's, scientists are
working on this field.

CONCLUSION:-

Eco-tourism focuses on local cultures, wilderness adventures, volunteering,


personal growth and learning new ways to live on our vulnerable planet. It is typically
defined as travel to destinations where the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the
primary attractions. Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the adverse
effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhance the cultural
integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural
factors, initiatives by hospitality providers to promote recycling, energy efficiency, water
re-use, and the creation of economic opportunities for local communities are an integral
part of ecotourism.

Ecotourism is considered the fastest growing market in the tourism industry,


according to the World Tourism Organization with an annual growth rate of 5%
worldwide and representing 6% of the world gross domestic product, 11.4% of all
consumer spending - not a market to be taken lightly.