Welcome to Eco Wild!
In this issue:
1. What is ecotourism?
1. What is ecotourism?
Everywhere you go, it's "green" this and "green" that. But what
exactly is ecotourism? Where did the word originate?
According to the Centre for Ecotourism, the term ecotourism was
created by Hector Ceballos-Lascurain in 1983. The original term was for describing
"nature-based travel to relatively undisturbed areas with an emphasis on education."
However, this term has been over-used since then with no standard definition.
Another phrase for ecotourism is sustainable tourism.
Either way you define the word, it is generally agreed that ecotourism
E-environment, lands, ecosystems, biodiversity
C-communities, cultural diversity, local customs
Ecotourism is sustainable tourism, which follow clear steps that:
- Ensures prior, informed participation of all stakeholders, such as the local
communities, NGOs, governments, tourism based participants and conservationists.
- Ensures equal, effective and active participation of all stakeholders in the
- Promotes processes for the local communities to control and maintain their
resources while keeping the highest percentage of a tourist dollar in the host
country for the benefit of the local communities and in-country conservation efforts.
In general, ecotourism is an insightful, mindful and participatory travel
experience to natural and cultural environments, assisting the well-being of the
local cultures and environments for future generations. At the same time ecotourism
produces viable economic opportunities for the tourism industry and host communities.
If done successfully, it should create an integrated and holistic approach to
product development in the tourism industry.
Sounds easy, doesn't it? As my American colleagues would say, "I don't think
Now that we at least have a starting definition of what ecotourism is, we need
to look at how to implement it, for everyone involved. So next week I'll discuss
the "Four R's of ecotourism", namely:
In the meantime, if you have any comments about my definition of ecotourism,
please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you enjoyed this week's issue as much as I enjoyed writing it; now I
encourage you to take some action and go wild about East Africa, wildlife and
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