Ecotourism

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CASE STUDY #1: Ecotourism

Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of many economies in the world since it is able to generate needed foreign exchange. It is important to distinguish between two types of tourism: mass or resort tourism and ecotourism. Nature-based tourism involves traveling for recreational purposes. Ecotourism, on the other hand involves traveling to undisturbed natural site for conservation and education which are also known as ecological, environmental, nature, green, sustainable tourism. Ecotourism, short form for Ecological Tourism, is defined as “purposeful travel that creates an understanding of cultural and natural history, while safeguarding the integrity of the ecosystem and producing economic benefits that encourage conservation.” Using case studies, this paper demonstrates the positives and negatives of ecotourism and the implications for the future.

Ecotourism, deemed as a tool for sustainability and development, is growing at an increasing rate. With education as a primary goal, ecotourism can teach both tourists and local people the value of environment and culture and help develop a nature-conscience lifestyle. Ecotourism brings employment benefits to often previously disadvantaged rural populations. The expansion of ecotourism has undeniably boosted Nepal’s overall economic development with tourism revenues. For example, in the Langtang Ecotourism Project, established in 1996, describes the Nepalese women effort in proactively developed sustainable tourism management. Using a community-based planning approach, they chose to use kerosene instead of wood for cooking. The kerosene depot was established which helped generate money. The profit is then used for tree planting and reviving Nepalese culture such as traditional dancing, singing and craft skills. In turn, it increases value to their local culture,…...

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