Advantages of Ecotourism
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.(46)" Thus, ecotourism is a form of travel dedicated to sustainable travel destinations. Ecotourism advocacy groups such as TIES or the Nature Conservancy help certify and promote sustainable lodges and raise worldwide awareness about the challenges a particular region faces. With ecotourism, operators and venues reduce their negative impact on the environment, increase funds for conservation and protection, and improve local economies. Therefore, eco-tourism is not only about enjoying the natural heritage of an indigenous locale but also creating a lot of advantages. Conservation
First, Ecotourism does more than bring local and worldwide awareness to threatened regions of the world; groups such as TIES use funds generated from ecotourism to establish and maintain national parks and nature reserves. In areas where tourism has damaged ecosystems or polluted rivers, ecotourism relies on region-wide sustainability strategies, fee-entry systems for national parks, and minimally invasive tourism alternatives to reduce travelers' negative impact. For example, entry fees are used to protect neglected regions of the parks and implement better techniques to offset or repair damage caused by tourists. Protection
Ecotourism also helps to protect threatened wildlife and ensures that robust animal populations remain that way. Organizations such as the Nature Conservancy work with local resorts to help them build properties that will not harm the indigenous fauna. If you visit one of these eco-friendly lodges, you will know that your visit is not harming local animal populations. Furthermore, many ecotourism hotels will use some of your lodging funds to help better protect endangered and threatened animals. Economic Advantages
Ecotourism destinations are often in...
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* Rae, Kara, 2010, Impacts of Ecotourism. http://www.ehow.com/facts_5641960_impacts-ecotourism.html (15 April 2013)
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