If you are an ardent world traveler, most likely you have already heard of a recent tourism trend called eco-tourism. And if you are a true blooded advocate of all the good and wonderful things the natural world has to offer, it will be an inherent need for you to know more about this rather interesting concept. Well, you have come to the right side of cyberspace. Here are the seven basic guiding principles behind eco-tourism, as subscribed to by its various supporters and stakeholders.
1. Eco-tourism fosters travel opportunities to destinations that are closest to their natural state— those with the least human interventions in terms of infrastructure among others. Some of the current sites that fit this standard include El Salvador’s Llano del Muerto, Lebanon’s The Cedars, Mexico’s Lacandon Jungle, Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha, Kenya’s Masai Mara Park, Poland’s Wolin International Park, and Philippine’s Puerto Princesa Underground River, to name a few.
2. This tourism model aims to lower human impact despite a natural site’s exposure to tourists.
3. Environmental awareness is an integral part of the paradigm’s success. This means that aside from imparting the beauties of a particular natural destination, a sense of environmental concern and responsibility is also instilled to tourists.
4. A considerable part of the tourism efforts’ profit should be allotted to the advancement of natural conservation-related projects.
5. The locals of eco-tourism sites should directly benefit from the movement and be empowered through the system. This is achieved through tourism-anchored livelihood programs. Also, the locals are encouraged to come up with novel business ideas to help the entire community.
6. Respect for the culture of a given eco-tourism locality is essential to the advancement of the program. This respect should come from all stakeholders of the tourism industry from the tourists themselves to private investors.
7. The core of eco-tourism lies in the sustainment of human rights inherently bestowed to all of the program’s stakeholders. These stakeholders include even the business owners who have aided in pushing forward the causes of eco-tourism.
These principles seem lofty on paper but with enough optimism and positive actions from all people involved from locals to tourists, business entities to government bodies it is not an impossible feat.
Eco-Tourism is essentially a project that seeks to ensure that this planet can be readily enjoyed by globetrotters not only of this generation, but moreover, of the many generations yet to come. Now are you up for the challenge?