Advantages of Ecotourism
Although people hear more about the negative aspects of tourism on the environment, there are a number of ways in which tourism helps local economies, raises awareness and contributes positively to countries around the world.
Tourism is one of the largest industries economically, worldwide. With people constantly globetrotting to new places, businesses have emerged and economies center around, the immense popularity of travel. In terms of a global economy, travel and tourism play a large role in both developing and first world economies. While the top ten most visited countries in 2007 were: the United States, Spain, France, Italy, China, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Austria and Turkey, the increase in travel to remote locations is increasing every year as well.
One of the ways in which tourism can help, especially in visiting remote locations or developing countries is in raising awareness on the issues in that country. As the values of green travel and ecotourism become more mainstream, visiting a poor country raises awareness on the political, economic and social problems that plague many developing nations. If you travel responsibly, use tour operators, travel companies and other businesses that are structured to give back to local economies and cultures, you are doing your part in helping the local people and environments in need. Because even on the most basic level, traveling to new places exposes issues that need attention in that part of the world. Poverty, health related issues, education and homelessness can all be impacted positively through tourism. And when tourism works for the greater good, action follows awareness. As people travel to developing nations, schools and education for local communities often follow – helping children and adults gain access to tools that will help them find jobs, combat local social issues and improve the quality of life.
Additionally, when structured properly local governments benefit from increased foreign exchange and tax revenues that travel brings to the area. In addition to this, as a result of an increase in world travel, many countries thrive on economies that revolve around tourism altogether. This is especially true for exotic locations like the Caribbean where life in the region is almost entirely sustained on tourism.
Although there are many debates surrounding whether this is positive or negative, travel to many regions of the world fuels local economies almost entirely.
Green travel is also doing its part to contribute to the positive effects of tourism. By educating travelers on ecotourism more companies and individuals are doing their part to make a positive effect on local and remote economies when they travel. As green travel becomes mainstream, any presence in a remote or exotic location will be pressured by local governments to be as green and eco-friendly as possible. This helps to preserve and maintain our world’s delicate ecosystems and also contributes to a more positive view of tourism overall.
As you travel, think about responsible traveler and how your presence will affect the place you are visiting. By adopting green travel ideals you will be doing your part in making a positive impact on tourism as opposed to a negative one.