Negatives of Ecotourism Worldwide
There are many ways in which tourism can have a negative impact on a community or environment. The following examples illustrate why it is so important to be a green and responsible traveler.
Negative Effects of Green Travel?
Green travel and sustainable tourism are the movement behind eliminating the negative effects of tourism.
With the ability of travel to impact environments and cultures so greatly, green travel and ecotourism is the attempt to travel as responsibly as possible and to minimize that impact. In the following section we describe ways in which tourism can be harmful and how green travel is combating that negative influence. There are however, negative effects of travel and tourism as a whole. The act of simply traveling to remote areas where indigenous cultures and exotic species live, inevitably makes an impact. Often times, the increase of travel to an area means cars, roads, people, possible deforestation, industrialization and a world of outside influences. Indigenous cultures, and delicate ecosystems can easily be destroyed even when this is done mindfully and under the umbrella of green travel ideals. Simply put, it is difficult to argue that any type of industrialization isn’t causing irreversible damage when buildings are constructed and a previously isolated region becomes a focus for tourism. The hotels that go up to sustain the increase in tourism to the area and the subsequent actions that follow, effect local communities environmentally, socially and economically.
The mismanagement of a country’s wildlife, resources or natural wonders is also a big problem. Many countries have looked the other way in regards to preserving their natural environments in order to make way for the economic benefits of tourism. As a result, these environmental landmarks either become destroyed or extinct all together. Because tourism has the potential to bring in so much wealth to impoverished countries, it isn’t uncommon for local governments to ignore what needs to be done to protect the environment and instead manages them for economic gain rather than environmental preservation. For more information on the mismanagement of local environments see our page on locations in danger.
As ecotourism becomes a bigger part of the travel industry, more people and businesses are choosing to become green travelers.
While this is certainly a positive impact overall, there is a problem with the mismanagement of tours, businesses, accommodations and establishments that are labeling themselves as ‘eco-friendly.’ Because there is no regulation or accreditation for the term ‘ecotourism,’ businesses can label or promote themselves as eco-friendly when in fact they are not. Because ecotourism is becoming so popular, it is a distinct advantage in the travel industry to be an eco-friendly company. Yet, with no one regulating to what degree these businesses are environmentally sound, this undermines the movement as a whole and the businesses who are spending money, time and effort to be as green as possible.
While there is still a large gap between the need for some sort of regulation and the regulation of ecotourism coming to fruition, educating people on what green travel businesses practice, is helping. When you travel, research the tours and accommodations you are using that claim to be eco-friendly. This will help eliminate the misuse of the term and contribute to the positive effects tourism can have on a region.