EnviroCitizen.org would like to introduce you to the Ecotourism Association, a green, non-government organization with a mission to protect the environment and worldwide cultures through the promotion of responsible tourism practices. Through this mission, it has successfully defined and promoted the ecotourism industry.
The Ecotourism Association also believes that ecotourism should remain mindful of three principals: communities, conservation and sustainable travel. In order to achieve these three things, together with the participation and implementation of ecotourism activities, it is important to consider the following:
- Impact minimization
- Building awareness and respect to the environment and culture
- Make positive experiences for hosts and visitors possible
- Carry out financial benefits for environment conservation
- Carry out empowerment for the local people through financial assistance
- Increase sensitivity to environmental, political and social climate for the host
To carry out the things mentioned above, the Ecotourism Association has pioneered a lot of studies and research with ecotourism as the primary thing in mind. It has calculated all the aspects of ecotourism, both positive and negative, including all ways to participate in eco-friendly travel. Ecotourism can greatly and positively impact planet Earth, provided that it is done in a conscientious manner. If travelers would be cautious and aware of the impact of their vacation, they can do a lot of positive and great things for the environment.
Ecotourism is outlined by the following facts and statistical figures:
1. Size of Global Tourism
Travel and tourism serves as the largest business industry in the world. As such, it assumes the responsibility of employing more than 230 million people and more than 10% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP) worldwide. In 2006 alone, the GDP of travel and tourism has increased by 4.6% amounting to US$6.5 trillion. This includes investments, consumptions, exports and government spending.
2. The Importance of Tourism to Developing Countries
Tourism is the main foreign exchange earner, contributing to 83% of the total GDP of developing countries. It serves as the main export for 30% of the poorest countries in the world. After oil, travel and tourism is the second main source of foreign exchange for the 40 poorest countries in the world.
5 . Important Concepts of Ecotourism
1. Sustainable use of resources: Sustainability and conservation of natural, cultural as well as social resources plays a very important role in making long-term business sense.
2. Waste Reduction: This avoids the unnecessary cost of restoring long-term damage to the environment.
3. Maintaining Diversity: Maintenance and promotion of natural, cultural and social diversity is important for a long-term and sustainable tourism. This also creates a very flexible industry base.
4. Integration of Planning and Tourism: To increase the long-term feasibility of tourism, there should always be an integration of planning framework and tourism, especially in undertaking environmental impact assessments.
5. Support for Local Economies: To protect the local economies and to avoid environmental damage, tourism should support local economic activities.
EnviroCitizen.org applauds the Ecotourism Association and other organizations and businesses that promote ecotourism and the preservation of our environment.