WHAT IS ECOTOURISM AND HOW IT CAN HELP PROTECT WILDLIFE
The term has been around for a while, ecotourism is simply a new approach to tourism that is more respectful towards biodiversity and local cultures.
It has become more popular lately due to globalization issues, like climate change and endangered species facing potential extinction.
Ever thought about opening your small fancy hotel in the countryside? Then, keep on reading….
ECOTOURISM VS MASS TOURISM
The rise of the internet-based economy and the more affordable transport fares are key factors in the increase of travellers.
Although “mass tourism” is still going strong nowadays, it’s clearly not for everyone. Different people have different necessities, and ecotourism is bringing new possibilities to the ever-changing touristic landscape. Click To Tweet
Moreover, it adds variety, sensitivity, and culture to the otherwise rather uniform (and predictable) panorama.
This type of tourism is considered ecotourism, as it’s focused on wildlife and natural spaces.
It’s facing some criticism though, sometimes it’s been accused of damaging the areas that it’s claiming to protect. Common sense and respect are essential here.
HOW DOES ECOTOURISM HELP THE LOCAL COMMUNITY?
This trend has been a blessing for many small and distant communities. There are some challenges though, let’s take a close look at some of them:
• Loss of identity and excessive foreign influence.
• Environmental damages.
• Cultural shock.
• Limited outreach.
• Lack of long-term goals.
• Shortage of funding.
On the positive side, rural communities and protected areas have a chance to involve in a profitable activity in order to overcome neglection.
Some positive examples of well-conducted ecotourism activities: Bhutan and Costa Rica, among others.
HOW TO START AN ECOTOURISM BUSINESS
Primarily, you must consider if this is the right choice for you. Many challenges lay ahead and some of them require clear focus and endurance.
First of all, you should be part of the community you are promoting, or the whole concept will be fake. Therefore, by getting to know the people, languages and local customs, you’ll be on the right path.
This model can be applied in local environments too, like rural areas with low population density. This is the case in some European countries, see some examples below.