“Official Definition of Ecotourism:“Ecotourism is responsible travel to naturalareas which conserves the environment andimproves the welfare of local people.”- TIES 1990
UN, EM and Ecotourism• Several international agencies promoteecotourism– UN Global Environment Facility (GEF) funds forenvironment-related projects, particularly in EMs• 500 projects in 120 countries Worth > $2 billion– USAID (US Agency for International Aids)• 100 projects worth > $2 billion
• Revenues– Ecotourists are from developed countries– Willing to spend large sum of money to view abundant andunique natural resources• Kenya (Masai Mara) $100,000 per month Entry fee $20 forforeigners and $3 for Kenyans• S. Africa (Dukuduku community) $300,000 annually Byselling traditional Zulu baskets and sleeping mats• Cuba (La Moka) ecotourist resort $200/day room• Pitfalls– Ecotourism can be problematic if not managed properly• Ecotourism uproots native people from their normal habits offarming, hunting, mining, and forestry• Income does not trickle-down to locals• 50% of the income goes to airline, hotels, tour operatorsRevenues and Pitfalls
• Economic– Direct revenue from ecotourists!– Direct employment– Ecotourists may patronize for add-ons culture show• Environmental– Incentive to protect environment commitment ↑– Ecotourists assist in habitat enhancement• Excessive tipping, donations, policing, maintenance• Socio-cultural– Good public relations face-to-face contacts– Aesthetic/spiritual benefits– Fosters environment awareness among ecotourists and localpopulation slash and burn agriculture FinlandBenefits of Ecotourism
Costs of Ecotourism• Economic– Start up expenses• Acquisition of land/infrastructure, establishment of protected areas– Ongoing expenses• Maintenance of infrastructure, promotion, wages– Revenues Uncertain due to its nature• Environmental– Environmental capacity is limited Rapid growth– Difficult in indentifying, measuring, monitoring impact ofecotourism• Socio-cultural– Intrusion upon local isolated areas– Displacement of local cultures by parks– Erosion of local control foreign experts!
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