Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Eco-tourism

In class on Monday we talked about eco-tourism. Eco-tourism is the responsible travel to areas with the intent to conserve the environment and sustain the local culture and welfare of the native people there. Thanks to a comment on my blog earlier I was given a link to Conservation International, which has an entire eco-tourism website. Eco-tourism sounds like a great idea, but just exactly what does it mean? How do you know where to go and what to see? Just what do you do on an eco-tourism vacation? Luckily, Conservation International has resources on these topics of eco-tourism. They provide articles and news, popular destinations, and tips and tricks to make your own vacation more eco friendly.

I think this is a great concept and something I can relate to. I'm from Wyoming, most famous for being the home of Yellowstone. I'm also a kayaker. I enjoy being outdoors and camping and I've seen firsthand just how destructive people can be when I'm out and about paddling down a river or hiking in a forest. One person might not make that much of a difference but bring in thousands, millions in the case of Yellowstone, and it adds up very quickly. Multiply that by the ineptitude of some towards the environment and suddenly there are serious problems. Everyone likes to take vacations. But the truth is, some vacations aren't so great for the environment. Many of the amazing places in the world are slowly but surely being affected and aren't as pristine as they once were. Add to that the environmental impact of flying, driving, hiking and everything else that goes into them, and soon enough, vacations don't seem like such a great idea. Which is why eco-tourism is so promising.

2 comments:

Henri said...

I just wrote about eco-tourism on my blog. It would be interesting to see where it is in a couple of years. My hope is that it's not a fad.

eric said...

yes, outdoor tourism is a double edged sword as we discussed in class. great to get people in touch with nature, trouble for nature if too many too ignorantly visit. Hence, the need for a sustainable approach. Principles have been developed per class readings, but not always applied honestly by tour operators or appreciated by tourists.