Ecotourism is one example of a new networked pattern of social life indicative of increasing global mobilities. Through global travel, and the extension of ecotourism, destinations in the global periphery are being transformed into global places to play (Sheller & Urry 2004). Ecotourism focuses on the ideas of volunteering so that one may gain personal growth. Ecotourism helps one to learn new ways to live. When a person joins ecotourism activities it means that he/she will have to travel to destinations where the primary attractions include flora, fauna, and cultural heritage. Ecotourism is Popular because of its perceived benefits described below.
Advantages of Ecotourism
From an environmental perspective, the popularity of ecotourism derives from its symbiotic relationship with nature. The argument goes that the economic return from ecotourism justifies the retention of land in a natural state which would otherwise be more profitably utilized for ecologically destructive agricultural or forestry purposes. Community-based conservation (CBC) in general, and ecotourism in particular, arose to correct human injustices and social impacts wrought by a prior model of protected area management that subordinated resident peoples' welfare and rights, and local economic development, to environmental preservation (Zerner 2000). Ecotourism is attractive to particular social groups, and the demand for ecotourist holidays seems linked to the environmental movement, which constitutes a new radicalism among the middle classes of the western industrialized world. Some suggest that contemporary tourist practices are cultural in that they comprise signs, images, texts, and discourses. In addition, some believe that identity is now formed through consumption and play rather than through employment (Sheller & Urry 2004). Ecotourism benefits the environment through the maintenance of biological diversity and cultural diversity. Ecotourism gives tourism to unspoiled natural resources so that participants of in ecotourism will know how to take care of the unspoiled resources. Ecotourism educates people so that they will know how to take care of the environment.
Disadvantages of Ecotourism
One paradox of ecotourism is that the exploitation of the wilderness, even for the theoretically benign purposes of wildlife appreciation, threatens to undermine the very assets which give value to this setting in the first instance. This is partly because of the role ecotourism can inadvertently play as a pioneer activity which opens the area to more intensive, and possibly less benign, forms of tourism. If the wilderness quality is to be preserved, then ecotourism cannot become a large-scale revenue generator within this context zone without conferring upon it what could be termed a tourism-related resource frontier status (Faulkner, Laws & Moscardo 1998).Some ecotourism, of course, can and should be accommodated, though on a dispersed basis to avoid this disruption. Urban areas and the agricultural frontier, in particular, are identified as the crucial future areas of ecotourism, with the first context zone providing accessible opportunities to most of the population while functioning as a recruitment ground for more involved forms of ecotourism, and the second context zone constituting the core of an extensive ecotourism industry. It is in the latter, as well as in the wilderness zone, that ecotourism could very well emerge as a dominant future economic activity (Faulkner, Laws & Moscardo 1998). The disadvantage of ecotourism is its promises not delivered wherein its supposed benefits have not been felt in some instances. The time and financial expenses used in ecotourism had been said to be put into waste. Moreover there are instances wherein ecotourism has been said to be the source of conflict over control of land, resources, and profits.
Differences of Tourism and Ecotourism
There is no consensus on the nature of ecotourism, as evidenced by the myriad definitions encountered within the literature. However, there does seem to be a high level of agreement that ecotourism is primarily focused upon attractions related to the natural environment; is oriented toward the appreciation of these attractions for heir own merit; is non-consumptive in the sense that wildlife is not deliberately removed from its habitat; and attempts to minimize the concomitant negative environmental, socio-cultural and economic impacts associated with its pursuit (Faulkner, Laws & Moscardo 1998). Differentiation between ecotourism and nature tourism must be done on the basis of social psychology. Ecotourism has blossomed into a rich array of programs and opportunities in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. Often a relationship must exist between public agencies and private operators (Marvell 2005). Tourism aims to give pure entertainment to those engaged in it while Ecotourism aims to widen one’s mind about the situation in a certain place and encourage those engaged in it to do something to change the situation. Tourism focuses on financial gain Ecotourism aims to provide environmental and social awareness. Tourism focuses on providing recreational activity while Ecotourism provides information that requires a certain response or call to action.
Evaluation of Ecotourism and Moloney’s belief
Ecotourism is one aspect of nature-oriented tourism, which includes many other types of tourism and outdoor recreation, both consumptive and non-consumptive. Ecotourism is said to relate to adventure travel only inasmuch as it shares similar environmental settings. Good coordination must exist between these stakeholders such that the appropriate values are attached to the ecotourism experience. There does seem to be pressure from international development firms to integrate the concept of ecotourism at a grander scale. While there certainly appears to be the opportunity to provide the tourist with a degree of the ecotourism experience at such a scale, caution needs to be used in promoting such areas as true ecotourism sites. Like the tourism industry in general, the fate of ecotourism will be controlled, to a certain degree, by unfettered demand. The question which is most pressing, though, is to what extent the international community is willing to let this happen (Fennell 1999). Ecotourism maintains Moloney’s belief that people, plant and profit need to be kept in balance; this is done through making sure that there is coordination between those involved in ecotourism so that nothing will be wasted. Ecotourism maintains Moloney’s belief through checking whether there is still proportionate amount of people, plant or profit.
Ecotourism is a new concept that is gaining considerable popularity and attention. Ecotourism focuses on the ideas of volunteering so that one may gain personal growth. Ecotourism helps one to learn new ways to live. Ecotourism benefits the environment through the maintenance of biological diversity and cultural diversity. The disadvantage of ecotourism is its promises not delivered wherein its supposed benefits have not been felt in some instances. Ecotourism maintains Moloney’s belief that people, plant and profit need to be kept in balance; this is done through making sure that there is coordination between those involved in ecotourism so that nothing will be wasted.
Faulkner, B, Laws, E & Moscardo, G 1998, Embracing and
managing change in tourism: International case studies,
Fennell, DA 1999, Ecotourism: An introduction, Routledge,
Marvell, A 2005, Ecotourism: impacts, potentials and
possibilities, Geographical Journal, vol.171, no.3, pp.
Sheller, M & Urry, J (eds.) 2004, Tourism mobilities:
Places to play, places in play, Routledge, London.
Zerner, C (ed.) 2000, People, plants, and justice: The
politics of nature conservation, Columbia University Press,
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