It means responsible travel to natural areas conserving the environment and improving the well-being of the local people. Since the 1980s, ecotourism has been considered a critical endeavor by environmentalists, so that future generations may experience destinations relatively untouched by human intervention. Several university programs use this description as the definition of environmental conservation pdf definition of ecotourism.
Ecotourism focuses on socially responsible travel, personal growth, and environmental sustainability. Ecotourism is intended to offer tourists an insight into the impact of human beings on the environment and to foster a greater appreciation of our natural habitats. Responsible ecotourism programs include those that minimize the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. For these reasons, ecotourism often appeals to advocates of environmental and social responsibility. The term ‘ecotourism’, like ‘sustainable tourism’, is considered by many to be an oxymoron.
Additionally, “the overall effect of sustainable tourism is negative where like ecotourism philanthropic aspirations mask hard-nosed immediate self-interest. Ecotourism is tourism which is conducted responsibly to conserve the environment and sustain the well-being of local people. Self-proclaimed practitioners and hosts of ecotourism experiences assume it is achieved by simply creating destinations in natural areas. According to critics of this commonplace and assumptive practice, true ecotourism must, above all, sensitize people to the beauty and the fragility of nature.
Western Europe, Canada and Australia. Currently, there are various moves to create national and international ecotourism accreditation programs, although the process is also controversial. One source claims the terms were used earlier. Yucatán during the early 1970s. Because the regulation of ecotourism may be poorly implemented, ecologically destructive greenwashed operations like underwater hotels, helicopter tours, and wildlife theme parks can be categorized as ecotourism along with canoeing, camping, photography, and wildlife observation. The failure to acknowledge responsible, low-impact ecotourism puts legitimate ecotourism companies at a competitive disadvantage.
Many environmentalists have argued for a global standard of accreditation, differentiating ecotourism companies based on their level of environmental commitment, creating a standard to follow. A national or international regulatory board would enforce accreditation procedures, with representation from various groups including governments, hotels, tour operators, travel agents, guides, airlines, local authorities, conservation organizations, and non-governmental organizations. The decisions of the board would be sanctioned by governments, so that non-compliant companies would be legally required to disassociate themselves from the use of the ecotourism brand. Crinion suggests a Green Stars System, based on criteria including a management plan, benefit for the local community, small group interaction, education value and staff training. Ecotourists who consider their choices would be confident of a genuine ecotourism experience when they see the higher star rating.