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Eco-tourism - any experiences or opinions?

Travel Forums General Talk Eco-tourism - any experiences or opinions?

1. Posted by daffodil (Budding Member 10 posts) 10y

Hi All,

Does anyone have any experiences or opinions of eco-tourism? I'm writing an article about it at the moment as part of my university coursework and thought that some of you might have some views on the subject. It would be really helpful if anyone could let me know what they think of it.

- Is it something that you support?
- Do you think it's a step forward for the travel industry, or do you think it's just used as a marketing term by tour operators?
- Have you been on, or would you ever consider going on an eco- tourism holiday or trip?
- Have you any experience of any negative aspects of eco-tourism?
- Do you have any other views on eco-tourism in general?

Thanks

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

Daffodil had requested and received permission from the Administrators to post her questions here.

Good luck with your article and your class, Rhian! I hope you get some good responses from our members. ;)

ps: Rhian's project deadline is April 26th.

[ Edit: Added deadline info. ]

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 10y

Is it something that you support?
If you mean support as in do I believe it's a good idea, then yes. If you mean have I personally spent any money on one, then no.

Do you think it's a step forward for the travel industry, or do you think it's just used as a marketing term by tour operators?
Being more inclined not to trust marketing (ironically), I'd say it's more of a marketing term than anything ele. Much like "lite margerine" or "fat-free lettuce" and the like - "ecotourism" can well be a fancy term for hiking, cycling or swimming. Something that always was good for the environment but is now being touted as "ecological".

Have you been on, or would you ever consider going on, an eco- tourism holiday or trip?
I dunno. I have the feeling that an ecotourism holiday would cost me twice as much as the holidays I take now. Like shopping at a health-food store: the apples are delicious and more healthy, but twice as expensive.

Have you any experience of any negative aspects of eco-tourism?
No.

Do you have any other views on eco-tourism in general?
It would seem to me that the more people who take ecotourism holidays, the worse it will be for the environment. I don't have any facts to back that up, but that's my impression.

4. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 10y

I would support sustainable tourism and have done a few eco-tourism type things:

Staying at Virgin Cove, Samoa, which is an eco-resort of sorts (entirely sustainable) - was an entirely positive experience.

Wwoofing (volunteering on organic farms) in a few places in Australia - great for meeting people and getting involved and seeing a bit of the country off the tourist track, some of the accomodation is a bit shaky though, compared to what you'd pay for.

I think it can be used as a 'marketing term', but even that major operators are forced to focus on the environment a little can't be a bad thing surely??

5. Posted by danalasta (Travel Guru 519 posts) 10y

Everybody now is into eco-tourism, be it state forest departments, state tourism development corporations, state forest development corporations, state industrial development corporations, tour operators, the hospitality industry, big and bigger business houses, NGOs, local communities, foreign consultants, research and academic institutions ... everybody is in the fray. Everybody seems to believe that eco-tourism is a magic wand that will help them get that piece of cake.

The tendency to qualify tourism in ecologically sensitive areas, like the forests and the coast as `eco-tourism' or `nature tourism' is a terminology that is applied for the convenience of tourism service providers. The very reason why the tourism industry opted for this terminology was because wherever tourism is practised, it has proven to be detrimental to the environment and the social fabric of local communities." So, rather than changing what you are doing, the solution has been to simply change what you call it. Not tourism, but eco-tourism!

Anything and everything is now being pushed through under this banner...THAT IS THE SAD PART, and that is how I see it and I speak from experience as I have been involved in that area for almost 15 years now...and this is the way I see it

Is it something that you support?
Yes, but more as a movement...not as a segment of tourism...eco tourism surfaced as a result of people's concern for environment, ecology,preservation of culture, heritage,,emancipating people and mind from the trappings of poverty & wealth alike, removing ignorance & prejudice of all types and promoting international equality, fraternity & liberty


Do you think it's a step forward for the travel industry, or do you think it's just used as a marketing term by tour operators?

When the benefits are translated into better lives for the locals, then it would be fair to say that the travel industry is taking a proactive role in the promotion of ecotourism, or awareness of ecotourism as a movement...but in my view, this doesnt seem to be the case......more of the money that tourists spend in an ecotourism site "leak out" into off-shore pockets...

Have you been on, or would you ever consider going on, an eco- tourism holiday or trip?

I have been to some which are genuinely involved in community-based eco-sites for research studies and evaluation..where locals participate more in the direction and ownership of eco-tourist enterprises.At the end of the day, you must come out richer in awareness (of ecotourism as a movement),not necessarily as an experience.For instance, did you feel that native ways are strengthened, not distorted or debased? Examples?

Have you any experience of any negative aspects of eco-tourism?

Local communities bearing the brunt of ill-effects of development...the opulence and extravagance and architectural mishmash associated with "world class" resorts..Do you want examples? I would expect more provision of an extraordinary setting for the "new breed" of environmentally sensitive, learning-oriented travelers who are aware and conscious of eco tourism as a movement...

Do you have any other views on eco-tourism in general?

1. ensure that tourism does not exceed the social and economic limits as determined by researchers working in conjunction with local residents.
2.increase awareness of the importance of the ethnic groups and biological diversity.
3. Promote responsible business practices, which cooperate closely with local authorities and people to support poverty alleviation and deliver conservation benefits.

dana