In a world continually plagued with environmental destruction and climate issues, tourism can play a big role in getting the planet back on track. When tourism incorporates ecotourism, the potential for good is limitless. Here are three reasons why ecotourism is important and why this kind of tourism matters.
It stimulates economic impact
Ecotourism doesn’t only impact the environment, despite a lot of beliefs. It can positively impact a destination’s culture and economy, too. The benefits can multiply quickly, impacting every single person in a community.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, an ecotourism operation that hires locally and is based locally can return as much as 95 percent of its earnings to the local economy.
One specific example, in terms of economic impact, can be found in remote British Columbia. A Center for Responsible Travel study found that bear viewing ecotourism in the Great Bear Rainforest “generated 12 times more in visitor spending than bear hunting and over 11 times in direct revenue for BC’s provincial government.”
It funds conservation efforts
While ecotourism benefits the local economy, not all of the resulting money goes directly into locals’ pockets. A good portion of proceeds often goes back into conservation efforts. As a result, communities recognize that the better the ecotourism offerings are, the more tourists will come to their destination.
As such, there are many growing conservation efforts around the planet that impact global concerns like deforestation, animal migrations and the health of the world’s oceans.
It’s a solution to overtourism
At its core, ecotourism attempts to create the smallest negative environmental impact possible. This is in great contrast to traditional tourism, which takes little to no heed of environmental impact. In fact, it is the exact opposite of overtourism.