Tourism is the largest industry in the world, Tourism has the potential to contribute to a high level of economic and social development. Tourism is an ever growing industry around the world with many countries now dependent on the tourism industry within their country to continue to grow and develop.
Eco-tourism has emerged as one of the fastest-growing sectors of the tourism market, influenced primarily by public demand for more environmentally responsible tourism. When planned properly, it has been asserted that ecotourism can integrate conservation of biodiversity with socio-economic development of local communities. However, eco-tourism can have significant negative impacts when poorly planned and managed including severe environmental degradation, negative cultural changes and decreased welfare of individuals or communities. Eco-tourism should not be regarded as a panacea for harmonizing rural development with environmental conservation until the industry’s influence on developing countries has been thoroughly analyzed. The nature-based tourism is derived from the existence of natural areas with no specific concern for their protection, whereas ecotourism is concerned with the protection of natural areas. eco-tourism as a means to achieve rural economic development by enabling people who live in rural areas to capture the economic non-use values derived from natural areas.
Typical services offered at ecotourism destinations might include local arts and crafts, guided hikes and wildlife viewing, publications, natural history lectures, photography, and local food. Revenues are generated from fees for these services, as well as natural area user fees and local expenditures for hotels, restaurants and bars, and transportation services. The growth of India’s services sector, its contribution to GDP, and its increasing share in trade and investment has drawn global attention. Unlike other countries, where economic growth has led to a shift from agriculture to industries, in India, there has been a shift from agriculture to the services sector. There are variations in growth and performance of different sub-sectors of services. Business services , communications and trade have grown faster than the overall services sector growth in India. Others such as real estate, legal services, transport, storage and personal administration and defense services have grown at the same rate as the overall services sector growth. Eco-tourism, under whatever definition, is an instigator of change. It is inevitable that the introduction of tourists to are as seldom visited by outsiders will place demands upon the environment associated with new actors, activities, and facilities. Ecotourism will make new relationships between people and environment, and between peoples with different lifestyles. It will create forces for both change and stability. These forces act at a diversity of scales from global to local. Although sightseeing and tourism have been associated with natural attractions such as national parks and wilderness areas for a long time, “ecotourism seeks to tighten the relationship and to create new economic linkages. The most important feature of ecotourism is that money generated by the tourist’s presence is used to improve and protect the natural resource base that originally attracted the tourist.
Adventure tourism is another classification commonly confused with ecotourism and often falls under the classification of nature tourism. Adventure tourism ordinarily refers to “physically exerting sporting activities (frequently involving a certain level of personal risk) also conducted in a natural setting (hang gliding, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking) . Nature tourism or adventure tourism activities may or may not be environmentally friendly or benefit the local people adjacent to the venue of activity. Ecotourism development has the potential to provide alternatives to more traditional land uses, such as logging and agriculture, and can provide an impetus for private conservation efforts. Ecotourism presents an important opportunity to advance the cause of environmental education. A greater sense of the educational role of ecotourism and more research on appropriate methods and materials are needed. Eco-tourism is a niche tourism market that has emerged to contribute to sustainable development, one of the fastest growing niches of the tourism sector. The concept of ecotourism is interrelated with sustainable tourism and should be consistent with the principles of sustainable tourism and development . Although ecotourism primarily focuses on nature experiences, the concept has been promoted as a way for developing countries to combine economic growth with social and environmental concerns ; The International Eco-tourism Society. In order to enable sustainable development in developing countries, encourage developing nations with high ecotourism potential to promote the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises working with sustainable tourism. Like the term sustainable development, ecotourism has been defined in a variety of ways.
However, in good practice, it refers to economically viable, culturally appropriate, nature-based tourism activities that promote education, interpretation, environmental protection, conservation and involvement of local communities and indigenous peoples. Eco-tourism features low impact activities, environmental and cultural appreciation and sensitivity. It often focuses on the educational aspect of an experience and relies heavily on the responsible use of the natural resources in the area. In many cases ecotourism offers a combination of adventure, cultural and natural history features. Eco-tourism appeals to a growing market in the US and Europe. Since international eco-tourists come primarily from heavily industrialized countries to visit destinations that offer unique natural environments, remote locations and the absence of large scale industrialization in the far north can be an asset for cultivating the eco-tourism market.
Ecotourism occurs in natural areas (most often protected areas) and/or places of unique ecological or cultural interest
Ecotourism contributes to conservation or preservation of the natural resources and promotes stewardship of natural and cultural resources.
Ecotourism should create necessary funds to promote permanent protection of ecological and socio-cultural resources
The local residents accrue economic and social benefits thereby contributing to project’s long-term success.
Ecotourism incorporates environmental and cultural education.