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Ecotourism may be described as Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy, study and appreciate nature and any accompanying cultural features that promote conservation, have a negative visitation impact and provide for substantial beneficial active socioeconomic involvement of local populations.In general, ecotourism is an insightful, mindful and participatory travel experience to natural and cultural environments, assisting the well-being of the local cultures and environments for future generations. At the same time ecotourism produces viable economic opportunities for the host areas. Originally, ecotourism was defined as purely nature based, forgetting the impact tourism had on the local villages and culture. However, it quickly became apparent that trying to create a new type of tourism, which only focused on wildlife and the environment, while excluding the local villages, simply did not work.T hose countries that involved the local communities in the ecotourism decision-making process had a much higher success rate in implementing profitable ecotourism. Consequently, most recent definitions of ecotourism now include a more synergistic approach, including the tourist, local villages and environment. People form the world are finding pleasure in going back to natural products and tastes as opposed to the artificial and the synthetic. Be it in food, fashion and interior decoration. It goes for the Nature tourism or Eco Tourism also. Whether it is the eco tourism drive launched by the green state of Kerala or promotion of Heritage Hotels by Rajasthan, all of these initiatives indicate toward the growing popularity for eco tourism in India.
There are certain guidelines ecotour operators and nature guides go by to develop and maintain a sustainable ecotourism business.
- Provide money and other tangible support for developing parks’ services and managing natural resources. Support indigenous people/businesses by buying local goods and services
- Link commercial tourism to local conservation programs.
- Develop sustainable tourist facilities that minimize environmental damage.
- Promote ecological research and rescue programs.
- Arrange and promote meaningful contact between tourists and local people.
GUIDELINES FOR ECO-TOURISTS/TREKKERS.
- Stay on trails:- Don’t wander into the brush the trails are there for a reason. Leaving the pathway, you might unknowingly disturb wildlife habitat, or endangered or threatened plant communities.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle:- The same idea that works at home, work and school works when you’re in natural areas. Think of ways you can cut down on waste. For example, instead of taking all those plastic forks and paper plates when you go camping or picnicking, use items that you can wash and reuse.
- Put waste where it belongs: in a trash can:- you don’t have much waste left, but what you do have should go in a trash can. Wherever there’s also a recyclables can, use it. And don’t leave food out for animals, like raccoons, to eat.
- Learn about the flora and fauna of the area you’re visiting:- Your knowledge will lead to a greater appreciation and respect for what WILDLIFE PARKS hold. Learning about the world around us is fun, and it can be as easy as taking along a field guide.
- Leave plants, animals, rocks, logs, etc. alone:- That flower may be the most unusual you’ve ever seen, and that little critter may look really cute, but they’re not there for you to pick or to pet. You’re in their home. Wild animals are wild, and they need their space. Give animals plenty of room when viewing them.
- Try to visit parks in their off season, when possible:- You’ll not only avoid the crowds on your visit; you’ll make the in-season crowds in the natural areas that much smaller, reducing negative impact.
- Support parks, forests and preserves:- As a visitor, your entrance fee helps pay to maintain and improve the area. But you also can become a park member or join the many “Friends Of” groups.
- Be a good example for others; spread the word about responsible ecotourism:- When your family, friends and neighbors hear about your trips to natural areas, they might want to go, too. Point them to areas of special interest to you, and be sure to tell them these great tips!
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