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What is ECOTOURISM? What does ECOTOURISM mean? ECOTOURISM meaning - ECOTOURISM pronunciation - ECOTOURISM definition - ECOTOURISM explanation - How to pronounce ECOTOURISM?

Source: article, adapted under license.

Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial (mass) tourism. Its purpose may be to educate the traveler, to provide funds for ecological conservation, to directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of local communities, or to foster respect for different cultures and for human rights. Since the 1980s ecotourism has been considered a critical endeavor by environmentalists, so that future generations may experience destinations relatively untouched by human intervention.:33 Several university programs use this description as the working definition of ecotourism.

Generally, ecotourism deals with living parts of the natural environments. Ecotourism focuses on socially responsible travel, personal growth, and environmental sustainability. Ecotourism typically involves travel to destinations where flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Ecotourism is intended to offer tourists 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. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, an integral part of ecotourism is the promotion of recycling, energy efficiency, water conservation, and creation of economic opportunities for local communities. 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. Like most forms of tourism, ecotourism generally depends on air transportation, which contributes to global climate change. Additionally, "the overall effect of sustainable tourism is negative, where, like ecotourism, philanthropic aspirations mask hard-nosed immediate self-interest." Ecotourist is different from a Tourist in the sense that, he or she is mindful of his environment, in most cases contributing to the sustainability of such surroundings.
Dear Travellers

First of all, congratulation to all for your amazing stories!

....falling in love on the road, biking as a kamikaze, crossing the cold dry deserts, fishing, sailing, surfing, farming, trekking, volunteering on the reef, getting lost in a metropolitan jungle or in the depth of the rain forest. From freezing Alaska to the Australian desert and everything in between... The ten winning stories in our opinion are all fantastic and make it clear that it was difficult to pick only 3 of them.

The criteria we used includes creativity, originality, quality of writing, photography, ability to engage an audience (number of supporters) and most important the talent to inspire other to conserve nature and promote intercultural understanding.

Our judging panel met up at the World Travel Market (WTM) trade show London and remotely to assess your stories and finally we are glad to announce the three winners:
Hector Ceballos is the Director General of the Program of International Consultancy on Ecotourism (PICE) and a Special Advisor on Ecotourism to IUCN (The World Conservation Union), and the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

Ecotourism is proving to be a very important component in protected areas management around the world. Strictly speaking, ecotourism is the only type of tourism that should be allowed in protected areas. All management plans should include strict guidelines for developing ecotourism activities within national parks and other natural protected areas, including development of appropriate physical infrastructure and facilities. An updated overview of developments in selected countries from around the world is given.

This clip is taken from a larger presentation at the John Hope Franklin Center's Wednesdays at the Center series, "Ecotourism and Protected Areas Management around the World". Ceballos-Lascurain's presentation was sponsored by Working Group Environment in Latin American, Nicholas School of the Environment, and Duke University Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies.