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Ecotourism is a kind of tourism that targets natural environment and tries to reduce the harmful human activities and encourage conservation of environment. Any country that exercises ecotourism benefits a lot due to local and international tourists who increase the revenue of the country.

In proper observation and protection of the environment, ecotourism tends to increase the number of tourist activities in a certain country. Taking into consideration the harmful effects of the conventional mass tourism and a rising awareness in environment, ecotourism is now the leading subsector of the tourism industry. Annual growth rate in the tourism industry is steadily increasing in developing countries. Most of the developing countries have embraced ecotourism. They see it as the solution to the weak economies and problems caused by the conventional mass tourism. The main objective of ecotourism is to give the traveler a pleasant and unforgettable time while still preserving natural resources. The biggest aim is to reach beyond a satisfying experience and excitement and guide the tourist by giving him or her different attitude towards natural and cultural activities of that place.

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However, some people see the prefix ‘eco’ as a means to lure the tourists to believe that their journey will be ecologically oriented while being common conventional mass tourism. This does not help in the environment preservation, which tends to be the main reason for ecotourism. Such activity is termed as ‘exploitation’ (Honey 2008). This is where some large private firms’, usually foreign ones, take advantages and try to make more profit at the expense of the environment. This questions the motive of ecotourism, which is bound to fail like the conventional mass tourism. Experts say that proper care must be taken to consider the motive of ecotourism. It should be investigated whether ecotourism is about using nature to make money or protecting natural and cultural activities in a certain region.

In order to make ecotourism successive, individuals must not, at any cost, purchase anything made from plants and animals while being on a tour. Purchasing such products encourages death and destruction of natural resources. Tourists should also respect the culture of the people in the said area. They should respect their beliefs and dignity. In addition, tourists should be advised to take pictures only and not take any samples as this could result to harming the animals and destroying plants. People should also be advised to support organizations which set environment preservation as their main objectives. In disposing waste materials, people should be encouraged to practice recycling. They should be advised against disposing plastic and polythene in the environment. These two products do not decompose; thus, they destroy the environment, which is contrary to the ecotourism’s objective.

The biggest problem facing developing countries in ecotourism is spearheading. This is where the previously preserved regions are exposed to international tourism. However cautious an ecotourist may be, the people involved in weak ecosystem may have terrible effects on natural and cultural practices in a given area. Many ecotourism companies experience these problems and they end up blaming their customers for environmental exploitation. In some developing countries, ecotourism has led to displacement of the indigenous people in certain areas. The building of Maasai Mara national park in Kenya, Eastern Africa, is an excellent example (Miller 2011). The inhabitants of this place, the Maasai community, was displaced so that that the park could be built. As a result, a forest was destroyed to give room to building lounges. A lot of firewood is being used in that area which means that the number of trees, which are being cut down every year, is rising. There are no limits in tourism vehicles; thus, they drive recklessly, thus harassing natural resources.

Ecotourism is relatively related to environment. However, there is limited knowledge concerning its effects to the environment and how it affects the ecotourists’ convenience. The difficulties concerning this issue make solving them a really complicated task due to poor researching in that area. Most of the ecosystem studies and analyses are conducted in North America and Europe. Some of the direct effects of ecotourism include soil erosion resulting from cutting trees. This leaves the soil with no place to hold on to in case of heavy rains. During touring activities, the chance of fire break outs is greatly increased. This is because dried firewood is lying everywhere. In case of a fire breakout, which may be caused by smoking, fire can spread extremely first. This may raise a question on the need of having the ecotourism industry. Ecotourism may also fuel vandalism and poaching. This is seen best as the tourists may give the locals guns and other small gifts, while the locals give them elephant trunks and leopard skins. Such practices endanger wildlife. Ecotourism may cause water and air pollution. In many wild areas where there is no limited access of vehicles, the smoke exhausted from the pipes pollutes the weather. Later this leads to acid rains, which destroy lands and puts the lives of the locals to risk (United Nations Environment Programme 2005).

Most of the ecotourism agents, which are operational, are not in a position to generate massive profits since they do not give sufficient means for their clients to spend a lot of money. This suggests that ecotourism will not generate the same amount of income as the conventional mass tourism. In Costa Rica, for example, ecotourism is the backbone of the tourism industry in the country and is relatively significant to the national development strategy.  The large scale deforestation in 1940 caused the amount of woods in the country to decrease from 75% to 20%. As a result, the government chose a new development policy (Burnie 1994) .They saw ecotourism as their solution in conserving national natural resources and making money. This paid off with immediate effect: in 1993, more than 700,000 visitors came to the country being motivated by the national parks (McNeil 1996, p.369). This is truly the perfect implementation of ecotourism (Moufakkir 2010). However, according to the studies, the locals do not benefit from these ecotourism industries. Large sums of money earned usually benefit the leading foreign companies from the developed world. According to the researchers, only 20% of the money spent by the average tourist usually helps the locals.


The term ecotourism is not new to many people. Destination holidays in rising and developing countries have increased in the past couple of years. If taken seriously with its correct definitions, ecotourism may give the developing countries what they require to rise and generate profits which will help them to develop quickly. However, in distributing of these funds, the local government of these countries should consider the natives so that they can enjoy the revenue from ecotourism. However, the main issue is that pure ecotourism may not exist at all, and it is only a term used to conquer the destructive mass tourism. There is a need to understand the shortcomings of the current ecotourism in order to improve ecotourism in future.

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