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Environmental Sustainability of Ecotourism

May 23, 2007
The International Ecotourism Society defines ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” Although the goal of ecotourism is to enjoy nature, not all tourism in natural areas is sustainable and can be defined as ecotourism. An official global ecotourism certification scheme remains to be developed, but most agree that ecotourism should posses the following qualities:
# Minimal impact to the natural environment
# Sensitivity and enhanced awareness of local environments and cultures
# Financial support for local conservation initiatives
# Empowerment and participation of local communities
# Financial and other benefits for local communities
clipped from earthtrends.wri.org

Experts Question Environmental Sustainability of Ecotourism

Mon, 21 May 2007 12:16:14 -0400

global tourism conferenceTourism is the largest business sector in the global economy, accounting for $3.6 trillion in economic activity and 8 percent of jobs worldwide. Within the industry, ecotourism is the fastest growing subsector, expanding by 20-34 percent per year since the early 1990s. Although ecotourism is considered environmentally sustainable by definition, experts at last week’s Global Ecotourism Conference 2007 raised concern that ecotourism could be contributing to global warming and environmental damage.

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