In the Tourism Review 2018, tour and activity operators were asked to consider implementing sustainable initiatives in their own tour company. A sustain majority 91.3% of participants inserted yes. In the tourism industry eco-friendly tourism is becoming one of the largest, a key element in the understanding the tourism industry is to recognize and deal with the change in the global trends of behavioral, environmental and technological factors. The trends fall under neath these factors which include: social, political, environment, technological economic trends. This essay will look at the history of tours, how ecotourism is used in the industry, and the impact and future impact that eco-friendly tourism has on the industry.
Nowadays, the world has become much smaller and the potential to explore its surface is much greater. With the evolution of the tourism industry increasing, and tours becoming more common, they will investigate the history of tours dating back to the Middle Ages through to contemporary tourism. From the beginning of the seventeenth century, a new type of tourism was created called the Grand Tour, for instructional and cultural reasons, young men often spent two to four years accompanied by a tutor travelling around Europe. The custom had become institutionalized by the end of the eighteenth century, and gradually pleasure travel had been subsumed by educational travel. Weaver, D., & Lawton, L. (2014, p. 58) has suggested that along with several contemporaries from the mainland of Europe, Thomas Cook is associated with the emergence of tourism as a modern, large-scale industry. On July 5th 1841 Thomas Cook had organized his first railway journey for workers from Leicester to temperance meeting and bible camps in the countryside. Continuously, these excursions expanded in the number of participants and destinations offered. Due to the rise of passengers, it soon started shifting from spiritual purposes to sightseeing and pleasure. By 1845 Cook was offering regular tours between Leicester and London. In 1863 the first international excursion was undertaken (to the Swiss Alps), and in 1872 the first round-the-world excursion was organized with an itinerary that included Australia and New Zealand (Weaver, & Lawton, 2014, p. 58).
Tourists are now looking for new experiences off the beaten track to accommodate demand, tour operators are taking the initiative to offer environmentally friendly tours that provide something unique to the customer, but also preserve and, in some cases, reinvest in the destination (Kutschera, 2019). Ecological tours are more essential for those sites that are suffering from global warming or could have a noticeable effect for the environment. These tours could include water-based activities, cycling, climbing or wildlife that is unmotorized. A popular ecological tour is the EcoZip in New Zealand North Island. The zip-line tour funds the conservation and restoration of Waiheke Island Forest, which has now become a site for environmental significance (Kutschera, 2019).
Accommodation is another way eco-tourism is being used in the travel industry, as they have made advancements to the building to minimize the impact on the natural environment. The Singita Pamushana Lodge provides local wellness tours. The lodge, which provides access to the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, aims to benefit an increasingly fragile landscape to habitat loss. The owners of the Singita Pamushana Lodge, gets the lodge's earnings to invest in conservation programs and reintroduce endangered wildlife into the region.
When travelling to new places you always want to bring something back that reminds you of your travels. But so many souvenir places are detrimental to the local environment, like purchases products with palm oil is sending a message to companies to keep destroying the forest in Indonesia, or buying a necklace that is made from turtle shell sends a message to keep killing turtles to help provide and sell for the tourist. Even though there are still places that aren’t helping there are plenty of shops that are. Lee (2018) who explored a boho-styled jewels bands based in Ubud, that focuses on ethical production, fair pay, employing underprivileged women, going vegan in its products and packing, crafting jewelry from green recycled silver, selling apparel made from organic cotton and bamboo, and striving to keep its carbon footprint as small as possible. It is important to pay attention to the souvenirs your purchase, by purchasing the right kind you can encourage the local craftspeople to only use sustainable materials and to not stock anything that is illegal.
More people are becoming aware of the impact tourism is having on the world. Ecotourism “is a form of tourism that fosters learning experiences and appreciation of the natural environment” (Weaver, 2001, p. 15) and “conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people” (‘The International Ecotourism Society’, 1990). Ecotourism helps allow countries to build their economies without harming the environment. Tour operators and local people have started to establish sustainable actives and awareness program to help protect the natural habitats. Hence, providing local people for leading, operating and managing of these activities which impacted local communities to have significant improvement in the ecology and environment of the destination. This trend created a positive result making eco-tourism a sensation, which has allowed the environment and wildlife to thrive and allow tourist to experience the untouched destinations.
Ecotourism is promoted as a company that will only have beneficial finical effects in the tourism growth. For many destinations ecotourism is an important generator for employment, with ecotourism becoming more advanced it has helped local communities. For example, Biosphere Tourism (2015) wrote about L'Avenc de Tavertet, which is an eco-friendly run hotel that focuses on the inclusion of the local economy. As they not only employed a local team of workers, they also involve over 80% of local stakeholder. It also is a direct economic benefit to local people by complement rather than replace traditions practices such as farming and fishing (Rosaleen Duffy, 2002). As a result of keeping traditions, motivations for buying local crafts come from seeking out authentic or intrinsic beauty. Ecotourism has the potential to be positive or negative impact on cultural communities depending on the activities and ethical behavior tourist and tour operators presents when visiting ecotourism destinations. But keeping with the local culture and heritage of places educated tourist to be aware.
A company called International Ecotourism Society have established standards for eco-friendly tourism. They are a non-profit organization that creates trips that involve visiting natural environments, which do nothing or affect these areas and proving cultural respect and economic advantages to local communities. These types of organizations help cola communities keep their culture alive without having tourist and tour operators exploited and detonate it.
Ecotourism for the future depends on governments to create well-planned destinations, without local planning ecotourism could be another problem on the landscape. More hotels and accommodation are changing, creating and marketing environmentally sustainable accommodations, tour companies are creating eco-friendly tours by not using motorized vehicles through forests and endangered waters. It was found by Waiting for Rain (2018) that 5% of the world’s total CO2 emissions came from the tourism sector, which means if we don’t start to change the way we travel it could result in 164% growth in CO2 emissions. By implanting ecological initiatives could help reduce this and have a positive future for tourism.
Despite the fact that ecotourism is becoming one of the largest industries and has an important role in the economic, environment and cultural development of societies, especially in developing countries, it does still have many concerns for the future in the tourism industry. Environmental concerns are the main critics as majority of ecotourists come to be involved in seeing the natural environment, volunteering, building and serving communities. Many of natural attracts at the ecological places have/will been overused which will disrupt the wildlife feeding and mating habits. From the 1980s the Galapagos Islands have had to cope with a variety of complex problems as Condon and Honey (2008, pp.121-124) proposed that the breeding of captive endangered tortoises and land iguanas and reintroduction to their native islands has aided in the recovery of species on the brink of extinction. The extraordinary biodiversity of the islands is highly susceptible to a number of forces, including introduced species, over harvesting of limited resources, natural and manmade disasters, and climate change. The long-term future of the biodiversity of the islands may well depend on decisions about sustainable development that are made during the next few years. Corrupted governments are taking large cuts of profit from ecotourism which leaves negative economic issues on local communities. The main losers from ecotourism can be local people when ecotourism is controlled by outside developers and locals do not obtain adequate economic benefits such as employment (Wen, Julie Jie and Tisdell, C. A., 2001, pp. 165-166). For example, in Maasai research claims that in East Africa 70% of all national parks and game reserves are occupying land that was illegally taken away (Noah Clayton, 2017) to build friendly hotels, ecotourism expansions and natural resource excavations. Maasai did not receive any finical compensation for their loss, let alone the employment opportunities benefited educated professionals rather than the native people of East Africa. Cultural exploitation can be caused by ecotourism, governments and foreign companies in Tanzania are suing ecotourism and conversation laws to remove indigenous Maasai people. Their cultural practices are becoming like candy for tourists’ entertainment, destroying the traditional importance and meaning.
These concerns and actions taking place should open your perspective on eco-friendly tourism ensure you footsteps do not leave a permeant mark, that your money goes into the right hands and that your travels are supporting local community and conservations.