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Geography

Ecotourism

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Ecotourism encourages visitors to a country to leave a small carbon footprint, to the benefit of local communities and environments. It has become an increasingly popular option for many people.

Ecotourism

Jungle hut in Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

Jungle hut in Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

Ecotourism is a type of sustainable [sustainable: Doing something in a way that minimises damage to the environment and avoids using up natural resources, eg by using renewable resources. ] development. The aim of ecotourism is to reduce the impact that tourism has on naturally beautiful environments.

Any tourist destination can be harmed by increased levels of tourism. If areas are damaged or destroyed, they might not be available to future generations.

The ecotourism approach

  • Ensuring that tourism does not exploit the natural environment or local communities.
  • Consultation with local communities on planned developments.
  • Making sure that infrastructure improvements benefit local people and not just tourists.

Ecotourism now has the backing of the United Nations [United Nations: The successor to the League of Nations, the UN was established in 1945 as an international organisation designed to keep peace, international law and set standards in human rights. ], which made 2002 the "International Year of Ecotourism".

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