Case study - ecotourism in the rainforest

Ecotourism is a sustainable form of tourism. It tries not to damage the environment and respects local culture and customs.

Ecotourism or green tourism aims to give jobs to local people whilst protecting the environment. Ecotourists travel in small groups and often visit reserves where the scenery and wildlife is protected and managed.

Some people are sceptical about whether ecotourism will work in the long term. Even small numbers of visitors will bring change. An increasing number of tourists demand facilities such as hotels and restaurants. The local population is likely to want to take the opportunity to generate even greater wealth.

Case study: ecotourism in the rainforest

Ecotourism on the Amazon river

Ecotourism is rapidly becoming a leading way for low income countries (LICs) to bring in foreign revenue, whilst still preserving their rainforests. In the rainforest, ecotourists:

  • protect the environment - they travel in groups of no more than 20 people, keep to footpaths and don't leave litter or start fires
  • support local communities - they stay in locally-owned accommodation, buy produce from local people and stay in lodges made of local material
  • recycle human waste by using compost toilets
  • use local guides for rainforest walks where they are educated about the wildlife
  • buy locally made handicrafts from local tribespeople
  • respect local customs and traditions - locals appreciate tourists who try to learn the language and show an interest in their culture