Cultural Tourism, Ecotourism, Sport Tourism, and Other Emerging Types of Tourism
Ecotourism Ecotourism is responsible for travel to fragile, natural, and usually protected areas that conserves the environment and uplifts the standards of the local people (TIES, 1990)…
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Ecotourism is mainly concerned with enabling the tourist to be enlightened on the effects of human beings on the nature and to help them develop more understanding and love for the natural ecosystems. Generally, ecotourism will involve travel to sites where the plants, animals, and cultural heritage are the main attractions. Ecotourism is becoming a more popular form of tourism in which tourist visit wild and scenic areas such as rain forests, mountains, game reserves, wildlife conservancies for leisure and educational trip, and the tourist are mainly from North America, Europe, or Australia/New Zealand with their destination being mostly the developing countries (Eduweb, 1996). Ecotourism is concerned with integrating conservation, communities, and travel activities a departure from convectional tourism. According to TEIS (1990), those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities should do it in observances of the following ecotourism principles. First, involve travel to natural destinations, secondly minimize impact, thirdly build environmental and cultural awareness and respect, fourthly, provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts, fifthly, provide direct financial benefits for conservation, more so provide financial benefits and empowerment for the local people, and lastly, raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate. Based on these principles, the ecotourism should be in position to analyze environmental and cultural factors, promote conservation through recycling, energy saving activities, avoiding and minimizing pollution, and providing economic gains to the local communities. Ecotourism developed from the global environmental movements in the late 1970s and by the early 1990s, ecotourism along with natured-based cultural, heritage and adventure tourism had transformed, with the global tourism industry being among the fastest growing sectors (TIES, 1990). Ecotourism has helped develop other forms of tourism, which borrow from the principles of ecotourism but at the same time, it differs from them. The following descriptions of other forms of tourism can illustrate how ecotourism differs with them though they share some similarities. Adventure travel is a form tourism that involves taking risk and it may involve using unconventional means of transport. The purpose mostly does not include conservation or benefit to local community. Secondly, sustainable tourism involves any form of tourism that does not reduce the availability of resources and does not inhibit future travelers from enjoying the same experience. Thirdly, responsible tourism involves tourism activities or operations, which minimize negative impacts on the environment. Fourthly, nature-based tourism is any form of tourism with focus on nature. Lastly, cultural tourism focuses mainly on interacting with and studying unique cultures (Untamedpath, 2007). The above terms and other terms such as green tourism, bio-tourism, and low impact tourism have been used in literature and marketing activities to mean ecotourism though they are not the same as ecotourism, an occurrence that confuse tourist and academics in their understanding of ecotourism. The ambiguity and misunderstandings related to description of ecotourism has led to exploitation of many unsuspecting tourists by countries, hotels, destinations, resorts, and corporation making huge profits but
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