Proposal for admission in masters program Name of student Lecturer Date of presentation Ecotourism is one of the fastest growing segments in the tourism industry in developing and developed countries. The major attractive feature of ecotourism is its wide range of activities including walking, hiking and trekking (Fletcher, 2009)…
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However, Markercher (2002) found out that the major motivation for engaging in ecotourism is its flexibility that enables inclusion of diverse activities that are less costly compared with conventional tourism. In addition, ecotourism provides an ideal environment for group activities such as team building and family outings (Markercher, 2002). In this respect, it is one of the ideal forms of tourism in developing countries because it does not entail construction of expensive infrastructure and there are many activities that could be undertaken without threatening the environment and social cultural aspects of the host destination. These include bird watching, sightseeing, rock climbing, camping and other activities dependent on the natural resources available in the country. In a similar study, Arnold (2005) investigated the effects of tourism in Cambodia and suitability of ecotourism in the country and the larger South East Asian countries. He noted that Cambodia was one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world due to its unique natural and historical attractions. These include archeological parks, beautiful parks and beaches in addition to its rich cultural heritage. However, the country had experienced many adverse effects of tourism, because of unsustainable practices. These effects include conflicts with the local communities, environmental degradation and prevalence of antisocial practices in regions frequented by foreign tourists (Arnold, 2005). In the study, Arnold (2005) found that the rural communities in the country depended on subsistence farming for a living. They complained that the management of local game parks denied them access to employment opportunities and building of infrastructure such as roads, electricity, and other social amenities. This caused conflict between the locals and the tour operators in these rural regions. Most members of Cambodian rural community resorted to clearing the protected forests in order to make a living through subsistence farming (Arnold, 2005). In such developing country and others experiencing negative effects of tourism, ecotourism provides an opportunity for addressing these challenges and involving the local people in promoting sustainable practices. However, for full benefits of ecotourism to be realized, planning for tourism development is essential to ensure that the all stakeholders are involved in the running and management of the project. Environmentalist and researchers regard ecotourism as crucial and sustainable development strategy that ensures conservation of environment and participation of the local communities in tourism. Arnold (2005) defines ecotourism as a form of educational and sustainable tourism to scenic areas that are relatively new and intact ecologically. These areas are of cultural and historical importance and the main intention of ecotourism is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the socio-cultural and natural endowments of such destinations (Arnold, 2005). From this definition, it is apparent that ecotourism offers limitless opportunities for enhancing economic, social and environmental goals especially in developing economies. It provides avenues for investing and developing new enterprises, creating employment opport
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